TIM DREW: Investigative skills are becoming more important

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FOUR weekly Community Bulletins have been issued by Sussex Police since my last round-up.

The latest of these, at the time of writing, was dated June 27. In all, 58 offences were recorded, of which 17 involved residential properties, 22 non-residential ones and 19 involved vehicles. That compares with the 69 offences committed in the four weeks ending May 28.

The highest number of offences per ward (16) was recorded in Central ward, followed by Heene (eight), Offington (six), Broadwater and Castle (five each), Gaisford and Goring (four), Durrington (three), Marine and Northbrook (two each) and Salvington, Selden and Tarring (one each).

The offences included five thefts of tools, three each of motorcycles and catalytic converters, and two each of bicycles, sat-navs and exhausts. Fourteen cases involved commercial properties, from which cash was stolen on at least four occasions. In nine instances, the attempt at burglary or theft was unsuccessful or nothing was taken, although a considerable amount of damage was caused several times.

These statistics show that the number of crimes involving commercial property is well down, against the 25 recorded in the previous four weeks, but this period also saw the highest number of burglaries so far this year.

The police are addressing both this and vehicle crime – as, indeed, Chief Inspector Jo Banks specified at the recent Worthing NHW Open Meeting – but criminals are becoming more mobile. Investigative skills are, therefore, increasingly being demanded of the PCSOs, and the police want us to develop those same skills. Key questions need to be asked of ourselves, the better to forestall such crimes.

• PCSO Graeme Foster’s surgery, from 5.30pm to 6.30 p.m, followed by the Selden Ward Neighbourhood Panel meeting, from 6.30pm to 7.30pm, will be held at the East Worthing Community Centre, in Pages Lane, East Worthing, on Tuesday, July 15. The Central Ward Neighbourhood Panel will meet between 6.30pm and 7.30pm at the Ardington Hotel, in Steyne Gardens, Worthing, on Thursday, July 17.