Wealden District Police Weekly News and Alerts

Alert message sent 20/02/2020 12:42:00

Information sent on behalf of Sussex Police

Thursday 20th February 2020

News and Alerts

Join PCSOs Duvall and Gilling this Saturday 22nd in Crowborough

Officers from Wealden Prevention Team will be in Crowborough this Saturday from 10:00 in the High Street opposite Costa Coffee answering questions and offering advice if you wish to pop by.

Outside of these times remember you can speak to us 24/7 on 101, online or 999 in an emergency.

Police in Wealden have been stepping up patrols to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour - UPDATE

This weekend’s additional patrols (in addition to Op Blitz) included, mobile and foot patrols carried out in plain clothes, with areas of attention given to Hailsham cinema – due to recent damage caused, as well as Asda, Tesco and Waitrose, with a large group of unknown youths spoken too and dispersed for the remainder of the evening.

Officers also smelt a strong smell of drugs coming from males outside Corals in the High Street, with one male being searched, and resulting in him being issued with a Community Resolution and referred to the drug referral scheme.

A vehicle was later stopped after driving in an anti-social manner. The male ran from the vehicle and was detained by Officers and was arrested for drink driving, with other offences including theft of vehicle/number plates, and offensive weapons being looked into.

Officers also teamed up with British Transport Police at Uckfield station following ongoing issues with groups at the station, a number of young adults were stopped, and dispersed, with return joint operations planned by both Wealden Police and BTP over the next coming weekends.

Wealden Prevention Inspector Jonathan Gross said:

"We understand the community's concerns and are working across all the towns, parishes and villages in Wealden to engage with residents.

"We are continuing to work very closely with councils and other authorities in Wealden, and also regularly share intelligence with other districts within Sussex Police, and other police forces, in a bid to identify those responsible for crimes in the area and bring them to justice.

As always you can contact us 24/7, please call 101 (non-emergency), or search ‘Sussex Police' online (non-emergency)

Always dial 999 in an emergency

"Inspector Gross said, It is crucial that people continue to report crimes to us. Every report we receive is useful intelligence for us to work on."

First Sussex Police officers funded by 20,000 campaign on the streets of Sussex

One of the first cohorts of people officers in the country funded by the Government’s 20,000 officer recruitment campaign are joining policing teams across Sussex this week; making a proactive difference to communities across the county. 

The 36 new Sussex police officers will be joining response teams in communities across the county, alongside their dedicated coaches, where they will be responding to 999 calls having completed robust training at Sussex Police headquarters in Lewes.

 “I'm really excited to be joining the response team and start helping people” says PC Emma Hatt, who will be joining the Brighton and Hove division from Monday 17 February.

“It’ll be great jumping in at the deep end. Like any new recruit I want to get the bad people, and look after the vulnerable people.”

Before joining the force, Emma, from Seaford, worked with juvenile offenders in a residential unit in Tower Hamlets.

“I’m really looking forward to helping shape the future of young people, steering them in a different direction. With my past experience, I know how to go in at their level and build rapport to make a real difference.”

Like Emma, PC Jake Adfield wants to make a positive impact on the community after previously working as a carpenter. He said: “I’m looking forward to going out on division in Worthing. It will be interesting getting out into the community and do the job I really want to do.”

The recruits are the first of an additional 129 officers for Sussex to be recruited by March 2021 funded by the first phase of the Government initiative, which aims to recruit 20,000 officers by 2023. Policing Minister, Kit Malthouse co-launched the national recruitment campaign when he visited Sussex Police HQ last September.

In addition to the posts created as part of the Government’s recruitment commitment, the force is on track to recruit the extra 250 police officers, 100 PCSOs and 50 specialist staff funded by the 2018/2019 local precept increases.

Chief Constable Giles York QPM said: "We are delighted to welcome these officers to Sussex, made possible by the government’s uplift commitment, and I look forward to seeing their careers progress.

“Recent precept rises, together with greater government investment, provides us with an exceptional opportunity to employ the right mix of officers and police staff to deliver an effective, efficient and high quality policing service to the people of Sussex.

"It reinforces our move into a period of significant growth and will tangibly strengthen our position to meet increasing and changing demand. It allows a step-change in our policing approach and greater proactivity in taking the fight to criminals.

"As recruitment plans come to fruition, they will make a positive difference to the public of Sussex. Already our communities can see and feel the difference of earlier investment and, with this additional commitment, we can do even more: catch more criminals, protect more victims and prevent and solve more crime."

PC Emma Bennison is another new recruit joining as part of the Uplift. Emma’s policing story began two years ago when she encountered a woman in distress in Chichester. Seeing the woman being assaulted, Emma – then a teenagers’ activity manager for a holiday company – ran towards the danger. When made a witness statement following the incident, the officer asked Emma if she had considered joining the police. Emma set about researching how she could apply and two years later, here she is, achieving her dream job.

“I was nervous about going out on division but now I’m really excited about getting out there and putting everything we’ve learned into practice” said PC Bennison.

Previous Worthing shopkeeper, PC Mitulkumar Patel feels incredibly proud to be serving as a police officer: “I’m looking forward to my first shift having wanted to be part of the team for many years. I’m here to make a difference.”

Sussex Police’s police officer recruitment drive continues next month with the first recruitment drive of 2020 launching on Monday, 9 March. The recruitment drive is looking for those who have what it takes to tackle crime, keep communities safe and protect the most vulnerable. More information can be found here

Police are issuing a warning after a series of people have been scammed by fraudsters pretending to be from Dyno-Rod drain company.

Since the start of January, over 20 victims have reported incidents with similar circumstances to police across Sussex. The majority of victims are elderly and have occurred in Brighton and Hove, although we would like to warm all resident of Sussex to help share the scam. 

