Police tackle drug dealing in Eastbourne in day of ‘targeted operations’
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Sussex Police officers in uniform and plain clothes coordinated with colleagues from British Transport Police and dog handlers in a series of checks on suspected drug dealers and others carrying drugs – in a bid to break up a County Line, when illegal drugs are transported from one area to another.
On Friday (February 5), main transport routes into the town including major roads and the railway station were given special attention, with high profile foot and mobile patrols including the force’s Specialist Enforcement Unit, which carries out disruption and enforcement operations on roads across the county.
According to Sussex Police, a number of people were spoken to, there were three arrests and Class A drugs, a vehicle, and a knife were seized.
Chief inspector Di Lewis said, “Our work to combat drug dealing in local communities is unceasing and this is another opportunity for us to carry out co-ordinated activity, both overt and covert, to detect offenders and remind the wider public that they too can help in this effort.
“I just want Eastbourne to be a really challenging place for people to bring drugs to so they can no longer deal and supply drugs on the streets because it has a massive impact on people – it’s horrible what you see.
“We’ve got a lot of intelligence around it so we’re working to make sure it stays off the streets. The more work we can do like, working with joint units and BTP, the better.”
Insp Lewis said police are working to make sure the issues is tackled from both sides.
She said, “We’re giving our users that support and we need to safeguard them as well. If you stop it coming in they won’t have anywhere to get it from which gives them a reason to go and get some help.”
Inspector Howard Nevill said work like this can control what gets in and out of Eastbourne – a problem police are very aware of due to County Lines expanding from London and out to coastal towns and cities.
He said, “We ran an operation going on around the whole of Eastbourne.”
Through joining forces with others units, which the police don’t always get the opportunity to do, he said it makes a ‘big difference’ in terms of the work officers can do.
Insp Nevill said, “These drug dogs are so useful – they’re working to detect if anyone is coming through with the smell of drugs. It’s also about using intelligence, looking at behaviour of people and getting support from members of the public.”
By having such a presence, it means criminals are less likely to target a certain area in the future.
He said, “This isn’t just about the enforcement side of things though, we’re working with agencies to make sure people are signposted to support.
“If we stop the supply coming in and then reduce the demand, you prevent criminals coming back.
“You’ve got to tackle it from both sides, the supply and the demand – you can’t do one without the other if you’re aiming to bring it down which we are.
“We’re working very hard across Sussex to prevent drugs coming into our towns but the fight continues and we want to reassure the public that we are still out and about during lockdown.”
Anyone with information about drug dealing should contact Sussex Police online or call 101.
The Sussex Police website also has information about action taken against County Lines dealing, how you can help and support out there for people through various agencies.