17 people stopped and searched at Hastings railway station during county lines operation

Police stopped and searched 17 people at Hastings railway station as part of an operation aimed at county line drug dealers on trains into East Sussex.

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 4:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 4:13 pm

Sussex Police officers working alongside British Transport Police (BTP), Border Force and UK Immigration Enforcement as part of a two-day operation aimed at the train network connecting Hastings and Eastbourne to London.

At Hastings railway station on Thursday, July 1, officers, carried out 17 stop searches for drugs, and six stop and account interventions.

They made three seizures of cannabis, detected by police dogs, and seized an offensive weapon – a knuckle duster, Sussex Police said.

Police at Hastings railway station SUS-210707-152133001

One person was given a community resolution requirement for possession of cannabis, police added.

Three people were subject to Border force enquiries and one immigration enquiry is continuing into the legal status in this country of one of those who was stopped, a spokesman for Sussex Police said.

The Sussex team, known as Discovery, focused on young people and other vulnerable people using the train lines in order to move drugs from place to place, known as County Lines.

At Eastbourne railway station on the following day, the Sussex officers carried out 13 stop searches, made two arrests of people wanted on warrant, carried out a community resolution outcome for possession of cannabis, and made three seizures of cannabis, again with the assistance of police dogs.

Eight people were referred to DWP investigators for investigation of benefit fraud offences, police said.

Four people were referred to Immigration Enforcement for further investigation of their status in the UK, police added.

Detective Sergeant Greg Montier said; “We’re seeing young people involved in County Lines become a growing concern in East Sussex as elsewhere. One of our tactics is to conduct these highly visible targeted days to disrupt these gangs who try to operate on the railway lines and, by using partners from safeguarding units, offer the support vulnerable people need to disassociate themselves from these groups and drug criminality.”