Typically, the fraudsters will knock on the door and tell the victims they need emergency work. The victims will then be asked to transfer money to the fraudsters or hand over their bank details. Money is taken from the victims' accounts for work that is not carried out. 

A 73-year-old victim from Hove has spoken about how he was defrauded out of £2,000 through the scam. 

On 25 January a man knocked at the door to advise that he was currently working on nearby drains and may need access via the victim's property.

The victim thought nothing of it. 

A while later, a different man attended the victim's property, stating that they were from Dyno-Rod, displaying an ID badge briefly. He then said emergency works needs to be carried out on the victim's property and that the fee for this would be £25.

After the victim agreed, the man stated that they could not accept cash, therefore persuaded the victim to give his bank card and pin number. 

The suspect went away with his card, however came back saying that the details were incorrect. The victim then gave him another card, along with his full name and date of birth to be able to withdraw the cash.

Over a period of time, £2,000 was taken from the victim's account.
The victim said: "My doorbell went and there was a guy there who said he was carrying out work on the drains, he came and had a good look around the house. 

"A second man came who looked very official and said they needed £25 to hire the Dyno-Rod equipment and they'd pay me back. 

"He said that they don't accept cash and they couldn't take me to the cash machine because they're not insured so asked for my card to take to the ATM.

"He wanted the PIN number so I gave him a card that's not connected to my bank account. He came back saying that it didn't work and asked for another one. I was very reluctant but he said he'd come back with the paperwork. 

"They then wanted my full name and date of birth which made me suspicious so I called the bank and they said £2,000 had been removed.

"It's terrible that they do this to people, I lost £2,000. The first man looked like a genuine hard-working man and the second looked official with a hanging black badge, but I didn't look at it very carefully. 

"I get these scams sometimes via email about the TV licensing or property and normally I can smell them a mile away. You have to be so careful, they really did fool me it's really unpleasant. 

"The PCSO who came to my house has helped me go ex-directory and I've taken out ID cover - I need to be protected from this sort of thing."

PC Bernadette Lawrie, BEM, Financial Abuse Safeguarding Officer for Surrey and Sussex Police said: "This impersonator fraud scam is a disgraceful way of defrauding the victims of their cash and we are determined to bring the perpetrators to justice. 

"Please be vigilant about anyone who comes to the door asking for personal or financial information. Never give your bank details, transfer money to those you don't know or trust or give your PIN number or other sensitive information to strangers. 

"If you are in doubt about a situation, close the door and call police. If something doesn't sound right, don't feel pressured to make a snap decision on matters relating to your finances. Trust your instincts. 

"Alternatively, speak with a trusted friend or family member and get their advice on whether you should go through with any action that could impact you financially.” 

If you have been a victim of this crime or have any information that could help with our enquiries, please report online or call 101. 

For further advice on fraud prevention, and information on Operation Signature, the work done by Sussex Police to prevent fraud and support vulnerable victims, see the force website here.

Crime Summary

During the day time of the 14th February, rear doors to a property on Battle Road, Hailsham, were smashed and unknown suspects have gained entry to the property. Personal items including jewellery have been targeted. (887 of 14/02 relates)

In the small hours of the 15th February a property on High Street, Hailsham were woken to the sound of their front door being tried, fortunately no entry was gained. (104 of 15/02 relates)

Tools were targeted overnight on the 16-17th February, after unknown suspects have forced entry onto a property off Brambletye Lane, Forest Row, after entering suspects have cut locks on storage containers to target tools. (758 of 17/02 relates)

Garages were targeted overnight on the 16-17th February at garages on High Street, Wadhurst. Power tools were targeted after unknown suspects have used force to prize open garages on the block. (157 of 17/02 relates)

Damage was caused overnight and appliances stolen from a row of new builds on Mill Road, Hailsham on the 16-17th February. Unknown suspects have smashed windows on the properties to gain entry. (236 of 17/02 relates)

A businesses address on Ersham Road, Hailsham had damage caused and various buildings broken into overnight on the 17-18th February. (1345 of 18/02 relates)

A property on Edenbridge Road, Hartfield, was broken into overnight on the 18-19th February. Unknown suspects have used force to gain entry into buildings on the property. (1541 of 19/02 relates)

There have been no further reports of residential burglaries on the Wealden district.

For a range of crime prevention advice, support and tips to keep you and your property safe can be found here

If you have been the victim of a burglary, please report online, or by calling 101 – always dial 999 in an emergency/burglary in action.

Action Fraud scam watch

Did you know scams cost the UK economy £5-£10 Billion a year, with over 50% of people over 65 having already been targeted by scams; and only 5% of all scams reported?

Action Fraud’s top tips

Although fraud and cybercrime comes in many forms, there are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself.

Follow Action Frauds’ personal safety checklist to keep you and those around you safe from fraud here.

Help us keep Sussex safe

If you saw or heard anything, or have any information about any incident in this message please contact us online, or call 101, quoting the reference number provided.

Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

You can also visit our website at www.sussex.police.uk where you can find our easy to use online forms to report all non-emergencies to us.

You can also find police advice to keep you safe and help you understand the law, and also browse our crime prevention pages for first-hand knowledge, industry best practices and practical crime prevention advice from officers and specialist teams all across the police.

Have you ever had a policing question that doesn't actually require direct police involvement to answer?

Ask the Police is a great online source of information for the most frequently asked policing questions, visit www.askthe.police.uk/ for more information.

Your local teams

You can find your local PCSO by entering your postcode at www.police.uk

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Eastbourne, Lewes and Wealden team (Police, Prevention team, Sussex)

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