Sussex Police raises thousands for Chief Constable's chosen charity
Sussex Police helped to raise almost £30,000 in 2019 for a charity working to combat loneliness among the elderly.
Chief Constable Giles York was delighted to hand the money over to Re-engage - his chosen charity of the year for 2019 - at Sussex Police headquarters in Lewes on Tuesday (February 25).
Re-engage, formerly known as Contact the Elderly, is a registered charity that exists to help the 500,000 older people living in the UK who say they go five or six days a week without speaking to anyone.
It has a very simple concept which involves organising monthly tea parties for people over the age of 75. Guests are paired with volunteer drivers who take them to and from tea parties. The parties are held in the homes of host volunteers, who provide food and sometimes a fun activity.
Chief Constable Giles York said: "Loneliness is damaging to both mental and physical health so by providing regular face-to-face contact, the charity empowers their older guests to improve their quality of life.
"This is such important work and valued by so many people, not just in Sussex but across the country.
“Having Re-engage as my charity for the past year has been rewarding in bringing new energy to groups with older guests, being able to make them safer against unscrupulous criminals and having fun raising money for a great cause.
"Thank you to all the Sussex Police personnel who helped raise this sum, and to the members of the public who also supported the cause."
Sussex Police helped to raise £28,454.84 for the charity through a number of fundraising initiatives including selling mugs, light up pens, scarves, elf letters, Christmas cards and pin badges, and by organising a number of events including a charity quiz night, bingo night, charity golf day, Christmas Extravaganza concert and numerous cake sales.
This was made possible thanks to a number of keen and enthusiastic Sussex Police personnel who volunteered their spare time and energy to help support the Chief Constable's chosen charity.
In addition to the money raised, Sussex Police colleagues have worked hard to raise awareness of the charity, helping to recruit volunteer group co-ordinators, tea party hosts and drivers, as well as signposting lonely and vulnerable older people to the charity as potential guests. On top of that, officers have provided valuable fraud prevention advice and training to the local group co-ordinators who will share this knowledge with their guests.
CC Giles York added: "Our aim was to raise enough money to launch three new Re-engage groups in Crawley, Crowborough and Berwick. The new Crawley group was set up and established early in 2019 thanks to the sterling efforts of police staff member Mandy Spencer, who took on joint responsibility for the group co-ordinator role.
"Superintendent James Collis hosted the launch party and I was delighted to have the opportunity to attend the tea party and meet the elderly guests who were all thrilled to be part of this new group.
"We have now raised the necessary funds for the charity to launch the final two groups in Berwick and Crowborough, which is excellent news."
Sussex Police celebrated the culmination of its year of support by hand-delivering some Christmas hampers to each of the Re-engage groups, allowing each of the elderly guests supported by the charity to receive a nice surprise and gift at Christmas.
Kitty Blackwell, director of fundraising and communications at Re-engage, said: "On behalf of our older guests, volunteers and all of us at Re-engage we say a heartfelt thank you to the Chief Constable, Charity Committee and all the police officers and staff members who so enthusiastically and creatively supported the partnership over the year.
"The generosity of the force has enabled us to bring company and friendship to some of the most vulnerable and isolated older people in Sussex - people who spend days at a time not seeing anyone to talk to and who experience chronic isolation as a daily reality.
"The partnership brought particular added value through the excellent work that has been done to encourage volunteers to come forward to support our social groups, to direct older people to Re-engage, and warn against the dangers of fraud, with officers and members of the Police Cadets giving practical advice to our older guests.
"Among many initiatives, a highlight was the Christmas gifts organised by Sussex Police for each of our older guests. Christmas can be a very difficult time for those on their own and to feel valued and remembered was magical.”
Langney parish church, Eastbourne, hit by theft and damage
Some £7,000 loss and damage has been caused to St Richard of Chichester's Church, Langney, Eastbourne, after thieves stole copper roofing from the building's Edmonds Chapel.
They struck between 1am and 7am on Wednesday 19 February in what has been the third such incident targeting the parish church.
Police Community Support Officer Daryl Holter, a heritage crime adviser, said: "It was previously hit in 2018, and then again on 30 December last year, when the cost of damage and theft was £7,500.
"Damaging any property is bad enough, but targeting a church which is used by the community is disgraceful. Churches create and evoke memories, and are used for so many reasons."
