A BMX rider says a beefed-up police presence has changed the fortunes of a city centre park that had been blighted by drug dealing and violence.

In an email to the police, the rider, named only as Aaron, said that since the police set up a mobile police station at The Level in Brighton, things have improved radically.

Police patrols were stepped up following a stabbing involving three teenagers in a fight over drugs in September.

Last month 18-year-old Kia Zanre from Ilford was jailed for his part in the attack, admitting a charge of grievous bodily harm. He was jailed for four years and eight months.

Since the mobile police station was set up, regular rider Aaron said it had “hit the nail on the head”.

Meanwhile Brighton commander Rachel Swinney said there has been a sharp drop in drug dealing and violence at the park.

Aaron's email was shared on social media. He wrote: “It was completely out of control every night, massive fights every day, drug dealing, and threatening violence. It was just a bit of a horrible place to be.

“Now it’s completely different. It feels safe, and skatepark users can just skate and ride without worries. I just wanted to take time to say how much of a difference the police presence has made.

“I do think it took a rather long time for this to happen, but honestly, well done and thank you. You’ve hit the nail on the head.”

Chief Inspector Swinney said the park has been a key priority since the summer, and in the past month there have only been two drug arrests there.

She said: “The information we receive from the community is absolutely vital in helping us to build a picture of what is going on in the area. We want to hear from anyone if they are concerned about they see and hear.

“We continue to target county lines related drug dealers who exploit our most vulnerable people. Criminals are not welcome in our city."

She vowed to "relentlessly pursue" them to dismantle their criminal networks, and praised partner agencies for their hard work.