Sussex Countrywatch Newsletter

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Sussex Country Watch Newsletter


Rural crime still a focus in lockdown

Criminals planning to take advantage of the current lockdown to commit offences in rural areas are finding that their activities are more likely to come to the attention of countryside communities.

Three men were arrested near High Hurstwood in the Wealden district recently when police were alerted to a suspicious car in the area. The men were found crawling along a hedgerow and after running off from officers were arrested on suspicion of burglary and going equipped for burglary.

Rural PCSOs are continuing their proactive work, liaising with farmers and countryside businesses, offering rural crime prevention advice and offering property marking, including delivering property marking tools along with instructions on how to use them. 

We have also increased our high-visibility patrols around rural beauty spots and areas popular with people taking their lockdown exercise as these can also be attractive to opportunistic thieves.

Additionally, we are liaising with partners including the National Farmers' Union and the Country Land and Business Association in association with the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, to consult with farmers to ensure that they are being supported by police and to give them the opportunity to inform us of what is going on locally to them.

Sergeant Tom Carter, operational lead for rural and wildlife crime, has appealed to people visiting the countryside to respect the rural environment.

To find out how you can protect yourself and your property, visit our crime prevention advice pages.

You can report any offences or suspicions online or call 101, but if it is an emergency or a crime is occurring there and then, dial 999 immediately.
To see the full report please click on the link or go to our website.
Cycle Crime
Over the last few months, I have noticed a marked increase in the number of crimes involving the theft of pedal cycles in both East and West Sussex.  In view of this can I ask all cycle owners to remain vigilant and to consider taking the following 10 actions to try and keep your bikes safe and secure.

Ten ways to help prevent anyone taking your bike.

1. Register it
Get your bike security marked and registered at BikeRegister. It’s a highly effective, visible deterrent to bike thieves. They know that if they are caught with a registered bike, the owner can be traced and they will be arrested. 

2. Record it
Remember to record details of your bike such as the frame number (normally found underneath the bike between the pedals or where the back wheel slots in), the BikeRegister number plus any other distinguishing features, and take a photo.
3. Double-lock it
It can take thieves as little as few seconds to cut through some locks, so use two good quality locks, at least one of which is a D-lock.
4. Lock the lot
Lock the frame and both wheels to the cycle parking stand.
5. Secure it
Secure your bike as close to the stand as possible to give any thieves little or no room to manoeuvre.
6. Remove the removable bits
Take parts that are easy to remove with you. Or use locking skewers or nuts which can increase security by securing the bike's components to the frame permanently, making it difficult for thieves to steal detachable parts.
7. Park secure
Lock your bike at recognised secure cycle parking. It should be well lit and covered by CCTV.
8. Remember safety begins at home
Take the same care to lock your bike securely at home as you would on the street.
 9. Check ownership
Ask for proof of ownership and check the bike frame number on the Bike Checker at BikeRegister.
10. Act fast
If your bike has been stolen, contact us as soon as possible (you can report a crime online). Give us your frame number, BikeRegister number, a photo and any other details and make sure you update the status on BikeRegister. The sooner we know, the sooner we can act, which might stop it being sold on.

What to do if your bike is stolen
There are various courses of action open to you if your bike goes missing. Whichever you take, make sure you do it as soon as possible. Time really is of the essence.
StolenBikes in the UK will help to spread the word on the theft of your bike and offer you advice to help get it back.

Find that bike lists adverts for bikes placed on online marketplaces, which you can check frequently to see if yours has been listed for sale.

