Sussex Police have met with the public to update them on their progress in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour within Uckfield and Crowborough.
On 29 May, police and Uckfield Town Council hosted a public meeting at Uckfield Civic Centre which gave a police panel of Assistant Chief Constable Nick May, East Sussex District Commander, Chief Inspector Anita Turner and Wealden District Inspector Jon Gross an opportunity to update the community on the efforts being made by officers to crack down on those responsible.
It also provided an important opportunity for residents to ask questions and provide first-hand feedback on local concerns.
Other contributors to the meeting included Councillor Duncan Bennett and town clerk Holly Goring from Uckfield Town Council.
More than 100 people of all ages contributed to a lively debate after Insp Gross had outlined police and partnership plans for the weeks ahead. These will include:
* Support for and liaison with the towns' secondary schools
* Checks on licensed premises
* Visits to ensure suspects' bail conditions are being complied with
* Engagement patrols in Uckfield and Crowborough
* Active monitoring of issues and rigorous pursuit of offenders
* Continued joint working with special constables, British Transport Police and Rail Enforcement Officers
* Dedicated patrols in known hot-spots
* Regular community updates
Inspector Gross also mentioned the arrest and further investigation of several suspects for criminal and anti-social behaviour, demonstrating police determination to weed out troublemakers.
Members of the audience described a general fear of crime, particularly where it involves knives and drugs; frustration that misbehaviour by a minority was impacting on the majority, seemingly unchecked; an absence of visible policing and concerns about the rail route between Uckfield and Crowborough.
It was agreed that additional support in schools, regular communication about action being taken, agencies working together and prompt reporting of crimes and intelligence to help police take action were all to be welcomed.
People were thanked for their participation and Insp Gross said that throughout June extra officers were being deployed to specifically combat anti-social behaviour.
He said: "Not every police response will immediately lead to arrests but often, as more information is gathered, further progress can be made. No one should be in any doubt that where evidence of offences exists, and we are able to identify those responsible, we won't hesitate to act."
Author: Nigel Jarrett