Police disrupted criminal activity across East Sussex during a Bank Holiday weekend of action.
The activity, from Friday (April 30) to Monday (May 3), was part of Operation Safety – the force’s response to tackling knife crime and serious violence.
At the start of the weekend, officers were on patrol in Seaford when they saw a suspicious vehicle travelling on the A259.
As they pulled up behind the vehicle, an object was seen to be thrown out of the window. The vehicle was stopped and the object was found to be a hunting knife.
One man was arrested on suspicion of possessing a knife blade / sharp pointed article in a public place and has been released under investigation while enquiries continue. The knife has been seized.
On Saturday (May 1), officers on patrol identified a suspicious vehicle travelling around the Bexhill area. The vehicle failed to stop for police on De La Warr Parade and a short pursuit ensued, ending in Broadoak Lane.
The driver was arrested on suspicion of failing to stop and driving a motor vehicle dangerously. After a search of the vehicle, he was further arrested on suspicion of possession of a Class A drug and possession with intent to supply a Class A drug. He has been released under investigation while enquiries continue.
On Sunday (May 2), police were on patrol near Seaside, Eastbourne, following concerns around drug dealing in the area. Officers witnessed suspicious behaviour from a man on an e-scooter and made attempts to engage with him, however he made off and was pursued by officers on foot.
The man was detained in Elms Avenue, and a search of the area found a carrier bag containing heroin and cocaine. The drugs and e-scooter were seized, and the man was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply a Class A drug and possession of a Class B drug. He has since been released under investigation.
That same day, plain-clothed officers patrolling Eastbourne town centre witnessed suspicious activity involving a vehicle around Sydney Road and Belmore Road.
Police carried out a search of the vehicle and associated persons and found a rucksack containing a large quantity of cash and cocaine, and a Stanley knife.
Searches of relevant addresses were also conducted afterwards, with more cash and Class A drugs being seized.
Fitim Medulaj, 39, a labourer, of Hyde Road, Eastbourne, was arrested and charged with possession with intent to supply a Class A drug, possession of a knife blade / sharp pointed article in a public place, and acquiring / using / possessing criminal property.
He appeared before Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (May 4) and has been remanded in custody to appear before the court again on June 1.
Chief Inspector Di Lewis said: “This was a really successful weekend of action in East Sussex, disrupting criminal activity and taking harmful objects off the streets.
“Tackling knife crime and serious violence is one of the top priorities for Sussex Police, and we will continue to respond to reports of suspicious or criminal activity in our communities.
“A number of these stops and arrests were made by officers patrolling areas in response to concerns raised by the public of suspected drug dealing. This highlights the importance of people reporting information to us – we will listen, we will take your concerns seriously and we will act on community intelligence.”
Members of the public can report crime or suspicious activity to police online or by calling 101. Alternatively, information can be passed to police anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers online or by calling 0800 555 111.