In a statement this afternoon, Inspector Steve Turner urged members of the public to help police and ‘not to take matters into your own hands’.
It follows a spate of criminal damage to a number of vehicles in the Bersted area last Sunday and reports of a trolley being thrown from the roof of Morrison’s supermarket car park.
Insp Turner said: “We are aware of matters of anti-social behaviour with a particular small group of individuals in Bognor Regis and understand how this is having a negative effect on the community.
“I am taking this very seriously and I can assure you that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated and we are taking immediate, robust action to prevent this issue from continuing.
“This includes one individual who has already been arrested for a spate of criminal damages and for several other offences. Another three identified individuals are to also be arrested for the spate of criminal damage.
“We are also aware of the trolley incident at Morrison’s car park and currently it is unclear as to how this has occurred but I can assure you for the safety of the public we will be exploring every line of enquiry available in order to identify the person responsible for this, including pursuing all CCTV lines of enquiry available to us in and surrounding the car park.
“If you witnessed this incident and have further information, please call 101 quoting reference 0660 24/12.
“We will continue our close working partnership with Arun District Council to deter this behaviour from continuing and we will be using our powers of arrest and stop and search where deemed necessary.
“I can assure you that you will be seeing an increase in our patrols in the upcoming weeks, alongside the criminal investigations that continue.
“I now need your help...I urge you firstly not to take matters into your own hands and be mindful not to incite others to do so. Instead I ask you to look to assist us with our investigations by reporting incidents of anti-social behavior.
“In addition, in order for us to continue an investigation we need people to come forward with information such as description of suspects, photographs and CCTV footage.
“Although we do patrol hotspot areas, if we do not see this behavior we need to rely on members of the public to aid us with both our investigations and the locations of where such problems are occurring.
“We are also unable to continue our enquiries if the victims do not support our investigation. Without lines of enquiries to pursue and no victim, we are having to file investigations.
“We believe that the vast majority of the public support us and our work, we thank those who have shown support to the officers who work incredibly hard every day to keep Arun as safe as we possibly can.”
Incidents logged with police include:
0697 23/12 – Whiteways, Bognor Regis – Report of youths kicking wing mirror off car. Further damage seen to be carried out to more than one car. Metal bar used to damage cars found.
0713 23/12 – Markfield – Report of youths that have smashed up car. Youths also abused informant.
0781 23/12 – Westfield - Report of group of youths have vandalised car.
0761 23/12 – Westfield - Report of youths going around vandalising cars.
0942 23/12 – Meadow Way, North Bersted – report of youths kicked off wing mirror on vehicle.
1068 23/12 – Meadow Way, North Bersted – wing mirror broken off.
0490 24/12 – Barton Road, Bognor Regis – wing mirror damaged and hanging off.
0660 24/12 – Bedford Street – Trolley thrown off Morrisons car park. No suspects identified.
0492 25/12 – Gravits Lane – Youths causing damage.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police online or via 101 quoting the relevant serial number.