A burglar has been brought to justice thanks to an Eastbourne Police Community Support Officer using his local knowledge and responding to information from the community.

PCSO Julian Williams was following-up on concerns from Old Town residents around a man behaving suspiciously in the early hours of February 16, 2023.

As the local PCSO for the area, PCSO Williams was sent images of the suspect. Establishing that there had been two burglaries that night in Kirk Way and Colwood Crescent, PCSO Williams carried out further enquiries and was able to retrieve more footage and identify the man as 46-year-old Allan Beaton.

Officers from the Neighbourhood Response Teams then attended Beaton’s address in Lennox Close, Eastbourne, and recovered multiple items of stolen property, which was then returned to the victims of both break-ins.

Beaton was arrested on suspicion of two counts of burglary. During his arrest, he also tried to kick, headbutt and bite officers and was further arrested on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker.

He pleaded guilty at Hove Crown Court on March 20 and was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for each burglary, to run concurrently, and three months for the assault to run consecutively.

PCSO Williams said: “From the time of the first burglary being reported, to Beaton being in custody was under eight hours, and he pleaded guilty at an early stage thanks to the compelling evidence officers were able to secure.

“This case shows the benefit of working really closely with our local community, listening to them and responding to their concerns, and building up a strong base of local knowledge. That’s what is at the heart of the role of a Police Community Support Officer.

“It also shows the value of people reporting crimes and concerns to us so we can respond effectively and create a picture of what is happening in our local area.”