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23 January 2020

News and appeals

Sussex Police secure first stalking protection order in the country

Sussex leading the way in protection from stalking.
The first Stalking Protection Order (SPO), believed to be the first in the country, was obtained by Sussex Police at Brighton Magistrates' Court on Monday (20 January) in respect of a 22-year-old man from Lancing, just hours after the new Stalking Protection Act came into effect
It relates to his alleged online stalking of a woman in her early 20s, who does not come from Sussex. She lives elsewhere in the UK.
The man was present in court and did not contest the application, which was granted and prohibits him from: contacting the woman directly or indirectly, by whatever means; sharing or posting any photograph of her on the internet, social media or in any public place; sharing or posting any photograph of her to any other individual;
The Order will last indefinitely.
Meanwhile a criminal investigation is ongoing into this case. The man has not been charged with any criminal offence at this stage.
See details of the new law and of Sussex Police plans to use it here.

Man jailed for making bomb hoax call to delay own flight

A man who reported a bomb hoax in an attempt to delay the flight he was running late for has been jailed.
Police received an anonymous call on 4 May from a man who told the call handler: "easyJet flight 8897 leaves in 40 minutes… There may be a bomb on the plane, you need to delay it, you need to stop it now."
As a result of the call, all passengers for the 5.40pm Gatwick to Marrakech flight were held in the gate room and the crew were evacuated from the aircraft.
During this time, a man turned up late for check-in, and enquiries revealed the mobile number used to make the hoax call was the same number owned by this man.
Officers attended and the suspect was identified as Rashidul Islam, 32, a designer, of Ivy Road, London. He was arrested in the North Terminal on suspicion of making a bomb hoax and taken into custody.
In police interview, Islam fully admitted the offence. He claimed he intended to travel to Marrakech to meet with his fiancée, however he had problems on public transport which caused him to be late for his flight.
In a desperate attempt to delay it, he called 999 to say he had information there was a bomb on the plane.
Islam pleaded guilty to the offence and at Lewes Crown Court on 17 January he was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment. He has also been banned from Gatwick Airport. 
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Stephen Trott, said: “While the defendant expressed remorse, there is no excuse for his actions that day and he has been sentenced accordingly.
“Making a false report of a bomb on a plane not only causes significant costs and delays to the airport and its passengers; it also strikes fear into the community.
“We treat all reports of this nature extremely seriously, and anyone caught committing such an offence will be dealt with robustly.
“We work closely with Gatwick Airport and its airlines to ensure people are kept as safe as possible, and we will not tolerate anyone who compromises this.”
Following Islam’s arrest, all luggage was re-screened and the passengers were re-checked through security, and the flight eventually departed at 8.54pm – more than three hours later than scheduled.

Police arrest man within minutes of Crawley armed robbery

Police officers were on scene within minutes after a report that a man had entered Corals betting shop in Gales Drive, Crawley, on Thursday evening (16 January) and threatened staff with a hatchet while demanding cash from the safe. 
The man was quickly apprehended and some £200 secured before he was able to leave the premises. 
Joseph Ronald Cocks, 29, unemployed, of Shoreham Road, Maidenbower, Crawley, was arrested on suspicion of robbery and charged with the offence. He is due to appear before local magistrates this morning.

Keep your money safe Surrey and Sussex Police Fraud Newsletter January 2020

Each month we see many incidents of fraudsters targeting our residents in an attempt to defraud them. We’re working hard to prevent this and support vulnerable victims of fraud or scams. By following our tips and encouraging family, friends and colleagues to do so too, you can reduce the risk of becoming a victim. Detective Chief Inspector Andy Richardson, Surrey & Sussex Police Economic Crime Unit.
Amazon Echo and mobile phone scams
A 75 year old woman from East Sussex was setting up her Amazon Echo device on her laptop when a pop up chat appeared on her screen. The woman began speaking with a man on the live chat. After asking for her address and Amazon password, the man instructed her to type a sequence of keys on her computer which gained him access to the device. Thankfully due to being unable to understand the man and frustration with his instructions the woman ended the chat before doing anything more.
For latest scam news and prevention advice see our Fraud Newsletter 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, 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


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Anna Habdas (Police, Prevention Support and Engagement Officer, Sussex)

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