Chief Inspector Jayne Dando on policing in Eastbourne: Town bucking national trend

Chief Inspector Jayne Dando, Sussex Police
Chief Inspector Jayne Dando, Sussex Police
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THE RECENT 999 event on Western Lawns proved one of the most successful to date with beautiful weather, more people than ever, and lots of exciting demonstrations as well as informative stands.

We managed to sign up lots more people to our Community Contacts list – more than 80 new email addresses which we can use to keep you up to date with important local messages about policing, so thank you for all who signed up.

Neighbourhood Watch was at the stand next to the Community Safety Partnership and the local policing team and seemed to attract lots of interest. I know they signed up many new people to the scheme and I would urge you to do so if you have not already signed online. It’s a good way to get together with neighbours to look out for each other and get to know your local police team. Contact Jan Newens on jan.newens@sky.com for further details.

I am delighted to say that despite my own worries about crime increases reported in the national press, Eastbourne continues to buck the trend. We are currently sitting on a reduction of 8.5 per cent which is a reduction in 205 offences in comparison to this time last year. This equates to 205 fewer victims of offences such as assault, burglary, shoplifting and theft to name a few. That is 205 people who have not suffered the financial loss, or pain of being a victim, and the time spent working with us to resolve the offence.

To help keep crime low I would urge you to keep your property safe, know where your valuables are when you are out and about, look after purses, phones, handbags and wallets. During the summer months we can see a slight increase in burglary of people’s homes due to leaving windows and doors opens, overnight and when you are in the garden. Please consider locking doors and windows when you are out even for a short period of time.

You may know from local press that the police, in partnership with Eastbourne Borough Council, has a designated Dispersal Order in force in the town centre, to give us the powers to disperse people who are acting in an anti social manner. This has so far proved a great success. We have dispersed more than 100 people since June 1 and have made three arrests where people have refused to move on or returned to the area.

It demonstrates that we are working hard to make the town centre a more family and business friendly area. These powers run for three months from June 1.

I wanted to highlight a couple of the great successes we have had this month, one with a request for assistance.

A 16-year-old local boy appeared before Eastbourne Magistrates on June 28 after pleading guilty to offences of burglary and handling stolen goods. He received a 12 month youth referral order, a seven day activity requirement and was ordered to pay £400 compensation to one of the five victims.

He was arrested on suspicion of burglary and handling stolen goods in January following a spate of thefts from beach huts along Eastbourne promenade. A haul of marine equipment and other stolen goods were found at his home and have since been returned to their owners. Immediately after the arrest a curfew was placed on him until sentencing.

Sergeant Julian Williams from Eastbourne Neighbourhood Team said, “This was a good result to be able to return so much property back to its rightful owners. However thefts continue to occur along the seafront and I would like to remind beach hut owners to review the security of their huts, property mark everything inside and where possible take valuables home with them to prevent similar thefts.

“We have recently recovered another haul of marine goods including an aluminium boat, some anchors, buoys, outboard engines, ropes, a fish finder, GPS, numerous fishing rods and fuel containers. Enquiries are in hand to contact persons who have reported similar thefts. Should anyone wish to view the property please email PC Ronald Stevens at ronald.stevens@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call Sussex Police on 0845 60 70 999.”

We have been running an operation for a few weeks in relation to theft of pedal cycles and last week two local males were cautioned for offences in the town. We have worked hard behind the scenes on this crime and gathered much intelligence on persons who are committing these offences, the result being that we have had 46 offences so far this year compared to 68 last year, so we have a good picture of who is stealing the bikes and will continue to target them.

Planning for Airbourne is well under way and hopefully the weather will improve so the town will be seen at its best.

Enjoy the summer – and stay safe!

Jayne Dando

Chief Inspector

District Commander

Eastbourne