Lewes District Police Weekly News and Alerts

Alert message sent 09/04/2020 10:35:00

Information sent on behalf of Sussex Police

Thursday 9th April 2020

Lewes District Police Weekly News and Alerts

Do you recognise these people? They may have seen missing Owen Harding - UPDATE

One of two people who may have seen missing Owen Harding from Saltdean on the evening he disappeared has come forward to assist police with their enquiries.

New CCTV footage was released last week where a person believed to be Owen is seen walking along Hamsey Road, Saltdean, at 6.15pm on the day he went missing, Thursday 26 March. It is believed the person matching Owen’s description was heading south down this road, in the direction of the A259 South Coast Road.

The man in the black hooded top has contacted police but officers are still hoping to identify and talk to the other person, who appears to be out for a run or other sports activity.

Detective Inspector Mark Rosser said: “We have viewed this CCTV footage supplied to us by a member of the public and we believe this could be Owen.

Please click here to view this footage.

“Within the footage there are two people who may have seen who we think is Owen walking along this road and one has now come forward. Are you the other person in the picture? If this is you, we would really appreciate it if you could make contact with us as you may hold vital information to our investigation.

“It’s been a fortnight since Owen was last seen or heard from and we are continuing to extensively investigate the circumstances around his disappearance.

“We would like to thank the public for their support in our investigation and while we appreciate people would like to help with our searches, we are urging everyone to abide by Government guidance at all times. We are utilising all of our available resources to search locally and will, of course, link up with colleagues across the country if there is anything to suggest that he has travelled out of Sussex.”

Owen is white, 5' 11" - 6', of athletic build, with short brown hair. He is believed to have been wearing a blue round neck jumper, dark joggers and white trainers.

If you have seen him or know of his whereabouts, please report online or call 101 quoting Operation Chartwell.

If you see him, please dial 999 immediately.

Police are investigating a report of a distraction burglary in Queens Road, Lewes

At 1pm on 4 March, two men knocked on the victim's door and claimed to be from the council. 

They told the victim, an 89-year-old man, that they were there to treat damp and entered the property to look around.

After they left, the victim discovered £1000 cash had been stolen. 

The two suspects were described as white males, around 5'8'' and spoke with Irish accents.
Suspect one is described as having dark curly hair and was wearing dark clothing/shoes and holding a tablet.

The second had lighter hair and was wearing a dirty short sleeve high-visibility jacket with lettering on the back.

Police are appealing to members of the public to help identify the man pictured who is thought to be the second suspect.

Anyone knows his identity or who has any information they believe may assist with this investigation is asked to report online or call 101, quoting 47200040720.

Many people in Sussex stayed home to save lives – Easter weekend message

Despite the high temperatures last weekend, many people in Sussex followed government
advice to stay home, help protect the NHS and save lives.

Superintendent Graham Barnett said last week: “We were pleased to see that most of the public had listened to our appeals to stay home and avoid travelling to places where other people are gathering.

“We were disappointed to get reports of people who are still continuing to flout the life-saving advice being given out from the government and our partners during this devastating pandemic.

“These reports have largely been around people holding house and street parties, meeting up to exercise in groups and congregating at beauty hotspots and some beaches.

“Our officers were out all weekend, continuing our day-to-day policing, including patrolling public areas. We engaged, explained and encouraged people to do the right thing in following the government’s guidance and where necessary we have taken enforcement action against those who have not complied.

“The forecast for Easter weekend is that the warm weather is set to be with us for a few days but we urge the public to continue being strong and resilient and avoid the temptation to ignore our advice.

"Our priority remains staying at home, avoiding contact with others and stopping the spread of Covid-19. We thank everyone for their continued patience at this challenging time."

Local businesses are being urged to ensure their premises are sufficiently protected during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Sussex Police believe there could be an increase in organised acquisitive crime across the county – including burglaries of business premises – and have increased police patrols and proactive targeting of known local criminals.

Two men, charged with stealing £80,000 worth of stock from Currys PC World in Hove, were arrested after a fast-moving intelligence-led operation saw them arrested after a black Audi A4 was stopped by officers on the M23 on March 17. They've been remanded in custody to re-appear in court on April. 

Officers are also advising residents to make sure that their valuables are secure, especially as warmer weather may well result in opportunistic crooks taking advantage of properties left insecure.

Last month, a Hailsham man pleaded guilty to burglary in the town and will appear for sentencing on April 14. 

Detective Chief Inspector Alasdair Henry, burglary prevention lead for Sussex Police, said: “We take burglary very seriously. Staff across the force are working hard to prevent an increase in burglary and we are ready to respond to any spikes in such criminality.

"We are urging business owners to ensure that they have sufficient and robust security features in place and that they are in full working order. Security cameras should be checked and owners need to make sure that any service doors are both secure and locked. Don't store cash in premises whilst they are closed.

"Owners of high value jewellery are encouraged to ensure it is securely locked away in the house, ideally in a safe or similar secure storage, rather than being left in drawers or cupboards. Residents should ensure that doors to their homes are kept locked, especially overnight, but also when they might be out enjoying their gardens, and that they have measures in place to keep their residence secure.

"It is vital that we all work together to disrupt organised crime and prevent opportunistic burglaries. Our Sussex Police website provides some excellent detailed advice on how to protect your property from crime.

