Sussex Police has launched an operation dedicated to cracking down on commercial burglaries in Worthing, and the results so far have proved positive.
Operation Clear Up has been set up following an increase in incidents at shops, restaurants and other businesses in the town centre.
A total of 53 offences were recorded between August 21, 2018, and January 21, 2019, compared to 37 for the same period in 2017/18, representing a 43 per cent increase.
Among them were four repeat victims and, in the majority of cases, cash had been stolen from the premises.
In a number of instances, crowbars had been used to gain entry and the damage caused was such as to put the very survival of some small independent businesses in jeopardy.
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Sussex Police’s Adur, Worthing and Horsham Prevention Team has acknowledged and responded to the community’s concerns, prompting the launch of Operation Clear Up, which is being led by PC Isobel Wimbleton.
As part of this, officers have carried out increased patrols during peak hours on peak nights of offending.
They are also working closely with the Worthing Town Centre Initiative, and have engaged with businesses and provided crime prevention advice in a bid to prevent further offending.
Since the operation was launched on Thursday, February 14, there have been no business or commercial burglaries reported to police in Worthing.
Inspector Allan Lowe of the Adur, Worthing and Horsham Prevention Team said: “Break-ins and burglaries have a big impact on the business community – particularly on smaller businesses – and we will put all our efforts in place to target those responsible and bring them to justice.
“Supporting local businesses and reducing crime is very important to us, hence the priority in getting these numbers down. Arrests have been made in the past for town centre break-ins, however this includes nobody that we can highlight, at this stage, for being responsible for this wider series.”
• Tim Drew is the secretary and press officer for the Worthing Neighbourhood Watch Association. For more information about the Worthing & Adur Neighbourhood Watch Associations click here.
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