Police have launched an operation dedicated to cracking down on commercial burglaries in Worthing.
Operation Clear Up has been set up following an increase in incidents at shops, restaurants and other businesses in the town centre.
A total of 53 offences were recorded between 21 August 2018 and 21 January 2019, compared to 37 for the same period in 2017/18, representing a 43% increase.
Among them were four repeat victims, and in the majority of cases cash has been stolen from the premises.
Sussex Police’s Adur, Worthing and Horsham Prevention Team has acknowledged and responded to the local community’s concerns, prompting the launch of Operation Clear Up, which is being led by PC Isobel Wimbleton.
As part of this, officers have carried out increased patrols during peak hours on peak nights of offending.
Officers are also working closely with the Worthing Town Centre Initiative, and have engaged with local businesses and provided crime prevention advice in a bid to prevent further offending.
Since the operation was launched on Thursday 14 February, there have been no business or commercial burglaries reported to police in Worthing.
Inspector Allan Lowe, of the Adur, Worthing and Horsham Prevention Team, said: “Break-ins and burglaries have a big impact on the business community – particularly on smaller businesses – and we will put all our efforts in place to target those responsible and bring them to justice.
“Supporting local businesses and reducing crime is very important to us, hence the priority in getting these numbers down.
“Arrests have been made in the past for town centre break-ins, however no person that we can highlight, at this stage, for being responsible for this wider series.”
For advice on how to protect your business from burglary, see our crime prevention page here.