“Please do not hesitate to report suspicious activity to us. This includes reporting people trying to sell items that you suspect are stolen. If you have any information concerning burglary or people selling stolen goods please get in touch with us immediately online or by calling 101. You can also report anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

"In an emergency, such as a crime in progress, please dial 999.”

You can find crime prevention advice for protecting your business from the inside out and keeping high value items safe at home on the Sussex Police website.
Sussex Police’s Community Message service, In the Know, will keep you posted on latest news in your police district.

Communities can work together to prevent crime. By joining an existing Neighbourhood Watch scheme or becoming a Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator, your community can be stronger together.

£12,000 equipment stolen in Ringmer burglary

Police are investigating a burglary in Ringmer in which £12,000 of agricultural equipment was stolen including a quad bike.

On Thursday morning (2 April) officers received a report that sometime between 11.30pm the previous night and 7am that morning, the quad bike and equipment including a chain saw and hedge trimmers, had been stolen from the property on the B2192 in Lewes Road, Ringmer.

Anyone passing along the B2192 that night and who saw anything suspicious is asked to contact the police online or by calling 101, quoting serial 287 of 02/04.

Public services across Sussex join forces in “mammoth effort” to respond to Covid-19 pandemic

In an unprecedented effort, public services across Sussex are coming together to protect and support the communities of Sussex in the face of Covid-19.

Sussex Resilience Forum (SRF), a multi-agency partnership which includes all emergency services, local authorities and other agencies, is working closely with the military and NHS to co-ordinate the local response to Covid-19 on behalf of the Government.

Drawing on well-rehearsed plans, staff from across the public sector are working side-by-side to ensure that services are being delivered in the best interests of the public, with special attention given to the most vulnerable in communities.

Key areas of focus through the crisis so far have included co-ordinating the work of volunteers, gaining additional supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) and ensuring Sussex’s most vulnerable have the help they need.

The SRF is currently chaired by Sussex Police, with Assistant Chief Constable Dave Miller the lead.

“We stand united, as public services across Sussex, in support of our NHS colleagues as they work around the clock to provide vital care as we face this public health emergency,” he said.

“Across the system, the SRF’s multi-agency teams are ensuring that vital resources reach those who need them most, and that the information is available to address the complex and urgent issues that have arisen from Covid-19.

“It truly is a mammoth effort and local services are working together in a way and on a scale never before seen, absolutely committed to saving lives and protecting the NHS in Sussex.”

The SRF is one of 38 Local Resilience Forums (LRFs) across the UK which works with Government, through the Ministry for Housing Communities and
Local government (MHCLG) and the Cabinet Office, to plan, prepare, respond and recover from major incidents and catastrophic emergencies, to protect local communities in Sussex.

It brings public agencies together with other key partners, in this case the military and volunteer networks, to protect and save lives, minimise the impact of the incident and help local communities return to normality.

In Sussex, the forum is co-ordinating plans in a number of key areas including support for the vulnerable, managing the voluntary response, creating additional capacity in healthcare and in managing deaths, logistics and supply and public information.

In the past two weeks, the SRF has co-ordinated:

Support for those most vulnerable to Covid-19 – some 35,000 people in Sussex of 1.5 million nationwide – required to stay safe at home.

Delivery of ‘stop-gap’ food parcels to vulnerable resident unable to rely on family of friends. Non-perishable items were delivered by central
Government to depots in Brighton and Hove and Crawley, before being batched up and delivered to door-steps by vetted volunteers.

The creation of a county-wide network of ‘Community Hubs’ for every local authority area – putting members of the public in need of help in touch with local volunteers.

Provision of housing for the homeless community.

The SRF has recently received a one-off delivery from Government of some additional PPE for the local care sector before national supply chains takeover, which is currently being distributed by local authorities.

Over the coming days and weeks, the SRF will continue to plan for and respond to challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, to protect local communities.

“We are all in this together and we all have our part to play to protect the NHS and save lives,” said ACC Miller.

“The public response in Sussex so far has been magnificent but, as we approach the time when we expect the number of cases in Sussex - and across the UK - to increase, and the pressure on NHS and other services begin to rise, it is vital that we all continue to follow the Government guidance on self-isolation and social distancing.”

For the latest updates on the Resilience Forum, please visit the website.

If you or someone you know requires support from Community Hubs, please visit your local council online or contact the following customer helplines available on the following link:

East Sussex County Council

Crime Summary

Personal items were stolen from a greenhouse at a property off Headland Avenue, Seaford, overnight on the 5th - 6th April, unknown suspects have gained entry to the property and smashed the glass to enter. (148 of 06/04 relates)

Damage was caused when unknown suspects forced entry into a school address on Roderick Avenue, Peacehaven over the weekend of 3rd - 5th April. (1602 of 05/04 relates)

Damage was also caused to a business address on Dane Road, Seaford late evening on the 5th April. Attempts to force entry were made, and youngsters seen running from the scene. (1590 of 05/04 relates)

There have been no further reports of residential burglaries on the Lewes 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?

This week’s scam and fraud warnings from Action Fraud:

Beware of scam COVID-19 ‘refund’ messages.

To help our investigations, report all HMRC related phishing emails and bogus text messages to us. Even if you get the same or similar phishing email or text message often, email it to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and then delete it.

Do not open attachments or click any links in an email or text message, as they may contain malicious software or direct you to a bogus website.

Please forward suspicious emails claiming to be from to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599.

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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