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Lewes District Police weekly news and alerts

Alert message sent 19/07/2019 19:03:00

Information sent on behalf of Sussex Police

Friday 19th July 2019

News and appeals

Bike marking event for Newhaven bike users

A few weeks ago we sent a message about a bike marking registration event at the Pumptrack in Newhaven on the 25th July; regrettably this event has had to be cancelled and as a result will now be rescheduled.

As soon as a new date is set, a notification will be sent, apologies to those who had made plans to attend.

Tips to keep your bike safe from theft can be found here.

Distraction Burglaries in Newhaven (Denton and Meeching)

We have received reports (17th July) of a male, white, around 5.7", of slim build wearing a baseball cap, attending addresses during day hours saying he needs to turn the water pressure down, unfortunately once inside a second suspect has entered and made a search of the victims home, taking personal items and cash.

Distraction burglary, often called ‘bogus calling’ is a crime primarily targeted at vulnerable older people. Offenders may pose as officials, such as council workers, police officers and utility workers or pretend to be a person in urgent need of help, in order to gain access to homes. Once inside the victim is distracted and the burglary is committed.

Please remember:

-Locks - Keep all of your doors and windows locked, even when you are at home

-Stop - Are you expecting anyone, do they have an appointment? Make sure the back door is locked. Some thieves work in pairs with the other one sneaking in the back door whilst you’re at the front door.

-Chain - Put the door bar or chain on before you open the door.

-Check the identity carefully. Ask for ID card. Close the door and check using a phone number from the phone book or a relevant bill, not the one on the card.

-Bogus callers, often work in pairs; be aware of one person distracting you while the other steals your property.

-Never employ trades people who call at your door. Only use people recommended by someone you trust.

-Password – Some water, gas and electric companies operate a ‘password’ facility. Contact your local branch for details.

If in doubt, keep them out particularly if you’re on your own. Ask them to make an appointment or come back later when someone else is around. Genuine callers won’t mind. If you are suspicious, report the incident to the police. You may help prevent them from burgling someone else.

New Police Contact Centre Officers join our team

A warm welcome to our new contact officers who join our team at Police Headquarters, Lewes, this week to help you when you need us most.
They’ll be responding to your emergency and 101 calls under supervision after completing months of intensive training on Friday.

Former estate agent, Richard Snatt: “This job & I are made for each other. I really enjoy keeping people calm and helping them through distressing situations.”

Penny Clapcott wanted a challenge: “It’s so rewarding helping others in time of need. I find through having a disability I have high empathy and am able to stay calm under pressure.”

Assistant Chief Constable, Dave Miller, pictured with the recruits and their trainers, said, “I am delighted to welcome the new contact handlers to our team. As a first point of contact with the police for the public, they will play a vital role in our operational frontline. I wish them a rewarding career.”

Could this be you? We will be recruiting again soon, register your interest and find out more here.

Bogus Police caller in East Sussex

Police are investigating after an elderly couple in East Sussex lost £13,000 when a bogus caller pretended to be a police officer and got them to withdraw cash from their accounts.

On 25 June the man phoned them, claiming to be from the 'Metropolitan Police fraud squad'.

Over the next six days he convinced them to go twice to a bank and withdraw a total of £13,000, telling them it was necessary as part of an investigation into fraud within their own bank's HQ in London.

On each occasion one of the couple then had to go to locations near their homes and hand the cash to someone driving a van.
Only when family members visited and overheard one of the phone calls was the fraud stopped.

Detective Constable Sam Collyer said: "Remember - no police officer, or bank staff on the phone, will ever ask for your bank details or for cash. Don't give your details or cash to anyone in these circumstances!

See these top tips to help stop this type of fraud;

- Act with care if you get an unsolicited phone call

- Never transfer funds into a new account on the instruction of an unexpected caller – even if they tell you the account is in your name

- Always check your phone line has properly disconnected before making another call – try calling a good friend first, wait 5 minutes or use a different phone

- Never share your PIN number or enter your PIN into a telephone

- Never withdraw money and hand it to a courier or a police officer

- Never give your bank cards to a courier or anyone who comes to your door

For further advice and information on preventing this type of fraud, see the Sussex Police website.

For further advice on fraud prevention, and information on Operation Signature, the work done by Sussex Police to prevent fraud and support victims, also see the force website, which includes a short film from the Operation Signature team helping to show the signs to look out for, please view here.

An agreement between police and banks is also helping prevent some of these crimes. In June this year alone 38 attempts to get unwary residents to withdraw cash in Sussex were foiled by alert bank staff who became suspicious of the circumstances, saving losses that would have totalled £144,000.

Make the right call

Is your call a police matter?

If you have concerns about - noise nuisance, bins and rubbish or littering - please contact your local council as these are not police matters.

Lost something?

Please don't call us for lost or found property - we no longer take reports or handle lost/found property.

If you find or lose something of value to you, here's what to do.

Help us keep our phones free those who genuinely need us 

Crime summary

A farm address off the B2116, Hassocks, had barns accessed and damage caused to their tractor overnight on the 10th July (0433 of 11/07 relates)

Victims at a property off Richmond Road, Seaford found a male in their home in the afternoon of the 11th July, the opportunist potentially entered via rear doors, fortunately nothing was taken. (0839 of 11/07 relates)

A business address off the Broyle, Ringmer was accessed overnight whereby suspects have cut their way onto the site on the 11th July. Various tools and equipment was taken. (0243 of 12/07 relates)

Around 2 am in the night of the 14th July, two business addresses along South Coast road, Peacehaven were attacked and attempt to gain access made by a male who was described as proportionate in size, wearing dark clothing and a motorcycle helmet. (Anyone who may have heard or witnessed either of these offences is asked to call quoting reference 0181 and 0227 of 14/07)

Cash and personal items were stolen from a victim’s property off Elphick Road, Newhaven, whereby a male has reported needing to enter the victims home to check the water pressure. Once invited in, a second male has entered unknowingly and taken cash from the victim’s home. A description of the male is above in the news alerts (1768 of 17/07 relates)

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 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call 101, quoting the reference number provided.

Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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

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