EXTRA police patrols have taken place in Bognor Regis to curb anti-social behaviour.
The officers staged 23 hours of patrols over 16 days in the area during September under the command of Acting Inspector Danny West. They visited 51 shops and intervened on 26 occasions.
The additional activity has been made possible by an extra budget he has received as a result of the increase in council tax taken by Sussex Police.
Acting Inspector West said at a meeting last week: “We are doing everything we can to ensure we are showing a visible presence in the town centre.
“What has happened in the past two months is that officers and police community support officers who want to work on their rest days can join my neighbourhood policing team.
“They are supporting the work we are doing around anti-social behaviour and warrants. I am looking at a wide range of options so that people can see that type of actions going on.
“There is a group of young people, who we have known about, who have been causing problems in the past few days.
“We are working very closely with Arun District Council, children’s services and the youth offending team about this.”
The latest Sussex Police crime figures showed that reported incidents of anti-social behaviour in the year to the end of September rose by 71 incidents – or just under 20 per cent – in Marine ward to 457 and by 65 to 308 in nearby Orchard.
But Pevensey saw a drop of some 25 per cent, or 42 incidents, to 157. In Orchard, 130 incidents took place to mean a decline of 39. The overall number of incidents across Arun fell by 249 to 3,464.
Surrounding areas like Aldwick East, Aldwick West, Bersted and Pagham also saw significant decreases in incidents.
The action in Bognor Regis town centre follows concerns from councillors, residents and traders earlier this year about the number of incidents from which they were suffering.
As part of this work, Sussex Police’s officers completed a targeted day of action in the town centre on October 25.
Inspector Steven Turner said: “We have listened to the issues raised by residents and took robust action to tackle their concerns.
“We received a number of reports from within the community regarding issues with anti-social behaviour and drugs.
“We completed a stop check on some men acting suspiciously near a public toilet. They were spoken to and moved on from the area.
“We completed a stop on the vehicle in the town centre and cannabis was found and a warning was given.
“A man was also arrested on warrant for failing to appear at court.
“Officers also stopped a group of young people and they were searched but nothing was found.
“We are committed to listening to concerns when they are raised as we want to work with the community to combat behaviour which has an impact.”