Digging at serial killer Peter Tobin’s former Portslade home has now drawn to a close without any uncovering any crimes.
For eight days, officers dug up the back garden, ground floor and basement of the flat and former tea rooms in Station Road.
Officers will now focus their efforts on the former hotel in Marine Parade which, it was revealed yesterday, Tobin helped develop into flats in the early 1990s.
DCI Nick Sloan of Sussex Police’s Major Crime Branch said: “As a result of work conducted under Operation Anagram, two addresses in Brighton & Hove were identified as there being enough intelligence to warrant searches of the back gardens and some interior spaces of the buildings.
“We have a duty to fully investigate any allegations of criminality and have undertaken these searches to satisfy that these premises are not linked in anyway to criminal acts.
“With 67 Station Road, we have used ground penetrating radar to map out any unusual fluctuations in the ground within the garden and the property itself. Areas which necessitated further exploration have been excavated and literally every shovel full of earth or concrete has been analysed, sifted and metal-detected by Sussex Police search teams and archaeologist experts from University College London.”
As part of the investigation, officers from Sussex Police’s Specialist Search Unit excavated a Victorian well which was located in the garden. Using confined space harnesses, it took the team a day to remove earth from the well, digging to a depth of 10 feet whilst working in precarious conditions. A Victorian soak-away was also discovered in the basement of the property.
DCI Sloan added: “We have used a team of specialists and experts throughout this operation and I am satisfied that we have conducted a thorough and meticulous search and that this address is unconnected to any criminality linked to Peter Tobin.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the occupants and businesses of 67 Station Road. They have been incredibly patient in light of the disruption caused by the police activity and the inevitable large media presence.
“I would also like to thank the wider community in Station Road who may have been temporarily inconvenienced by the police search. We made every effort to minimise disruption and appointed resident and community liaison officers for each address, offering regular updates and street briefings to keep those affected informed and to ensure that they could go about their day-to-day business as unhindered as possible. I know that the majority have supported and understood our work here in the last few days.
“We are still receiving calls from members of public who have contacted Sussex Police or the Operation Anagram team with information. All calls received are being worked through by the Major Crime Branch. Anyone with information can still contact Sussex Police on 0845 60 70 999 quoting serial number 622 of 9th July or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”