EASTBOURNE and Willingdon MP Caroline Ansell has praised Sussex police in Parliament after the force saved a vulnerable person in the town from ‘cuckooing’ when criminals took over their home.

Caroline explained the force was undertaking a half-term crackdown in her constituency on anti-social behaviour when the incident occurred.

“In the course of the operation, they uncovered an instance of cuckooing, where a vulnerable person had been targeted, exploited and their home used as a base for further criminal activity,” she told MPs.

She then asked the Home Secretary Priti Patel: “Will my right honourable friend join me in paying tribute to Sussex police for their excellent work in such challenging times, and update the house on what further work is being done to address this appalling crime?”

In reply the minister said: “I thank Sussex police. I have seen at first hand their work in dealing with county lines, drugs and protecting vulnerable individuals.

“She is right to highlight this abhorrent crime. We see far too many vulnerable people being used by criminals for criminal purposes. A great deal of work is taking place, in particular on county lines but also on safeguarding victims and vulnerable people.”

Speaking afterwards, Caroline added: “I was very shocked to hear of this appalling activity in our town and I am determined to ensure Sussex police receive the resources it needs to tackle this offending and also the county lines network criminals use to bring drugs and crime into our town.

“Sussex police is doing a tremendous job in difficult circumstances and it was right that this was acknowledged in parliament by myself and the Home Secretary.”