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Lewes District Police Weekly News and Alerts

Alert message sent 31/01/2020 12:03:00

Information sent on behalf of Sussex Police


Friday 31st January 2020

News and Alerts



Cyclist suffers serious injuries in Glynde collision

Police are appealing for witnesses to an incident in Glynde, near Lewes, at around midday on Sunday (26 January) which left a 73-year-old woman cyclist with serious head injuries.

The woman, from Lewes, was in collision with a silver Range Rover Vogue on the C113 The Street, near its junction with Ranscombe Lane, Glynde.
 
She was flown to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, by the Kent, Surrey and Sussex air ambulance and is currently in a serious but stable condition.
 
The Range Rover, which also collided with a parked and unattended BMW car,  was driven by a 39-year-old man from Peacehaven, who was treated for shock.

Anyone who saw what happened or who may have dash cam footage is asked to contact Sussex Police online or by phoning 101, quoting Operation Little.




Romance Fraud Awareness

Fraudsters have been targetting vulnerable and elderly residents ahead of Valentines Day, with a few reported cases these past few weeks.

Romance fraudsters often join online chats, or group forums targetted at our older communities. Unlike other fraudsters they do not initially ask the victims for money; instead they spend time communicating with them online and building trust with their victim before asking for money.

By the time they ask for large sums of money, the reasons for requiring financial assistance have a greater plausibility; this is known as the ‘grooming period’.

Romance fraud is one of the fastest growing crime types affecting the vulnerable, so much so that in Sussex all victims of romance fraud are treated as vulnerable by crime type.

Look out for the signs yourself, or signs that loved ones around you could be falling victim to a romance fraud by following our DATES guide designed to help keep you and your loved ones safe from romance fraud scammers.

Don’t rush into an online relationship – get to know the person, not the profile: ask plenty of questions, don’t worry about revisiting questions later on to double check their story.

Analyse their profile – confirm the person's identity. Check the person is genuine by putting their name, profile pictures or any repeatedly-used phrases and the term ‘dating scam’ into your search engine.

Talk to your friends and family – Don’t be embarrassed to speak to those closest to you, and always be wary of anyone online who tells you not to tell other people about them.

Evade scams - never send money or share your bank details with someone you’ve only met online, no matter what reason they give or how long you've been speaking to them, the grooming period may last a while before the fraudster will ask for money. Often it will be they are in hospital and need help, or live abroad and need the money to come over and be with you.

Stay on the dating site messenger service – these are often secure chat rooms - don't use email, phone, social media or other messaging apps until you’re confident the person is who they say they are. If you plan to meet someone from a dating website, or forum, always tell someone and have someone go with you.



More signs to spot:

Be wary of giving out personal information on a website or chatroom. Fraudsters will quickly contact you, often showing you glamorous photos of themselves and gaining your trust.

A fraudster will make conversation more personal to get information out of you, but won’t tell you much about themselves that you can check or verify.

Romance fraudsters often claim to have high ranking roles that keep them away from home for a long time. This could be a ploy to deter your suspicions around not meeting in person.

Fraudsters will usually attempt to steer you away from chatting on a legitimate dating site that can be monitored. Stay on the platform that you started using initially, rather than switching to email, text or phone.

A fraudster may tell stories to target your emotions and get you to give them money. They may claim they have an ill relative or are stranded in a country they don’t want to be in. They may not ask you directly for money, hoping instead that you’ll offer it out of the goodness of your heart. Do not do this.

Sometimes the fraudsters will send the victim valuable items such as laptops, computers and mobile phones, asking them to resend them elsewhere. They will invent a reason as to why they need the goods sent, but this may just be a way for them to cover up their criminal activity.  Alternatively they may ask a victim to buy the goods themselves and send them elsewhere.

Often, they will ask victims to accept money into their bank account and then transfer it to someone else using bank accounts, MoneyGram, Western Union, iTunes vouchers or other gift cards. These scenarios are very likely to be forms of money laundering and you could be committing a criminal offence.

If you, or someone you know is vulnerable to Romance fraud please report it online or call us on 101. Alternatively, you can report suspicions of Romance fraud anonymously to Scamalytics here.




Last weekend’s Operation Blitz

Last weekend’s Operation Blitz was covered by PC Hall, PCSOs Horscroft and Willson.

Saturday 25th January, the team set off for the coast shortly after 1600, following a continued high level of anti-social behaviour in areas of Newhaven and Seaford.

First stop being the Salts Recreational Grounds, Seaford. Officers parked up and took to foot to give patrol to the ground for the first part of their Blitz shift. A small number of teens were out in the park, but not causing any issues. The team stopped and chatted to them for a while about anything they have seen in the park, and took the time to gather intel on some of the more well-known groups who tend to cause issues in the area.

From the Salts, the team continued on through Seaford, making stops at both Splashpoint, and The Downs Leisure Centre; both areas which have been reported to Lewes Prevention during the week. With reports of groups congregating, smoking and generally causing a nuisance to users of the facilities. Fortunately this evening no such groups were seen, and no reports of any issues were reported to the Blitz mobile.