PCSO Holter said the latest raid carried an "overwhelming" cost for the church's congregation, both financially and emotionally. People had been left "frustrated and depressed" by the situation.
Anyone who may have information that could assist officers investigating the crime is asked to contact Sussex Police online or by phoning 101, quoting serial 1181 of 19/02.
Two sentenced for stealing and crashing man's car on night out in Eastbourne
Two men have been sentenced for stealing and crashing a man's car they met on a night out in Eastbourne.
Oliver Dennis, 23, of St Leonards Road, Eastbourne, and Charlie Saint, 21, of Jevington Gardens, Eastbourne, met the victim after he left Cameo nightclub in the early hours of 14 September.
The victim started chatting to the two defendants and invited them back to his flat at Sovereign Harbour for some drinks. They stayed up drinking with his flatmate. The victim decided to go to sleep when it became light outside and asked the two defendants to let themselves out.
Dennis and Saint took the keys to the victim's Mercedes, worth over £25,000, on their way out.
After accelerating out of the parking spot, the driver lost control of the vehicle and collided into a pillar where the car was abandoned. Significant damage was caused to the vehicle and it had to be written off.
The crash was reported to police, who discovered Saint's provisional driving license inside the car.
Police seized CCTV of the car crashing into a pillar which showed two suspects exiting the vehicle. The pair were interviewed and charged.
Saint pleaded guilty to the charge of aggravated vehicle taking (being carried on). Dennis pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking (initial taker).
On Wednesday, 19 February at Lewes Crown Court, both men were sentenced to nine months imprisonment suspended for 18 months, disqualified from driving for 18 months and ordered to pay a £149 victim surcharge and £400 compensation each.
They were also given a four month curfew from 9pm to 5am.
Dennis was ordered to do 110 hours unpaid work and Saint 80 hour’s unpaid work.
A burglary occurred between 20/02/2020 at 00:00hrs – 20/02/2020 at 06:45hrs on Enys Road, Eastbourne, whereby two sheds were broken into and bicycles stolen from within (Ref: 47200031705)
A burglary occurred on 21/02/2020 at 20:43hrs whereby a business premises was broken into on College Road, whereby donation boxes were stolen from within (Ref: 47200032863)
An attempted burglary occurred between 22/02/2020 at 12:00hrs – 22/02/2020 at 17:00hrs on Mountfield Road, whereby attempts were made to gain entry to a residential property by means of throwing an item at a window of the property (Ref: 4720033364)
A burglary occurred between 21/02/2020 at 23:55hrs – 22/02/2020 at 07:00hrs on Milton Road, whereby a shed was broken into and a bicycle stolen from within (Ref: 47200033482)
A burglary occurred between 22/02/2020 at 00:00hrs on Rosebery Avenue, whereby entry was gained to the property via breaking a side window and stealing multiple items from within (Ref: 47200033877)
A burglary occurred between 23/02/2020 at 12:00hrs – 23/02/2020 at 13:31hrs on Hyde Road, whereby entry was gained to a business premises and damage caused to property within (Ref: 47200033889)
A burglary occurred between 22/02/2020 at 23:00hrs – 23/02/2020 at 22:00hrs on Victoria Drive, whereby a summer house was broken into and a bicycle stolen from within (Ref: 47200033999)
A burglary occurred between 23/02/2020 at 21:55hrs – 23/02/2020 at 22:00hrs on Grande Parade and cash stolen from within (Ref: 47200034189)
An attempted burglary occurred between 23/02/2020 at 20:00hrs – 23/02/2020 at 21:34hrs on King Edwards Parade, whereby attempts were made to gain access to a room in a commercial premises without success (Ref: 47200034193)
An attempted burglary occurred between 22/02/2020 at 20:00hrs – 25/02/2020 at 05:00hrs on Naomi Close, whereby entry was attempted to a property by means of removing a panel from a door, no items were stolen from within (Ref: 47200034676)
A burglary occurred between 21/02/2020 at 17:00hrs – 24/02/2020 at 17:00hrs on Brand Road, whereby entry was gained to a property. It is currently unknown whether items were stolen (Ref: 47200034807)
An attempted burglary occurred between 14:30 – 14:40hrs on 25/02/2020 on Kind Edwards Parade, whereby attempts were made to gain access to a room in a commercial premises without success (47200035309) Help us keep Sussex safe
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