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Crackdown on crime as police launch new operation in Sussex

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “Improving road safety is one of the biggest issues that residents raise with me and I would agree with them that, too often, motoring offences go unchallenged and undetected.”

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A multi-agency operation to crackdown on criminals using Sussex roads is taking place this week.

Modern technology – Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) – will be used by police and partners with three main objectives:

  1. To target vehicles being driven illegally (no tax, insurance, etc);
  2. To target and deny criminals the use of the roads (for transporting weapons, drugs, etc);
  3. To prevent crimes from being committed in the first place.

The operation is being run by Sussex Police in conjunction with the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner and the DVLA, with support from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau.

Officers from the Roads Policing Unit, Prevention Teams, Dog Unit and Tactical Firearms Unit will be on patrol during five days of action, which started yesterday (Monday 11 June) and concludes on Friday (15 June).

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said:

“I made a commitment to the residents of Sussex that they will see the difference their contributions to local policing makes. Local people tell me that they want to see more visible policing so they feel safer in Sussex, and Sussex Police also need to make best use of technology to do this effectively.

“Improving road safety is one of the biggest issues that residents raise with me and I would agree with them that, too often, motoring offences go unchallenged and undetected.

“I share the frustrations of residents so I want the police to stop criminals having free use of our road networks.

“This multi-agency operation will crackdown on those who openly break the law and will use technology to shine a light on others who are using our roads to covertly commit criminal offences.

“Visible policing matters. Let’s start by making our roads safer.”

Sussex Police Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry said:

“While we recognise the vast majority of motorists are not criminals, most criminals are motorists who utilise the road networks to carry out their crimes. Our aim is to target and deny these criminals, and to prevent crimes from being committed in the first place.

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“Policing the roads is not just down to our Roads Policing Unit. We have created multi-functional, multi-skilled and interoperable teams – also consisting of firearms and dog unit officers – to increase resilience. This means, for instance, a firearms unit could be called to deal with a road traffic collision.

“The recent council tax increase enables us to focus on proactive policing operations such as this, and working with our partners, we aim to keep people safe on our roads and deal robustly with offenders.”

Elaine Rees, national wheel-clamping manager at the DVLA, said:

“We operate a range of measures to make vehicle tax easy to pay and hard to avoid, including online vehicle taxing and Direct Debit. We also continue to send reminder letters to vehicle keepers, which is why it is so important they notify DVLA of a change of address or keeper.

“It is right that we take action against those who don’t tax their vehicles and then drive them otherwise it wouldn’t be fair to those who do the right thing. We are pleased to work with Sussex Police to make sure these untaxed vehicles are not driven on the road.”

The five-day operation will also be run in parts of Surrey, and will involve checks and patrols at various locations across the two counties.

Officers will have the power to seize vehicles and arrest suspected offenders.

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Crime

Police search for man after attack on woman in Crawley

Have you seen Michael Tewolde?

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Police in Crawley are searching for Michael Tewolde who they want to interview about an attack on a woman known to him.

The 20-year-old woman was attacked at the address where she was living on Monday 26 March in Crawley. She was punched in the face and kicked in the back and stomach while on the floor.

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Police also want to talk to Tewolde about threats to kill the woman, and criminal damage – to an intercom system at the address – arising from the same incident.

Officers also want to talk to him about an incident in Hove on 3 February in which a pizza delivery driver was head-butted after a confrontation in the street, sustaining bruising.

Tewolde is described as black, 5’6″, and of medium build.

PC Michelle Hayes of the West Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit said:

“If you know where Michael Tewolde is, please contact us on 101 or online quoting serial 1571 of 26/03.

“If you see him, do not approach him but dial 999.

“You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

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