Appeal after break-ins at 17 Littlehampton beach huts: “It is really upsetting”

Police are appealing for information after break-ins at 17 beach huts along Littlehampton seafront.

The inside of one of the beach huts which was turned 'upside down' by intruders
The inside of one of the beach huts which was turned 'upside down' by intruders

Officers carried out a search of the area on Saturday but said no suspects were found.

One of the beach hut owners, a 54-year-old woman who asked not to be named, said that while nothing was stolen, the intruders had turned her hut ‘upside down’ – pulling open drawers and cupboards and emptying the contents onto the floor.

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“It’s a shame,” she said. “I know it’s a risk when you have a hut, but it’s not nice.”

It is not the first time the beach huts have been broken into, she said – last year a neighbour had a paddle board stolen from his hut.

“I don’t know if they were hoping to find something like that,” she said. “A lot of people empty the huts before the winter, so it’s a bit strange.”

She said police officers spent Saturday morning looking around the huts and speaking to owners.

“It’s a waste of time, when you think they’ve got so many things to do,” she said.

The woman normally visits her hut regularly, even in the winter, to have a coffee or read a book and said she was friendly with her neighbours.

“It’s really sociable,” she said. “It’s quite nice to be in a community like that.”

A spokesman said Arun District Council was sad to learn about the break-ins at the beach huts, which are a mix of council-owned and privately-owned huts.

“It is really upsetting for this to occur at such a difficult time when people are struggling both mentally and financially due to the ongoing pandemic,” the spokesman said.

“Sussex Police are fully aware of these incidents and the council is in the process of contacting the owners of the beach huts to discuss the repair work needed.”

Police are appealing for information.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “At 8.35am on Saturday (6 February) Sussex Police received a report of 17 of beach huts being broken into on Littlehampton beach.

“Officers attended the scene and conducted an area search but the suspect(s) were not found.

“If anyone noticed any suspicious behaviour at this location or has information to assist the police investigation please call 101 or report online quoting reference 286 of 06/02.