Police have issued a dispersal order for Eastbourne town centre as part of continued work to tackle crime and disorder during the night-time economy.

Officers have seen a recent rise in the number of assaults and public order incidents linked to revellers attending pubs and clubs in the town on Friday and Saturday nights.

As a preventative measure, police have issued a dispersal order for the town centre to start on Friday evening (October 29) and last for 48 hours until Sunday evening (October 31).

This will enable officers and PCSOs to direct a person who has committed, or is likely to commit, anti-social behaviour, crime or disorder to leave a specified area and not return for a specified period of up to 48 hours.

Chief Inspector Di Lewis, district commander for Eastbourne, said: “We are continuing to see an unacceptable level of crime and disorder in our town centre during the weekends and night-time economy.

“This is causing tension and distress among our community, and is having a detrimental impact on businesses and staff working during the night-time economy.

“We are using the policing powers available to us to tackle this issue, including putting a dispersal order in place. This will set the tone early and ensure anyone intent on causing trouble is identified quickly and directed to leave the area.”

Officers will continue patrolling targeted areas to identify and deter any criminal or anti-social behaviour. They will be engaging with people they see out and about, and people are encouraged to speak with them if they have any concerns.

Ch Insp Lewis added: “We fully understand the worry around the current increase in spiking reports, not just in Sussex but across the country.

“We take these reports incredibly seriously and we are working closely with our licensed premises on measures to keep people safe from this type of crime.

“Everybody should be able to enjoy a night out safely and without fear of harm, and we are committed to making this happen.”

Anyone wishing to report crime or anti-social behaviour can do so online or by calling 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.