Strong police presence in town for Operation Magpie

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Policing teams in Eastbourne were out in force along Seaside on Friday (June 28) for the launch of Operation Magpie.

The latest initiative from Sussex Police aims to crackdown on all criminality with a focus on burglaries.

The first phase of Operation Magpie has begun by denying the use of roads to burglars.

Officers carried out spot checks on vehicles in locations across Sussex to prevent burglary and detect crime where it has taken place.

In Eastbourne, the road policing officers were working along Seaside between noon and 2pm.

This was the first spot check in a robust and ongoing series of operations. Police have not revealed where the next checks will be, meaning burglars travelling in cars will not know when or where the officers will next appear.

Sergeant Stacey Ellott, who is based at the road policing unit in Polegate, was just one of the officers working on Operation Magpie in Seaside on Friday.

She told the Gazette, “A lot of suspect use vehicles to carry out their criminal behaviour, so by stopping them on the road we stand a good chance of intercepting them.”

Sergeant Ellott explained Operation Magpie also helped to reassure the public that there is a strong police presence in the area.

While the operation focuses on burglaries, the teams will use technology and local intelligence reports to stop any vehicles that are highlighted as being driven illegally - such as those without MOT or insurance.

However, this is the first time this tactic has been used by Sussex Police specifically to target burglars.

The launch of the operation coincides with the start of the warmer months when there is a typically an increase in burglaries due to homes not being left secure.

In the last financial year 3,921 burglaries were committed in Sussex, compared with 3,370 in the year 2011/2012. Although these numbers have increased in recent years, the risk of becoming a burglary victim in Sussex is still very low when compared to other areas around the UK with five burglaries taking place per 1,000 households.