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A police initiative has seen 17 people living in Bognor Regis removed to their home countries.

Close work between the police team on the town’s Operation Accent and the UK Border Agency enabled the total of removals to be achieved in just four months.

Those who have left were judged not to be making a valuable contribution to the town.

Sergeant Rachel Glenton, who heads the Operation Accent Community Team, said: “In essence, we have removed 17 people to their country of birth, the highest in Sussex.

“These people are only those who are not complying with the treaty of rights.

“The treaty means anyone who is a European national can come into the UK for three months, but after that they must prove they are serving a meaningful role in society.

“That is they have or are looking for a job, in full-time education or living with family that can support them.

“If they are not doing any of this they are served with an interview notice with the border agency.

“If the individual can still not prove they are making an effort they can either choose to return to their country of birth or the agency can arrest them and arrange for them to be removed.”

Operation Accent was launched by Sussex Police in May.

It is geared towards better understanding the Eastern European community in Bognor.

Sgt Glenton said it was yielding positive results as its dedicated officers worked to build better links with those from Poland, Lithuania, Russia and Latvia.

Anyone with information which would assist the Operation Accent can contact police in confidence via 101 or email operation.accent@sussex.pnn.police.uk.

Further information from Sgt Glenton on Twitter on @sergeantglenton.

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