Police in Eastbourne cracked down on business crime during a day of action in the town centre.

Officers from the Neighbourhood Policing Team, Neighbourhood Enforcement Team, Tactical Enforcement Unit and Divisional Coaching Unit came together on Wednesday (April 5) to catch criminals who are targeting businesses in the community.

While on patrol in Seaside, police witnessed a man known as Jack Beaver behaving suspiciously as he left the Tesco Express store. Suspecting he was hiding stolen items under his coat, officers confronted Beaver and recovered around £40 worth of goods that had been taken from the shop. He also admitted to being in possession of a knife.

Beaver, 31, of no fixed address, was arrested and charged with theft and being in possession of a knife in a public place. He pleaded guilty to both offences at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday (April 6) and has been remanded in custody for sentencing on May 4.

A second man was intercepted after stealing ready meals from the Co-op in Cornfield Road. He was issued with a caution for the offence but was also wanted on recall to prison since February 2019 for a conviction in another force area.

Three other people who stole goods from the Co-op were dealt with by Community Resolution, including banning notices, in agreement with the store’s management.

A man and woman were also issued banning notices from The Beacon shopping centre after trainers worth £92 were stolen from Sports Direct. The woman was arrested on suspicion of theft and will be summonsed to court.

Inspector Sarah Taylor of the Eastbourne Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “Business crime is not a victimless crime – behind every business is a person or team of employees working hard to earn a living and provide a good service to their customers.

“We understand the financial and emotional impact that business crime can have on those working in our town. It can seriously affect a person’s livelihood, particularly when a business is targeted persistently.

“This day of action saw officers carry out multiple proactive interventions on shoplifters and take positive steps to stop them from reoffending.

“We hope this sends out the message that business crime will not be tolerated in Eastbourne. Our officers routinely patrol the town centre and will continue to work extremely closely with shop staff to identify and deter those responsible for causing harm in our community.”