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Lewes District Police Police News and Alerts

Alert message sent 18/12/2019 13:08:00

Information sent on behalf of Sussex Police

Wednesday 18th December 2019

News and Alerts Lewes District

All members message

Lewes Police wishes you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Please be advised that there will be no newsletter issued next week (23-29th December) and an extended newsletter will be published on or around the 2nd-3rd January 2020.

Continue below for this weeks news and alerts from the Lewes district.

Sussex Police launches new Tactical Enforcement Unit with its first operation taking place in Seaford

A new proactive police unit which will help make Sussex a “hostile environment” for dangerous and persistent criminals targeting the county has already made its first arrest on its first day.

The Tactical Enforcement Unit will be dedicated to capturing some of Sussex’s most wanted and prolific offenders, including those involved in serious violence, organised crime and county lines drugs gangs.

The team, made up of officers with specialist skills in proactive policing, will carry out targeted disruption, enforcement and patrol activities wherever it is most needed.

One initial central team made up of eight PCs, a sergeant and led by an inspector, will grow to form three geographically-based enforcement teams, one each based in East Sussex, West Sussex and Brighton and Hove, by April 2020.

It carried out its first operation on Monday (16 December) on its first day in action at an address in East Street, Seaford, where 56-year-old Stephen Mcateer, who has been charged with importing 23 kilos of heroin in France was arrested on suspicion of breaching his court conditions. He was later remanded in custody to reappear at City of London Magistrates Court.

Deputy Chief Constable Jo Shiner said: "We want Sussex to be a hostile environment for criminals and especially those involved in serious violence and targeting vulnerable people across our county, whether through county lines drugs gangs or other organised crime.

"The Tactical Enforcement Unit will be a visible, proactive deterrent to those at the centre of the serious offending, supporting local policing teams in dealing with specific spikes in crimes that impact on the community and it is already making a difference with a successful operation on its first day.

"They will work where the need is greatest and provide public reassurance by being present and proactively disrupting and taking off the streets some of our most prolific criminals."

The new unit has been established through an uplift in police officers with the force on track to recruit a net gain of 129 officers by March 2021, thanks to a combination of additional precept and Government funding.

Thefts from cars and break into vans in your area.

Update (17th December) Lewes Police teams have arrested 5 people in relation to the recent reports of break into cars and vans in the Nevill, Ringmer and Barcombe areas.

Property has also been recovered by response officers patrolling the areas.

Police patrols will continue over the hours of theft, (mainly evening and into the night) continue, and residents are asked to report any suspicious activities around vehicles.

Please do not leave your vehicle unlocked and take tools in overnight; did you know, it can take less than 30 seconds to break into a vehicle?

Whilst our investigations continue, please report any suspicious activity around vehicles to us, if it happening there and then please dial 999, or if it has already happened, or you have non urgent information in relation to this message, call 101, or report on the Sussex Police Website.

Follow our advice below to keep your vehicle, tools, and livelihood safe from thieves.

1. Always lock it

Fuelling up or popping back into your house to get something are perfect examples of how easy it is to turn your back for a moment and forget your vehicle is unsecured. So get into the habit of locking your vehicle even if you’re only going to be away from it for a moment.

2. If you use tools for your work, do not leave them in your vehicle/van overnight, take them indoors. 

Vans are often targeted by thieves for the tools stored inside. If you have to leave tools in a van overnight, it's a good idea to mark them clearly with your name / company name and address using paint pens and seal with a clear lacquer spray. Alternatively, you can use a variety of other property marking systems. Items that are clearly marked are less desirable and more difficult to sell on.

Consider using a lockable cabinet within your van to store tools – a number of security rated products are available. Small cameras are also designed to record inside vehicles. 

You can also take photographs of items of value, make a note of the serial numbers and consider registering them online at a property register site like Immobilise.

3. Close windows and the sun roof to prevent ‘fishing’
Leaving windows and the sunroof open invites fishing for items through the gap by hand or with, say, a bent coat hanger, which could also be used to unlock a door for them to get in. Thieves can be ingenious. Don’t give them the opportunity.

