Police have been cracking down on drug dealing and associated crime in East Sussex.
Officers have carried out a number of warrants, leading to arrests and large amounts of Class A and Class B drugs being seized.
On Sunday 20 November 2022, police were on duty in lower St Leonards when they noticed a suspected drug deal take place in the Gensing Road area.
A 46-year-old man from Thornton Heath, Croydon, was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of a Class A drug.
Officers then entered a property in Gensing Road and arrested a 20-year-old man from Orpington, Bromley, on suspicion of the same offence.
They have both been released on conditional bail until February 21. Conditions include not to enter Hastings and St Leonards.
Following the arrests, police carried out a search on a flat in Gensing Road and up to 150 wraps of Class A drugs were seized, along with a large quantity of cash, scales, and mobile phones.
Two days later, on Tuesday 22 November, a search warrant was executed at a property in Mountjoy, Battle, following intelligence that drugs were being sold from the address.
Officers searched the address and found nine cannabis plants inside, along with packages of white powder which were later tested and found to be ketamine with an estimated wholesale value of £6,000.
A 30-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of being in possession with intent to supply a controlled drug of Class B and being involved in the cultivation and supply of cannabis. He has been released on conditional bail until March 11.
On the following day, Wednesday 23 November, a search warrant was carried out at an address in Parry Close, Eastbourne.
Officers seized a block of cocaine weighing approximately 850 grams and with an estimated wholesale value of around £30,000.
A 27-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of a Class A drug. She has been released on conditional bail until February 22.
The next day, on Thursday 24 November, East Sussex’s Tactical Enforcement Unit (TEU) carried out a warrant at a property in Shovelstrove Lane, Ashurst Wood.
Approximately a kilogram of herbal cannabis, with an estimated wholesale value of £4,000, was seized.
Officers also found a firearm and shotgun cartridges. The investigation is ongoing.
On Monday 5 December, police actioned a search warrant at an address in Carisbrooke Road, St Leonards. Here, they seized a large number of wraps of Class A drugs, suspected to be cocaine and heroin.
An 18-year-old man from Lambeth, London, was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply a controlled Class A drug – crack cocaine. He has been released on conditional bail until March 5.
A quantity of cash, mobile phones and scales were also seized by officers.
On Friday 9 December, police were carrying out patrols in Hastings when they spotted what appeared to be a drug deal in Pelham Crescent.
Shortly after, another suspected deal was seen in Robertson Street involving the same suspect.
Officers arrested a 17-year-old boy, of Marina, St Leonards, on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine, being in possession with intent to supply a controlled drug of Class B – cannabis, and being in possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.
A 16-year-old boy of Russel Street, Hastings, was also arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of a Class A drug, being in possession of a controlled drug of Class B – cannabis, being in possession of an offensive weapon in a public place, and being in possession of a bladed article in a public place.
They have both been released on conditional bail until March 3.
Inspector Aidan Cornwall, of the Hastings and Rother Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “These arrests and seizures demonstrate that the supply and distribution of drugs will absolutely not be tolerated in our towns.
“The supply of illegal drugs is hugely destructive, going hand in hand with violence and exploitation, and underpinning all manner of wider criminality. As harmful substances, they also decimate the lives of their users.
“We do a huge amount of work to catch those responsible for bringing harmful and dangerous drugs into our communities and I would like to thank those involved for their support in these investigations, which have taken a large number of dangerous substances off the streets.”
Project ADDER (Addiction, Diversion, Disruption, Enforcement and Recovery) was launched by the Home Office at the start of 2021 with the aim of reducing drug-related crime and protecting people from harm.
In the year since its launch, more than 600 Organised Crime Groups have been disrupted nationally, with almost 10,500 arrests and £3.5m in cash seized across England and Wales.
More than 13,000 people have also been supported in drug treatment interventions delivered by outreach workers.
County Lines dealing is the sale of drugs from large urban areas, such as London, into smaller towns such as Eastbourne and Hastings. Dealers and customers are linked by mobile phone numbers, through which deals are conducted.
Report any suspected drug-related activity to us online or by calling 101. Always call 999 in an emergency.