Sussex Police’s Tactical Enforcement Unit (TEU) has continued its expansion by launching an additional team in Brighton and Hove division to make the county a ‘hostile environment’ for dangerous and persistent criminals.
The TEU is a proactive police unit set up in December last year to target Sussex’s most prolific offenders. It has now expanded to form three dedicated teams based in the force’s three divisions of East Sussex, West Sussex and Brighton and Hove.
The newest team is made up of eight PCs, a Sergeant and is supported by a voluntary Special Constable. It was launched on Monday (27 July) and in less than 24 hours had made three proactive arrests including a 23-year-old man from Brighton who was wanted on suspicion of burglary where a motorbike was stolen on 22 April at Bolney Grange Industrial Park Haywards Heath, a 15-year-old boy who was arrested on suspicion of committing a knifepoint street robbery in Preston Park, Brighton, on 21 July and possession of cocaine and arrested a man aged 23 from Hove who was wanted on suspicion of stalking and committing a domestic assault in June.
The new units have been established through an uplift in police officers with the force on track to recruit a net gain of 129 officers by March 2021, thanks to a combination of additional precept and Government funding. This investment provides Sussex with a greater police presence and resilience to keep local communities safe.
The TEU is dedicated to capturing some of Sussex’s most wanted and prolific offenders, including those involved in serious violence, organised crime and county lines drugs gangs. The teams, made up of officers with specialist skills in proactive policing, carry out targeted disruption, enforcement and patrol activities wherever it is most needed.
Since the launch of the TEU on 16 December, the teams have made 209 arrests, conducted 524 intelligence led stop and searches, seized thousands of pounds worth of illegal drugs, weapons, cash and helped to safeguard vulnerable people and those at risk of exploitation.
Chief Constable Jo Shiner said: “The Tactical Enforcement Unit is a visible, proactive deterrent to those at the centre of the serious offending, supporting local policing teams in dealing with specific spikes in crimes that impact on the community and it has already made a huge difference.
“The expansion of the unit by adding divisional teams is good news for the communities of Sussex and bad news for criminals and those involved in serious violence who target vulnerable people across our county, whether through county lines drugs gangs or other organised crime.
“The TEU teams work where the need is greatest and provide public reassurance by being present and proactively disrupting and taking off the streets some of our most prolific criminals.”
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “By putting extra investment into tougher enforcement and expanding this team, Sussex Police has cemented its commitment to being even more proactive and disruptive towards dangerous criminals in Sussex.
“The Tactical Enforcement Unit is a great example of how smarter, tougher policing works. These specially trained officers are always going to be on the lookout for those hiding under the radar, thinking they can evade justice.
“The results of the unit so far should act as a warning for anyone who wishes to exploit or endanger our residents.”