4. Secure your number plates with tamper-resistant screws
The easiest way to change the identity of a stolen vehicle or avoid speeding tickets and parking tickets is to fit stolen number plates. Using security screws to attach your vehicle’s number plates makes it harder for thieves to get your number.

5. Fit locking, anti-tamper wheel nuts to secure alloy wheels
Stolen wheels are valuable, either as parts or for their scrap value. Using locking wheel nuts reduces the risk of your vehicle’s wheels being stolen. 

6. Secure anything that’s on the outside of your vehicle
Anything left on roof-racks, tailgate racks, holiday top boxes or in tool chests are easily stolen when the vehicle is parked. The use of cable locks, padlocks and self-locking tools chests, which are secured to the vehicle, makes them more secure, but still, don’t leave things in them if you can avoid it. 

7. Take it with you or hide it
Your mobile phone, coins for the car park, sunglasses, packs of medication or other items that can earn quick cash are irresistible to the opportunist thief. Remember, the cost of replacing a window is often much more than that of what’s stolen. And it should go without saying that wallets, handbags, purses and credit cards should never be left in an unattended vehicle. 

8. Hide electrical items and leave no clues
Leaving sat nav mounts, suction cup marks on windows or cables on view gives it away that you have left a Sat Nav, smartphone or other device in your car. Even if they can’t see the Sat Nav or iPad they might still break in to see if it’s stored in the car, out of sight.

9. Park in well-lit and busier areas
It can take less than 30 seconds to break into a vehicle. Parking in well-lit areas and busy streets increases the chances of a thief being seen, so they’ll probably steer clear.

10. Take your documents with you
Having a vehicle’s registration and insurance documents could let a thief pretend to be the owner. Which means they could sell it on quite easily. So, never leave any documents in the vehicle.

11. Choose your car park wisely
If possible, always try to park in well-lit and staffed car parks or those with a Park Mark safer parking award. These can be found here.

Seaford Mayor’s Carol Service 2019

On Tuesday 10th December the Mayor of Seaford, Cllr Nazish Adil, hosted the Mayor’s Annual Carol Service. This year it was held in St Leonard’s Church in Seaford and was a ‘Celebration of Young People’.

The Service was led by the Mayor’s Chaplain, Rev’d Arwen Folkes. The Archway Youth Choir and Choirs from Seaford Primary, Annecy Catholic School, and Cradle Hill School also participated.

Invited dignitaries included the Deputy Lieutenant of East Sussex Lt Col Tony Feek and his wife Fran; Freemen of the Town Mr Laurie Holland, and Mr Keith Blackburn, the Mayor of Lewes Mr John Lamb and his wife Gaynor; Cllr Jim Sheppard, Chair of East Sussex County Council; the Head teachers of local schools, the Sea Cadets, Lewes Police District Inspectors, and Seaford Town Council Councillors.

The Mayor’s consort for the evening was Florence Vaks, a pupil from Seaford Primary who won the Mayor’s Christmas card competition.

There was a magical atmosphere as the children were led into the Church by ‘candlelight’ singing ‘Silent Night’. Poems were read by Chloe Tkaczuk a Cradle Hill Pupil, the Young Mayor of Seaford James Jenkins; and readings by Julia Hancock of the Youth Counselling Project and Jane Reeves of the Archway Choir.

On display were all the entries in the Mayor’s Christmas Card competition including the winner, and runners up Amelie Gadsdon from Seaford Primary and Ethan Howson from Annecy School.

There was a retiring collection at the end of the service for the Mayor’s Charities, the Down Syndrome Development Trust and The Youth Counselling Project.

Operation Crackdown 2019 round up

As the year draws to an end, we'd just like to say thanks for the help you give us in keeping the roads of Sussex safe. 

In 2019, 66,438 reports of anti-social driving were made to Operation Crackdown, our dedicated response in partnership with Sussex Safer Roads Partnership tackling careless and dangerous driving. Your eyes and dash cam footage plays a big part in this.

Of the 66,438 reports received across Sussex, 55,354 letters have been issued to registered owners of the vehicles reported.

