A 34-year-old woman was witnessed stealing two bottles of Prosecco from M&S in Terminus Road, Eastbourne, on Thursday 19 October.
She was given a Community Resolution.

It came as Sussex Police carried out a campaign of engagement and enforcement activity as part of the national Safer Business Action Week.

The force deployed dedicated resources to all districts across the county in order to emphasise the message that business crime will not be tolerated.

Officers also made a number of arrests in connection with the week of action.

Hundreds of tobacco products and drug paraphernalia were discovered in concealed compartments as police raided shops suspected of supplying illegal products.

The items, which included oversized e-cigarettes, suspected counterfeit tobacco, bongs, grinders and pipes, were seized as part of an operation involving Sussex Police and Trading Standards.

Acting on intelligence, officers executed simultaneous Misuse of Drugs Act warrants at the two shops in Rowlands Road, Worthing, on Wednesday 18 October.

With the assistance of specialist search dogs, they discovered a walk-in fridge with a false rear wall, a wall tile operated by a magnetic strip and a wooden shelf which opened up to reveal a storage unit. Investigations into the two premises are ongoing.

The operation formed part of the Safer Business Action Week, aimed to prevent and detect offences involving retailers, and to take robust action against offenders.

Working with partner agencies, police conducted numerous activities across the week, which ran from Monday 16 October to Sunday 22 October, including:

  • The deployment of dedicated resources across the county
  • Welfare visits to dozens of national chain stores and independent shops
  • Interventions with known shoplifters, which led to arrests or words of advice being issued
  • Engagement stalls set up in towns around the county
  • Interactions with the public regarding their concerns
  • A networking event with the Business Crime Reduction Partnership
  • High-visibility patrols aimed to deter crime and provide community reassurance

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner and APCC lead for business and retail crime, Katy Bourne, said: “Business crime matters in Sussex which is why I welcome the added focus this week of action has brought. Sussex Police are bringing real grip to tackling business crime across our county which is visible in the excellent results from this week. I also launched the Safer in Sussex Business Partnership in 2020 and am pleased to say that our Sussex-wide partnership continues to break significant ground in making our shops and high streets safer.”

Chris Neilson, the Sussex Police force lead for business crime, said: “I know how hard everyone works to address business crime and antisocial behaviour across Sussex, and I am encouraged by the huge amount of work that happens day in, day out, to support those who are victims of crime.

“Our officers, including PCSOs, worked tirelessly alongside our partners to visit countless businesses over the week to provide advice, support and education.

“Our week of action has been welcomed by the business community, who have given us some really positive feedback. However, I acknowledge that offences such as shoplifting and violence against shop workers continue to be an issue nationally – not just in Sussex – and we will continue to work closely with our business community to tackle this.

“That’s why I would urge anyone who is a victim of business crime to come forward. You can report it online or via 101, or call 999 in an emergency.”