A STOLEN caravan was found at Newhaven Port as part of a police crackdown on stolen power tools and farm machinery.

Sussex Police were providing a “visible deterrent” to criminals who use regional smaller ports for smuggling stolen goods. Some 170 vehicles were searched during the day-long operation. 

No machinery was found but a caravan that was reported stolen was recovered. One uninsured vehicle was found to contain amphetamine. The car was seized and the driver arrested and handed a fixed penalty notice (FPN) for driving with no insurance.

Another driver received an FPN for driving without insurance.

The Argus: Police searched more than 170 vehicles on ThursdayPolice searched more than 170 vehicles on Thursday

Inspector Oliver Fisher of the Sussex Rural Crime Team said: “The aim of this operation was to gather intelligence and provide a visible deterrent to criminals looking to use regional small ports to commit crimes, notably the handling and movement of stolen goods such as power tools and farm machinery.

“These crimes can have a serious impact on rural businesses such as farms, which in turn has a knock-on effect on the cost of living and the stability of the supply chain. We will continue to work with partners to share intelligence, disrupt criminal activity and bring people to justice.

The Argus: Multiple teams joined for the crack down at Newhaven PortMultiple teams joined for the crack down at Newhaven Port

“The feedback we received on the day was very positive, and we hope people continue to feel confident contacting us to report any criminal or suspicious behaviour so we can respond effectively.”

The operation on Thursday included Sussex Police’s rural crime team, Lewes neighbourhood policing officers, Thames Valley Police’s rural crime team and teams from the UK Border Force and National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS).

As well as enforcement, officers spoke with passengers travelling through the port and NaVCIS officers gave crime prevention advice to caravan and motorhome owners to prevent the theft of their vehicles.