New recruits arrest rural burglary suspects in first week

Three suspects were stopped and arrested following reports of a burglary in Wealden by three new officers just days into their new jobs in East Sussex.

The recruit constables were out with their coach on June 21 on rural crime patrol when they heard three burglary suspects had made off at speed from the Chiddingly and Horam area after the homeowner had disturbed them.

Recruit PC Alex Criddle was in a vehicle with fellow recruits Charlie Ware and James Marchant – accompanied by one of their coaches, PC Betteridge – at the start of their first night shift.

“When the description of the vehicle and suspects came in over the radio, we were actually on a directed patrol in Wealden targeting rural burglaries and drug activity,” said Alex, a former M&S retail manager.

“We could tell the wanted vehicle car was in the Hailsham and Hellingly area as it was triggering ANPR cameras.

“Having good local knowledge, I was able to plan where we could intercept the vehicle, and we got eyes on the car in Hailsham, dropping off one of the suspects – who PC Betteridge recognised. The vehicle sped off, but next time we found it, we managed to box it in. PC Ware and PC Marchant arrested the two occupants while I carried out a search.

“I found a lock knife, so I made my first arrest for possession of an offensive weapon. I found the training just kicked in and I felt calm and confident. PC Betteridge was there to support us throughout.

“Once other officers arrived to help get the suspects into custody, we returned to the address where the third suspect had jumped out – and I made my second arrest, on suspicion of burglary.

“At the end of that night shift I felt very proud that we had dealt with this incident promptly and effciently, and that we’d potentially taken three burglars off the streets of Sussex.”

The three suspects have been released under investigation.

The full story on the Sussex Police website here.