THE arrest and removal of illegal Eastern European immigrants has resulted in a drop in crime in Chichester, police have said.
Chief Inspector Rachel Bacon, district commander in Chichester, said the joint operation involved the police, the UK Borders Agency and the district council.
She told the council’s overview and scrutiny committee that 12 Eastern European individuals were identified in the city centre who had no right to be in the country.
Eight have so far been deported, with three more on their way shortly.
Chief Inspector Bacon said this was the most successful operation carried out in the county.
During a similar operation in Brighton, with a much larger population, only one person was arrested.
The arrests resulted not only in a reduction in city centre crime, but also freed up police officers to do other things, she said.
‘A lot of time was involved in dealing with these individuals,’ she added.
Answering questions from councillors, Chief Inspector Bacon said CCTV cameras were an invaluable tool for the police in reducing crime in the city centre – both because people could see it was there, and also for providing evidence.
The committee was told that overall crime rate in the Chichester district during 2011-2012 was down by 4.8 per cent, compared with a previous target of three per cent.
There had been a 27 per cent reduction over five years.
Criminal damage offences were significantly down, but not house burglaries.