Friday 11 May 2018
News and appeals
Brighton attempted abduction: man charged
Detectives investigating the attempted abduction of a girl in Brighton have charged a man with attempted kidnap and attempted sexual assault by touching.
The Crown Prosecution Service have authorised the charges on Michael Belhawla, 24, of no fixed address, and he has been remanded to appear before Brighton Magistrates' Court on Wednesday (9 May).
The eight-year-old girl was walking along Gloucester Road at about 8.25am on 5 May having been to post a letter at a letter box in nearby North Road. She was grabbed by a man just as she turned into Tidy Street and pushed to the ground but this was seen by two passers-by who shouted at him and he ran off. The girl was severely shocked and sustained some grazes but did not need hospital treatment.
Detective Inspector Lee Horner said: "We are still keen to trace any witnesses who may have valuable information which could assist our investigation. If you can help please contact us immediately on 101 or online quoting Operation Overdown."
Be aware of sophisticated telephone frauds
We are urging people to be wary of telephone calls that may be sophisticated attempts to defraud them of large amounts of money. One elderly Brighton resident has had £28,000 taken after becoming victim of a fraud in which the caller has stated that they are from BT. The caller managed to get the victim to open another bank account and this eventually led to the theft of the money.
There have also been reported frauds where the caller states he is an officer from the Metropolitan Police and that he has stopped two females who have cloned the victim's card. The caller tells the victim to call 999 to prove that the call is genuine. Though the victim hangs up, the caller doesn’t so the line stays connected. The caller hands the phone to a female at this point. The victim is then told that they are speaking to a Brighton officer, who states that the call is genuine. They then ‘transfer’ the call back to the Met officer.
People can sometimes feel embarrassed if they have been a victim of fraud, but it is nothing to be ashamed of and there is support available for the impact that fraud can have on victims.
For more information on fraud and how to keep your money and your identity safe, read more at https://www.sussex.police.uk/advice/protect-yourself-and-others/fraud/
If you have been affected by fraud or attempted fraud, you can report online to Action Fraud at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or 0300 123 2040. You can also contact Victim Support to talk to someone about how you have been impacted by fraud, whether or not you are ready to report.
Burglary both Dwelling and businesses - 11
Vehicle Crime - 11
Criminal Damage - 26
Robbery - 5
Burglary both Dwelling and Businesses - 6
Vehicle Crime - 9
Criminal Damage - 13
Robbery - 1
Burglary both Dwelling and businesses - 8
Vehicle Crime - 9
Criminal Damage - 11
Robbery - 0
In the recent sunny weather lots of people have been out and about more, but unfortunately some people have been behaving in an anti-social way and we have had several reports of criminal damage, particularly in central Brighton. If you are experiencing anti-social behaviour in your area, don't suffer in silence. If you are being intimidated or harassed, please report this to us with as much information as possible about the location, people involved and what exactly happened - although do remember to always put your safety first.
New police team to help support victims of sexual assaults in Sussex
A newly established team of Sussex Police officers and staff starts training this month for their roles as a dedicated resource to help support victims of serious sexual assaults.
The 20 officers and staff will be working from locations right across the county, based alongside colleagues in the specialist Safeguarding Investigations Units.
The new Sexual Offence Investigation Trained (SOIT) officers will act as a single point of contact for victims and will be on hand to support victims throughout a criminal investigation from initial reporting right through to court proceedings and beyond.
The introduction of this dedicated role will help investigators to conduct high-quality investigations in the knowledge that the victim will be receiving the level of care, support and information that they need. In the coming months the team will be receiving specialist training in responding to incidents of serious sexual offending with the aim that they will be fully operational by September 2018.
Officers and staff across the force are already currently able to provide this type of support service and continue to do so while the new SOIT officers gradually take over the responsibility.
For further information about support for survivors of sexual offences, visit https://www.sussex.police.uk/advice/support-for-victims/rape-and-sexual-assault/
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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