Arrests in police crackdown on Eastbourne town centre drug crime

A crackdown on Eastbourne town centre drug crime has led to arrests and drug seizures, say police.

Officers have been tackling crime in the Willowfield Square and Belmore Road area.

A Sussex Police spokesperson said: “On Wednesday, May 25, officers arrested James Barnes in Belmore Road after witnessing him conduct a drug deal in nearby Seaside.

“He was searched and found in possession of two vape pens containing wraps of heroin and crack cocaine.

Officers said police activity focused in an area of Eastbourne town centre has led to arrests, charges and multiple drug seizures. Picture from Sussex Police

“At Lewes Crown Court on Friday, June 24, 37-year-old Barnes pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply crack cocaine and possession with intent to supply heroin. Barnes, of no fixed address, was sentenced to 45 months’ imprisonment.”

On June 1, officers arrested Jack Beaver on suspicion of burgling a property in Belmore Road in January 2022, police said.

Beaver, 30 and of no fixed address, was charged with burglary dwelling and theft, and possession of a bladed article.

He was remanded in custody to appear at court on June 30.

A spokesperson added: “On June 10, officers identified a man in Willowfield Square in possession of 12 wraps of cocaine and £1,200 in cash. The drugs and money were seized, and the man issued with a conditional caution.

“On June 24, response officers arrested Kayne Nicholas-Wilson at an address in Belmore Road. Class A drugs were seized and Nicholas-Wilson, 21, was charged with nine offences. He has been remanded in custody to appear before the court on July 20.

“On June 25, officers arrested a drug runner from the area after spotting him dealing in Wellesley Road. His phone was seized, along with 10 wraps of crack cocaine and heroin, and he received a conditional caution.

“On Tuesday, June 28, a warrant was executed at an address in Willowfield Square. Approximately 200 wraps of crack cocaine and heroin, £300 in cash and multiple phones were seized.”

Police said four people were arrested and on June 29 and all pleaded guilty to offences.

The spokesperson added: “Alex Azagoh, 18, of Footscray Road, Eltham, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine; being concerned in the supply of heroin; possession with intent to supply crack cocaine; possession with intent to supply heroin; acquiring/using/possessing criminal property.

“Andrew Denney, 50, of Elms Avenue, Eastbourne, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine and being concerned in the supply of heroin.

“Romario Markland, 23, of Lambton Road, Islington, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine and being concerned in the supply of heroin.

“Terry Olsen, 43, of Willowfield Square, Eastbourne, pleaded guilty to permitting the use of premises for the supply of heroin; being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine; and being concerned in the supply of heroin.”

All four have been remanded in custody ahead of sentencing on July 27.

Chief Inspector Di Lewis, district commander for Eastbourne, said: “We want to make it difficult for people to conduct any sort of criminal activity in our community. By directing our resources to a very localised area we have been able to intensify our efforts and in the space of a few weeks, have seen multiple drug and cash seizures - as well as arrests and a conviction.

“Where we become aware of ongoing issues in a certain area, our neighbourhood policing teams will work together to tackle it through dedicated engagement and enforcement activity, giving local residents a reprieve from the concerning behaviour that negatively impacts their day-to-day lives. We encourage people to report such matters to us so we can respond effectively.

"Information can be passed to police online or via 101, or anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."