Offenders clean up Wealden alleyway

GRAFFITI covering the walls of an alleyway has been cleaned up thanks to the hard working efforts of a community payback team.

Police Community Support Officer Andy Harlow from Wealden neighbourhood policing team spotted the criminal damage in Ditchling Way while walking the beat one day.

Eagle-eyed PCSO Harlow formed a plan of action when he returned to his police HQ and came up with an idea to get a clean-up operation organised to benefit the residents living near the vandalised spot.

Free labour was provided by a team of offenders as a way for them to recompense the community for the crimes they have committed in the past.

The scheme was organised by police in partnership with the Surrey and Sussex Probation Trust.

Sgt Howard Nevill said: “We aim to ensure that areas like this are regenerated and cleaned up.

“This can have a positive effect on a community, reducing crime and antisocial behaviour, as well as increasing public confidence.

“My officers are constantly looking at areas like this to help regenerate.

“Officers contacted local businesses to assist in supplying materials for the project and Travis Perkins in Hailsham generously donated fence paint and brushes.”

Sgt Nevill congratulated the team, and said: “The local community payback team did a great job in repainting the fences to cover up the graffiti and clearing away debri and litter.” 

The payback team undertakes challenging and demanding work that gives something back to the local community.

Wealden Police often host days of action in different areas as part of ‘Operation Quality Streets’. The joint agency operation tackles environmental and residential issues, also offering crime prevention and fire advice.