Extra West Sussex police patrols to combat antisocial and criminal behaviour

Extra police officers have been patrolling West Sussex in the evenings to combat antisocial and criminal behaviour.

Officers from response, neighbourhood policing and the Tactical Enforcement Unit have been out on patrol on late shifts in areas where there have been regular reports including Bognor and Worthing, said police.

In just one week the officers have achieved nearly 100 interactions with youths and members of the public, a spokesman added. They have also carried out proactive searches, made dispersal orders, made arrests for assault, being drunk and disorderly and public order, carried out referrals to safeguard vulnerable individuals and submitted intelligence/information reports.

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West Sussex divisional commander Chief Superintendent Howard Hodges said: “For policing to be effective we need to be able to respond quickly and effectively to emerging issues and in particular those that represent the greatest risk of harm to the public. In recent weeks across West Sussex we have experienced a number of incidents involving young people gathering in groups which has resulted in crime, anti-social behaviour and, in a minority of cases, serious violence.

“Understandably these incidents are of concern to local communities and present a risk to the young people involved whether they are the victims or those committing the offences.

“In order to bolster the existing work of the local Neighbourhood Policing Teams who are already addressing these issues with local partners, we have launched an operation to provide additional resources.”

Operation Dozen will initially run for a three-month period with the specific aim of protecting communities in particular those who are young and vulnerable, providing a robust response to those who seek to cause harm to others, engaging with young people to divert them from criminality and harm and providing the community with reassurance that we are taking action and listening to their concerns, he added.

CSU Hodges said: “Apart from the positive results, I think the strongest measure of the success of this initiative has to be the great public feedback the officers have been receiving about it.

“One member of the public in Bognor said she had been scared to go into the town centre because of her fears about anti social behaviour but she had been relieved to hear about our initiative and to learn that the force was taking reports of this seriously. Others have said how good it was see officers out on patrol in areas like Lamb Park in Durrington and Hotham Park in Bognor, where robust action by officers the day before had had a positive effect and improved people’s behaviour.

“My staff and I are completely committed to protecting the public, catching criminals and delivering an outstanding service to the people of West Sussex.

“I am proud of what my teams have delivered thus far in relation to this particular operation and am confident that working together with our partners and the local community we will make a difference.”