A regional daily’s successful campaign to get more bobbies on the beat in a town plagued by anti-social behaviour has prompted crime to decrease by more than 20pc.
Brighton-based daily The Argus has been campaigning for more officers to be deployed in Peacehaven since last summer, after crime levels increased following the closure of the Sussex town’s police station in September 2016.
As a response to the campaign Sussex Police launched Operation Blitz, which saw the force deploy extra patrols in the area on Friday and Saturday nights.
Crime map data showed in the six months prior to the operation’s launch, there were 661 crimes committed in Peacehaven East and Peacehaven West and North – the two policing areas of the town.
However, in the six months after Operation Blitz was announced, total crime fell by 138 to 523 for the entire area – a slide of around 21pc.
The Argus splashed on the campaign’s success on Monday.
Reporter Amir Razavi told HTFP: “When we started reporting on the issues in Peacehaven, people told us they were scared to leave their homes out of fear because of the rise in crime. No one should be living like that.
“For those people who shared their stories with us, the least we could do was get answers from those whose jobs it is to keep crime down and make people safe.
“As reporters, we should never stop at the first hurdle, and the responses we were getting from the police simply weren’t enough.
“Fortunately, we were given the platform to continue pressing the force for real answers to real problems by our editor, Arron Hendy.”
Amir added: “This is why local newspapers are so crucial – to be the voice of its readers who have issues that need addressing, and to keep public bodies under the spotlight. It is fantastic, exciting and rewarding to be a part of this kind of journalism.
“The area’s MP, Lloyd Russell-Moyle, deserves a lot of credit for the role he played in speaking out about how important a police presence is too.”