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Wealden District Police Weekly News and Alerts

Alert message sent 26/03/2020 11:47:00

Information sent on behalf of Sussex Police

Thursday 26th March 2020

News and Alerts

Wealden sees a drop in burglaries this week

With continuing patrols across various locations on the district, officers have seen a reduction in reported burglaries over the last week.

Only 3 burglaries this week have been reported on the district. Whilst this is a positive sign; with more people being at home during the current corona pandemic, now is a great time to review your home security:
  • Give you house a good going over, do all your windows and doors lock securely? Check them from the outside, could you get in?
  • Look out for neighbours, and if you see people on their property that you do not recognise, report it to us!
  • Consider texting/emailing neighbours, or residents in your property, share contact numbers with each other and check in with each other - reporting suspicious activities between you so everyone is aware
  • Keep valuables out of sight, take your car keys, laptops up to bed with you, or make sure they are out of sight
Visit our website for the latest advice around keeping you and your property safe.

Sussex Police are still searching for two missing teenagers with links to Hailsham and Eastbourne.

Karla Pettit and Terry Cash Bailey are believed to be missing together and were last seen in the Eastbourne area around 4pm on Friday (20 March).

Karla, 15, is of slim to medium build, 5’ 5” in height and with long black hair often worn in a ponytail. She was last seen wearing a pullover coat, jeans and white Nike Air Force trainers.

Terry, 16, is of medium build, 5’ 8” in height and with short brown hair. He was last seen wearing a black coat, a grey hooded top, a white t-shirt, brown trousers, red Nike trainers and carrying a red and grey speckled bag.

The pair have links to Eastbourne, in particular the Hampden park area, Brighton and Hailsham and they could be travelling by train.

If you see either Karla or Terry please get in contact with us either online or call 101 quoting 1482 of 20/03.

National Warning around Corona Virus Fraud

Police are reminding Sussex residents to stay on the alert as reports come in from elsewhere across the country of frauds or attempts related to the current Covid-19 coronavirus issue.

Only one report has so far been made to Sussex Police, of a suspicious phone call that went no further thanks to the alertness of the resident, but nationally there have been more than 100 reports to Action Fraud since the start of February, with total losses reaching nearly £970,000.

The majority of reports are related to online shopping scams where people have ordered protective face masks, hand sanitiser and other products, which have never arrived.

Other frauds being reported include ticket fraud, romance fraud, charity fraud and lender loan fraud.

There have also been over 200 reports of coronavirus-themed 'phishing' emails. These attempt to trick people into opening malicious attachments which could lead to fraudsters stealing people’s personal information, email logins and passwords, and banking details.

Some of the tactics being used in phishing emails include:

• Fraudsters purporting to be from a research group that mimics the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organisation (WHO). They claim to provide the victim with a list of active infections in their area, but to access this information the victim needs to either click on a link which redirects them to a credential-stealing page or make a donation of support in the form of a payment into a Bitcoin account

• Fraudsters providing articles about the virus outbreak with a link to a fake company website where victims are encouraged to click to subscribe to a daily newsletter for further updates

• Fraudsters sending investment scheme and trading advice encouraging people to take advantage of the coronavirus downturn

• Fraudsters purporting to be from HMRC offering a tax refund and directing victims to a fake website to harvest their personal and financial details. The emails often display the HMRC logo making it look reasonably genuine and convincing

Superintendent Sanjay Andersen, head of the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, said: “Fraudsters will use any opportunity they can to take money from innocent people. This includes exploiting tragedies and global emergencies.

“The majority of scams we are seeing across the country relate to the online sale of protective items, and items that are in short supply across the country, due to the Covid-19 outbreak. We’re advising people not to panic and to think about the purchase they are making. When you’re online shopping it’s important to do your research and look at reviews of the site you are buying from.”

PC Bernadette Lawrie, Surrey and Sussex financial abuse safeguarding officer, said: "The advice is simple, think very carefully before you hand over your money or bankcard and don’t give out your personal details unless you are sure who you are dealing with.

"To date we have only seen one report in Sussex, involving an elderly vulnerable lady in Chichester who was phoned by someone impersonating a doctor and advising her that he had her personal details and that she had contracted the coronavirus. She hadn't. The motive was not established, but it was clearly suspicious. No money was lost and officers visited her to give reassurance and guidance on how to remain safe.

“We are working together across law enforcement, government and the private sector to combat this criminal activity and protect the public. If you think you have been a victim you can report to Action Fraud, but if you are elderly or vulnerable report directly to Sussex Police on 101 or online.

You can protect yourself by:

- watching out for scam messages - don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails and never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details

- when shopping online, if you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, and ask a friend or family member for advice before completing the purchase. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one as most major credit card providers insure online purchases

- protecting your devices from the latest threats - always install the latest software and app updates to protect your devices from the latest threats.

The National Cyber security Centre offers advice on looking after your devices.

Sussex Police's Operation Signature offers further information on how to keep yourself safe from unwanted callers and other approaches.

The NHS and Public Health England websites offer the latest health information and advice about Covid-19.

Crime Summary

A shed was broken into at a property on Victoria Road, Polegate overnight on the 20th March. Unknown suspects have smashed off padlocks to gain entry. Bicycles were targeted. (317 of 21/03 relates)

A farm property off Lewes Road, Uckfield reported a quad bike and various tools stolen from the property overnight on the 20th March. Unknown suspects have gained access to the property and gained entry to storage containers. (1231 of 21/03 relates)

Personal items, including jewellery were targeted at a property off Harebeating Crescent, Hailsham around 8am on the 24th March. Unknown suspects have entered via a front door and conducted a search of the property. (0231 of 24/03 relates)

There have been no further reports of burglaries on the Wealden 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:

Working from home? How to make sure you or your organisation are prepared for an increase in home working, and advice on spotting coronavirus (COVID-19) scam emails from NCSC here.

Action Fraud’s top tips

Cybercrime - How to stay secure online

Fraud and cybercrime are the most common criminal offences in the UK. Analysis of Action Fraud reports showed that 86% of frauds had a cyber element to them. As the threat from cyber crime continues to grow and evolve, it’s important to remember one thing - most of it can be prevented. By following just a few quick and simple steps, you can make it harder for cyber criminals to get into your devices and online accounts

Safeguard yourself and others here

Action Fraud’s top 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, 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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Eastbourne, Lewes and Wealden team (Police, Prevention team, Sussex)

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