'Relentless' Specialist Enforcement Unit officers mark first year anniversary
A specialist policing unit has seized an estimated £1 million worth of drugs and cash from criminals in its first year of operation.
Sussex Police’s Specialist Enforcement Unit (SEU) was set up in January 2021 to tackle serious and dangerous offenders using the road network and to disrupt the supply of drugs into the county.
The team of highly-trained officers and detectives has already accounted for more than 21,000 policing hours across three divisions and has been involved in more than 400 arrests.
This has included working on operations such as murder investigations, tackling drugs offences, responding to driving offences and catching dangerous offenders and suspects wanted on warrants.
SEU officers cover hundreds of miles of the road network across Sussex every day, carrying out proactive patrols and working closely with colleagues such as the Roads Policing Unit (RPU), Serious Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), Border Force, Community Investigations Teams, the Force Intelligence Bureau, and divisional officers.
The unit has also helped forge effective working partnerships with neighbouring forces in Kent, Hampshire, Surrey and with the Metropolitan Police.
Some successes include more than 50 pre-emptive vehicle tactics used, 1,125 intelligence logs submitted, 556 stop searches, 222 vehicle seizures, and 96 weapons being seized.
The unit has helped with the safeguarding of vulnerable people by completing 75 referrals and has supported colleagues with 280 reports for minor traffic offences.
Chief Constable Jo Shiner said: “The launch of the Specialist Enforcement Unit a year ago increased our ability to deter, detect and disrupt serious criminals intent on travelling into Sussex to commit offences.
“Officers have provided extra, visible and robust policing on Sussex’s roads, using both marked and unmarked vehicles equipped with the latest technology to identify and intercept known offenders, target hot spots, and support colleagues in making the roads safer for everyone – one of our key priorities.
“From drugs and violent crime, to people trafficking, child exploitation and theft, most criminals have to use the roads which are therefore prime hunting ground for the police.
“I am delighted with the difference officers have made so far. The SEU has been relentless in its pursuit and capture of some of our most dangerous and prolific criminals by denying them use of the roads.”
The unit was established as part of a series of police enforcement teams including the Tactical Enforcement Units, the Rural Crime Team and extra Roads Policing Unit officers to be launched across Sussex in the last two years funded by the Government’s Uplift programme and local precept investment.
Rural Crime Team's night of action across the County
The Sussex Rural Crime Team joined forces with the Hampshire Rural Crime Team and Kent Rural Taskforce for a night of action to deter rural criminality across the three force areas.
Officers on the teams spent Monday night (17 January) into the early hours of Tuesday stopping vehicles on the borders of East Sussex with Kent and West Sussex with Hampshire, gathering intelligence on rural criminals and providing a visible reassurance to those living and working in the rural communities on our force borders.
The operation was focussing on tackling rural burglary, theft of power tools and farm equipment.
Across Sussex, the team assisted by our Roads Policing Unit and Specialist Enforcement Unit stopped about 40 vehicles at static check points, as well as during patrols in the villages and routes used by criminals to access very rural areas.
A 32-year-old man from Kent was arrested after being stopped in Flimwell near Ticehurst on suspicion of drug-driving and being in possession of a number of offensive weapons, including a crossbow and an extendable baton. He was questioned and released under investigation.
Inspector Oli Fisher from the Sussex Police Rural Crime Team said: "We recognise that our rural communities expect and deserve to see a visible police presence, whether they are in the heart of the county or on its borders. This operation allowed officers from Kent and Hampshire to work shoulder to shoulder with Sussex officers, to not only provide a visible deterrent to criminals, but to improve intelligence sharing between our forces.
"We spoke to many drivers that night. I would like to thank them for their support. On top of the arrests we made, members of the public provided us with intelligence about local criminality. We will be running joint operations regularly to ensure our rural communities continue to be served effectively by the police."
If you see a crime in action, call 999.
Sussex Police commence the new year with awards ceremony
Sussex Police has started the year by recognising some of the outstanding achievements and contributions of its officers and staff.
During a special ceremony on Wednesday, January 19, led by Sussex Police Chief Constable Jo Shiner, awards were given to those who have shown exceptional bravery and commitment, and to those who have dedicated their careers to serve the public.
A total of 64 people received awards at the event, including 11 Chief Constable Commendations for those who have been involved in an incident with significant personal risk or danger, or have undertaken an exceptional action or piece of work. 53 people also received recognition for their long service to the force.
Read more about those commended and the awards given here.
Operation Blitz - ASB targeting patrols
Call 07989188960 (1600-2200 each Friday and Saturday) to report to officers out on the ground if you witness/become victim of ASB including ASB driving.
Each week teams made up of both PCs and PCSOs take to the streets on additional patrols to areas reported by your communities as having seen an increase in ASB and youth related crime and disorder.
ASB can have a lasting effect on local communities and often leads to more serious offences, such as theft and criminal damage - if you are experiencing issues of ASB in your towns or villages please report it to us at the time, all your reports help to plan these additional weekend patrols in areas which have been affected the most.
Outside of these times, please continue to report ASB online/101 for non-emergencies, and to 999 at the time in an emergency/crime in action.
A white transit van was seen driving off from a property off Arundel Road, Newhaven around 1500 hours on the 25th January. Owners of the property reported a break in whereby unknown individual/s have smashed a glass side door to gain entry, and caused damage to locks. Personal items were stolen from the kitchen. Police attended and a search for the vehicle was conducted, forensic opportunities are being investigated. (749 of 25/01)
An attempted business burglary was reported at a business off Deadmantree Hill, Cooksbridge, Lewes between the 24-25th January. Owners have noticed damage to a padlock to the address where it appears unknown individual/s have attempted to cut/remove the lock. No entry was gained and nothing was reported as stolen. (763 of 25/01)
Members of the public and business owners are asked to remain alert to any suspicious activity in their area, and to report any concerns to police online or by calling 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.
There are a number of steps residents can take to property their property, including alarm systems and CCTV cameras, for a range of crime prevention advice, support and tips to keep you and your property safe click here.
If you have been the victim of a burglary, please report online, or by calling 101 – always dial 999 in an emergency/burglary in action.
Sussex Police and Action Fraud scam watch January
Warning of Online Shopping Fraud: Bogus E-Scooter Sales.
Action Fraud received over 350 reports in 2021 about scam websites selling e-scooters and shoppers loose out on over £145,000 pounds.
If you saw or heard anything, or have any information about any incident in this message please contact us online, or call 101, quoting the reference number provided.
Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org
You can also visit our website at www.sussex.police.uk where you can find our easy to use online forms to report all non-emergencies to us.
You can also find police advice to keep you safe and help you understand the law, and also browse our crime prevention pages for first-hand knowledge, industry best practices and practical crime prevention advice from officers and specialist teams all across the police.
Have you ever had a policing question that doesn't actually require direct police involvement to answer?
Ask the Police is a great online source of information for the most frequently asked policing questions, visit www.askthe.police.uk/ for more information.
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