HASTINGS Police has won £1,000 for shutting down a cafe allegedly doubling as a drugs and vice den – and promptly donated the cash to two local charities.
Zone One in Silchester Road, St Leonards, was closed after officers swooped in December 2009 in an operation also involving the council, the UK Borders Agency and HM Revenue and Customs. Neighbours had repeatedly complained about drugs, kerb crawling, drinking, and anti-social behaviour centred around the cafe, and it became the first premises in the county to be shut under a closure order.
At a Sussex Police seminar Sgt Neale Adams from Hastings Police and Nigel Barry and Julie Fravardin from the Safer Hastings Partnership gave a presentation outlining the operation, and the project was awarded top prize in the solving a community problem category.
They won a cheque for £1,000 which was divided up between St Michael’s Hospice and The Oliver Curd Trust, which provides holidays for children affected by cancer and other serious illnesses.
PC Duncan Cleverley of Hastings Police said: “The team are delighted to have won this award and to have been able to pass on the £1,000 to local good causes.
“The original information for this operation came from the community teams engaging with the public - from that information the officers were able to not only take positive action but also to give something back.”