An Eastbourne man is among the first people in Sussex to be handed a Serious Violence Reduction Order (SVRO).

Police now have the right to search Elliott Moore, 31, of College Road, in a public place to check he is not carrying an offensive weapon, under the order that runs for two years.

After pleading guilty to three robberies, a burglary and being in possession of a bladed article, he was also given a two-year suspended sentence, a fine, a community order and ordered to undertake rehabilitation when he appeared at Lewes Crown Court on Friday 24 November.

Sussex Police is one of four police forces alongside Merseyside, Thames Valley and West Midlands, to be piloting the new SVROs over the next two years, targeted at anyone convicted of an offence that involved a bladed item or offensive weapon.

Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for Eastbourne Rachel Barrow said: “Thanks to help from the community business wardens and local businesses, we were able to quickly identify Moore and he was arrested and charged. This teamwork is vital in catching repeat offenders who are causing harm to our communities.

“We also remain committed to targeting those who choose to carry weapons on our streets and bring them to justice.

“The launch of the SVROs gives us another tool to target these high-risk offenders like Moore who have been convicted of an offence involving a bladed article or knife.”

Each SVRO is imposed on top of the sentence for the crime itself. It must last for a minimum of six months but not more than two years. If the defendant is imprisoned, the order takes effect from when the offender is released.

The pilot will be independently evaluated to understand what impact the orders have on re-offending and serious violent crime before a decision is made on whether to roll out the orders nationally.

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Yates, Sussex Police lead for knife crime and serious violence, said: “Elliott Moore is among the first in Sussex to receive this order, which gives us the power to stop and search him to check if he is carrying a weapon. If he is found to have a knife or a bladed article, he can be fined or imprisoned for up to two years, or both.

“The pilot will enable us to see if this latest measure has an impact and helps to safeguard the communities of Sussex, by giving us a more proactive approach for dealing with repeat offenders.

“We are working hard to protect the public and prevent offenders from perpetuating a cycle of repeating and escalating their crimes.”

Operation Safety, the force’s response to knife crime and serious violence, operates 365 days a year across Sussex, with us working with our partners to engage, educate, enforce and rehabilitate those who carry knives.

To find out more about the broader response of Sussex Police to knife crime, visit our website here