New police unit gets down to work and makes significant arrests

A new proactive police unit is making Sussex a ‘hostile environment’ for dangerous and persistent criminals by making some significant arrests this month.

The Tactical Enforcement Unit (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 team, made up of officers from across the county who have specialist skills in proactive policing, is carrying out targeted disruption, enforcement and patrol activities wherever it is most needed.

Disrupting criminal activity

It carried out its first operation on December 16th, its first day in action when 56-year-old Stephen Mcateer, who has been charged with importing 23 kilos of heroin from France was arrested on suspicion of breaching his court conditions. He was later remanded in custody to reappear at City of London Magistrates Court.

The unit also carried out a warrant at restaurant in Rye and seized a quantity of amphetamine and cocaine and drug dealing paraphernalia. Three men aged 66, 47 and 37 were arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of drugs. Searches at the homes address of the suspects also located cash and a firearm. These were seized and the 66-year-old suspect was released on conditional bail until January 15th. The other two suspects were released under investigation.

A man who had been wanted for six months for failing to appear at court after being charged with possession of an offensive weapon and possession of cannabis was arrested by the team on December 20th. Officers from the team also arrested a man for failing to appear at court in September after he was charged with drink-driving in Lottbridge Drove, Eastbourne. Alex Moore, 46, of Jevington Gardens, Eastbourne, appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on December 23rd and was released on court bail until February 21st to appear at Hastings Magistrates’ Court.

During a number of stop searches being carried out by the team in, a car with five people inside was stopped in and a quantity of cannabis and cocaine was located. A man aged 18 who was driving the car was arrested on suspicion of drug driving and possession of cocaine after failing a roadside drugs test and was later released under investigation.

Inspector Dan Hiles, who is leading the TEU, said: “The team has been in action since 16 December and has already made some significant arrests including tracking down people who have been evading arrest or failing to appear at court for months. We will continue our work to disrupt criminal activity, enforce the law and protect communities in Sussex.”

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