The main aim of Op Crackdown is to educate drivers, and remind them of the rules of the road; a conviction as a result of a report will only be made depending on numerous factors.  

In 2019 in addition to 55,354 warning letters sent, 390 reports were dealt by local intervention, and a further 191 resulting in a prosecution.

If you see anti-social driving, and it's not an emergency, please continue to report it via the Operation Crackdown website.

New site for free counter terrorism awareness training

An award-winning counter terrorism training course is being made available to the public across the country for the first time and Sussex Police want you to sign up and help protect the UK.

Devised by Counter-Terrorist officers and security experts, the ACT Awareness eLearning package was previously only available to staff working in crowded places like shopping centres and entertainment venues.

Now Counter Terrorism Policing has decided to open up the training to anyone who wants to become a CT Citizen so they can learn how to spot the signs of suspicious behaviour and understand what to do in the event of a major incident.

The programme was originally devised in partnership with retail giant Marks and Spencer - and participants needed to be signed up by their employers.

Now the online learning is available free of charge to anyone who wants to take part.

The decision to offer the training to the public was not made in response to the recent attack in London. However, the tragic events which took place just 10 days ago, when two people lost their lives to terrorism, were a stark reminder of the ongoing threat and the need for vigilance.

“ACT Awareness eLearning is especially useful for anyone working in or regularly visiting crowded places,” says Dave Miller, Head of Operations Command for Surrey and Sussex Police.

“Each stage was developed alongside industry experts and to date over one-and-a-half million modules have been completed.

“The course has been so popular, with nine out of 10 users saying they would recommend it, so we want to open it up to as many people as possible.

“The threat level remains at Substantial – meaning an attack is likely - so giving everyone the chance to be extra eyes and ears for police and local security teams helps to keep all communities across Surrey and Sussex safe.

“The festive period is obviously a very busy one – so this is a particularly good time to join up and become a CT Citizen.”

ACT Awareness is made up of seven modules that take a few minutes each to complete. You can pause and re-join at any time. In total it takes just 45 minutes – so less than an hour of your time could help to prevent an attack or help save lives if one were to happen.

The course is hosted by online training specialists Highfield. To register and start learning, click here.

Crime Summary

An attempted burglary occurred in the morning of the 12th December at a property off Cissbury Crescent, Saltdean, whereby suspect(s) have caused damage to a front door handle in an attempt to gain entry. (292 of 12/12 relates)

Alarms were triggered at a business address in Newhaven Square, Newhaven late evening on the 14th December. Suspect(s) have caused damage, and smashed windows to the side of the property to gain entry. (747 of 14/12 relates)

Late afternoon on the 15th December, a school address off Gundreda Road, Lewes reported having electrical items, including computer equipment stolen when suspect(s) have broken into buildings on school grounds. Damage was caused and windows were also smashed to gain entry. (235 of 15/12 relates)

A commercial property of Heighton Street, Firle, reported overnight on the 15-16th December having their site entered, and various electrical items stolen from storage areas. (1201 of 16/12 relates)

Tools were targeted at a commercial property off Downs Villas, South Heighton overnight on the 16-17th December. Suspect(s) have forced entry to the site, and removed padlocks to gates, potential CCTV on site may assist tracing the suspect(s). (0336 of 17/12 relates)

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:

Are your tickets the real deal?

With EURO2020 tickets available via public ballot until 18 December 2019, we're warning football fans to be wary of people selling fake or non-existent tickets via online marketplaces.

Buy from the official UEFAEURO website to avoid losing out here. ​​​​​

Buying concert tickets for Christmas?

If you’re buying tickets this holiday season, only buy tickets from official outlets, such as the venue’s box office, the official promoter, or a well-known and reputable ticket exchange site.
If in doubt, check via a verified ticket seller, such as Ticket Master or the artist’s official website.

Protect yourself from cybercrime and fraud

With more and more of us using the internet on computers, tablets and phones, there also becomes more opportunities for fraudsters and scammers to steal our personal details and our money.

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

You can also visit our website at 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 for more information.

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You can find your local PCSO by entering your postcode at

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