Adverts are usually placed within 24 hours of the theft but if not, keep looking as they sometimes take a few months to pop up.
Police are urging residents and business owners to report anything suspicious at the time on 101 or 999 if there’s an emergency.
'Livestock Worrying' is a criminal offence where a dog chases or attacks livestock in a way that causes harm. We ask dog owners of the Sussex community to:
Keep your dog on a lead near livestock and, if they get agitated, walk them away.
Ensure your dog does not stray off the path or area where you have right of access.
Ensure that your dog is under control and will come back to you on your command, if it doesn’t it shouldn’t be off the lead.
If there is an encounter with your dog and livestock then try to contact the farmer first so they can get there as soon as possible, then make contact with the Police.
Keep in mind that it is your responsibility to have your dog under full control at all times even when walking along a footpath next to their field.
Also, we encourage all landowners to:
Have clear signs that are visible at entrance points, warning dog walkers about livestock in the field.
Check your livestock regularly in case any have been attacked.
Maintain fences, walls, and hedges to make it more difficult for dogs to get into grazing fields.
Ask your neighbours to alert you if they see attacks or loose dogs near your livestock.
Regardless of whether you have outbuildings next to your home or some distance away if you live in a rural location, it’s important to remember the following crime prevention advice to secure your property and machinery:
Fit a good quality padlock, which has a hardened steel shackle (the part which opens and passes through the hasp) to all shed doors. The shorter the shackle the better because it prevents the jaws of bolt croppers being able to be placed around it.
Use anti-tamper screws or smear hard setting glue on the screw-heads of the door hinges.
Lock or permanently fix windows shut and cover them, perhaps with an old curtain, so no one can see what is kept inside.
Install a shed alarm and place a sticker in the window or on the door to advertise the fact.
Mark valuable property, including lawnmowers, power tool, bikes, and garden furniture by permanently etching on your postcode and house number.
Invest in a secure storage toolbox.
Chain up bicycles, lawnmowers and motorbikes and secure them to a fixed point in the shed.
Always lock vehicles when left outside and keep the keys in your possession.
Consider storing more expensive electrical goods indoors or in a more secure building such as a brick-built structure.
Make sure that fences/gates to your property are secure and remember to put any property away at night or when you go out during the day.
Darkness is the perfect cover for burglars and the effective and economic answer is to install outside lighting, which comes on only when people are present.
If you have any evidence, no matter how small, on any of the crimes listed below, please call it in on the non-emergency number 101 and quote the reference number and date as given to the left of the report, of for that matter any other crime.

Crime and incident update
Monday 04th May 2020 to Sunday 10th May 2020

Adur &

Youths have been seen causing damage to ground within National Trust woodland near Southwick Hill.

Nothing reported

Brighton & Hove
Nothing reported

Nothing reported

Nothing reported

Nothing reported

Nothing reported

Nothing reported

A green John Deere 2650 tractor and trailer were stolen,

5 Sheds on allotments in Arun Way Horsham were broken into overnight. It is unknown if anything was taken
Location: Arun Way, Horsham

During the evening of 9th May Quadbikes were seen driven in an antisocial manner, on roads near Coolham and trespassing on paths and private land.

Nothing reported

Mid Sussex
Three outbuildings on a farm in Hassocks were broken into, a tipper truck, a generator, a chain saw, a quantity of tools and strimmers were stolen.

A hay trailer and loader were stolen overnight from a farm in Hassocks.

During the evening of 9th May Quadbikes were seen driven in an antisocial manner, on roads near Coolham and trespassing on paths and private land.

2 x Honda quad bikes were stolen from premises in Rye.

Horse feed was stolen from an outbuilding in the Uckfield area.

A farm building in Crowborough was broken into overnight, machinery and tools were stolen.

A shed in Crowborough was broken into overnight, a chainsaw and a strimmer were stolen.

Containers on a farm in Crowborough were broken into, nothing was taken.

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, email us at or call 101, quoting the reference number provided.

Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at or their dedicated rural crime reporting number 0800 783 0137 or online here

Wildlife Officers can be contacted via local email addresses
Please only contact your local Wildlife Officers for any general enquiries or questions, not to report a crime. Report all crimes and incidents to Sussex Police online, email us at or call 101.
Adur and Worthing:
Brighton and Hove:
Mid Sussex:

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