WPC Christine Braine

WPC 530

Chrissie Smith, nee Christine Braine, applied to join the Sussex Police Force in 1971 aged 17. She was advised to go back to school and get some qualifications, which she duly did and re-applied successfully in 1972.

She was posted to Worthing as a police cadet and in 1973 joined the Police Women’s Unit in Eastbourne as WPC 530.

Chrissie retired from the force to start a family in 1981

The Sun, Saturday, May 20, 1978

TWENTY-NINE French school children ended their visit to Britain at the seaside . . . shop- lifting:

They “descended like locusts” on a dozen shops in Brighton, Sussex.

And they stripped them of perfume, jewellery and souvenirs to take home.

So their last memory of England was of the local nick.

All 29 boys and girls and their teachers were taken by coach to Brighton’s
police station after an angry shopkeeper raised the alarm.

There, in English and French, Chief Inspector Roger Foxton and his men questioned and searched them – and out came their loot.

There were pairs of jeans, jumpers, trinkets, jewellery, packs of cards
and bric-a-brac.

Chief Inspector Foxton said: ” They said they were short of money to buy presents.”

The children, aged between nine and 14, were caught after they invaded a small souvenir shop, Flair, in Brighton Square.

The manager, Carole Collins . said: “They descended like locusts. Things just disappeared from the shelves.”

“They spent a day in town and I think they took things from every shop they visited.”

“We could tell by what was found that they had been shoplifting all round
the town.”

Chief Inspector Foxton said: “Because the children were due to return home next day, and because of their ages, it was decided not to charge them.

But they received a really good ticking off in two languages, and we are writing letters to all their parents.

“There is no question of them getting away with this.”

He added: “All the South Coast suffers from shoplifting by foreign students.”

Audio copyright Paul Beaken