The team had been tasked to continue patrols through Seaford high street, and had been on the lookout for a known male who has been causing issues in the town. He was later caught up with that evening, and spent the evening in custody, freeing up the team to continue tackling hotspot areas and giving a high visibility patrol to the town.

From Seaford, the Blitz team then headed to Newhaven following a call to The Drove area of town to groups of teens causing issues. The team later caught up with a couple of the teens following descriptions given, although not causing an issue when caught up with, they were giving warning to leave the area and go home or face further action. No further calls were received to the area during the cause of the evening.

After a few more hours spent offering reassurance and a Police presence out on the streets of our coastal towns, the team headed back into Lewes. On their way back they spotted a broken down motor vehicle on the Peacehaven road, the team stopped to offer assistance in controlling traffic until a recovery vehicle arrived.



It was late by the time the team arrived back in Lewes, and they headed to Tesco for some refreshments, and to check in with security staff at the store following recent issues with groups of teens refusing to leave the store when asked, and being a general nuisance to customers and staff. A small group of teens were reported by a member of the public hanging around under the bridge by the Doctors Surgery, the team took to foot under the bridge but the group had run off, the area was checked and no evidence of underage drinking or smoking was found.

Following this the Blitz team continued a drive through of Lewes town centre, stopping in at known hotspot areas, all of which were quiet with nothing to report. The team also visited Neville and Landport during their patrols, dropping into to speak to residents who have reported ASB in the last week with any updates, before heading back to Lewes Police Station to sign off shortly after 2200 hours.




Tactical Enforcement Unit – In Action

A proactive police unit is helping to make Sussex a “hostile environment” for dangerous and persistent criminals targeting the county.

The Tactical Enforcement Unit is 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, is carrying out targeted disruption, enforcement and patrol activities wherever it is most needed. It enhances the work of local policing teams across the force using intelligence provided by community to disrupt the criminal activities of those causing most harm.


As well as already having successes in Seaford earlier this year, it carried out a successful early warrant at an address in Eastbourne on Thursday (30 January). Just after 6am striking the front door and arresting a wanted man who had evaded capture for nearly a year after failing to appear at court in February 2019.


 
The 47-year-old had been charged in connection with a stabbing in Sorrel Drive, Eastbourne in 2018 before disappearing. He is now in custody.
 
Inspector Dan Hiles who leads the unit said: "The unit is designed to target the capture of some of Sussex’s most dangerous criminals and disrupt serious organised crime.

“There is no officer who enjoys the idea of a criminal evading justice. This unit has been set up to target exactly those people.

"The team were supported by a number of extra officers today to make sure we could safely arrest the suspect and bring him to justice.

“We knew he posed a significant risk to officers as he had previously knocked an officer unconscious.”
 
Since being launched last month, the team has made dozens of arrests, seized illegal drugs, weapons, cash and helped to safeguard vulnerable people and those at risk of exploitation.

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, from July this year.  

Watch the team in action here.

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 is 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.

“They respond to where the public need them most, providing reassurance and disruption across our communities. This unit takes our most prolific criminals off the streets, which makes our neighbourhoods safer."




Crime Summary

Late evening on the 22nd January, a warehouse off Broad Street recorded a white male, wearing a cap, Adidas jacket and black trousers trying door handles of the property. No entry was gained. (1374 of 22/01 relates)

Overnight on the 22-23 January, a community building on Landport Road, Lewes had an attempted burglary whereby unknown suspect(s) have caused damaged to a lock on a metal gate in an attempt to enter. No entry was made. (0985 of 23/01 relates)

During the week, a garage off Sutton Avenue, Peacehaven was found to have significant damage to the door and frame caused, where an attempt burglary has occurred. Fortunately no entry was gained. (0737 of 24/01 relates)

In the small hours of the 25th January, a vehicle parked on Queens Road, Lewes, had their rear windscreen smashed. Nothing was stolen from inside the car, and nothing left behind by the suspect(s) 0345 of 26/01 relates)

Cash from a vehicle was targeted overnight on the 29-30th January, when unknown suspect(s) have smashed a car window taking coins within from inside at a property off East End Lane, Ditchling. (433 of 30/01 relates)

There have been no further reported residential burglaries on the Lewes district.

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:

Take five

Criminals are experts at impersonation, if you aren’t expecting someone at your door, or receive a call from someone you aren’t expecting, take five to reflect on the situation if it is unexpected.

It’s ok to refuse or ignore requests for personal information, or to make people wait before speaking to them to give you time to check your own bank statements for example; if someone is genuine they are more likely to understand and give you time to do this.

Take five to reflect and take a moment to step back from the situation, even if they say they’re the bank or other trusted organisation, still take the time to stop and think about what’s really going on, follow our guide here.


Action Fraud’s top ten tips

Although fraud and cybercrime comes in many forms, there are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself.

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

You can also visit our website at www.sussex.police.uk 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 www.askthe.police.uk/ for more information.




Your local teams

You can find your local PCSO by entering your postcode at www.police.uk

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