Undercover officers and a drugs raid have helped drive drug dealers and users away from the children’s playground in Queen’s Park.
Visible patrols were stepped up in the area after parents found syringes discarded around the playground, particularly behind the toilets and in the playhouse.
Letters were sent to addresses associated with drug dealing, plain clothes patrols introduced, and posters put up around the park telling people who to contact if needles are found.
But this month just two reports have been received, down from seven in June.
PC AJ Funnell told a meeting of the Queen’s Park Local Action Team (LAT) last Wednesday that two people had been arrested as a result of the drugs raid.
She said: “We managed to get a warrant and executed it, which led to two people being taken into custody.
“They were from Manchester, and were shipped back there on outstanding arrest warrants. The landlord then closed the premises down.
“We have been doing lots of work round the toilet block both with plain clothes officers and high vis patrols.
“Two men were found in the toilets by plain clothes officers yesterday, who officers believed had just used heroin. The problem is from the police’s perspective, we know who they are, and they have no fixed address.
“When we catch them, they just ask, ‘well, where else do you expect us to go, we’re NFA?’ And because they have used the drugs, there’s nothing on them and we can’t do anything.
“On another occasion, plain clothes officers saw someone they thought was suspicious, and as they approached him he legged it.
“They didn’t catch him, but he did leave behind suspected class A drugs, a phone and about £800 cash. In my opinion, he was in the park to deal and we have distracted him.”
A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “In response to some local concerns raised about overt drug activity in the Park, members of the Neighbourhood Policing Team conducted plain clothes patrol work last month.
“On 24 June they approached a man and a woman who were sat in the park whereupon the man ran off discarding a number of items including over £700 in cash, a large number of wraps (suspected drugs) and a mobile phone. Enquiries are in hand to identify him.”
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