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Wealden District Police Weekly News and Alerts
Alert message sent 01/05/2020 13:01:00
Information sent on behalf of Sussex Police
Friday 1st May 2020
News and Alerts Wealden District
Three men have been arrested as police continue disrupt crime in rural Wealden.
Police received a report of a blue Ford Focus acting suspiciously near a house in Royal Oak Lane, High Hurstwood, on the afternoon of Thursday 23 April.
Officers followed up the report and spotted three men crawling along a hedgerow close to the premises.
After running back to their vehicle, the suspects were blocked off and detained. A search of the car revealed items including a crowbar, a tow rope, a wrench and pairs of gloves.
Enquiries later revealed an outbuilding at the property had been broken into, however it is currently unknown if any items were stolen.
Three men from the Wealden area, aged 18, 29 and 30, were arrested on suspicion of burglary and going equipped for burglary. Each has been interviewed and released under investigation, pending further enquiries.
Detective Inspector Daniel Dugan said: “We continue to work closely with our communities in rural areas to keep the public safe, and to prevent and detect crime.
“Working together, we can increase vigilance and awareness, and act upon any intelligence we may receive. If you see anyone or anything suspicious in your area, please report it to us.”
Police warning after distraction burglary in Hailsham
Police are warning the public to be vigilant after an elderly woman became the victim of a distraction burglary in Hailsham.
On Monday, 20 April, the 86-year-old victim – who is vulnerable and lives alone - was approached by a man who came to the house and claimed he had completed gardening works there.
The victim gave the suspect cash for the works – which had not been done – and after he left she noticed her house keys and car keys were missing.
The suspect is described as a tall white man, who appeared to be in his late 20s, was of a slim build with short brown hair.
Officers are urging the local community to be vigilant to prevent any further incidents occurring.
Detective Constable Paul Kelly said: “This distraction burglary has caused significant distress to the victim and her family.
“While this is a rare and isolated incident I cannot stress enough to please be vigilant in your local area. Do check up on your elderly neighbours from time to time and keep your eyes peeled for anything unusual happening.
“If something doesn’t look right or looks out of place please report it to police.”
Anyone with information is asked to report online or call 101, quoting serial 1395 of 20/04 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Police stepping up patrols in rural areas of Wealden
Sussex Police has been stepping up patrols in rural areas of Wealden in a bid to disrupt crime.
Officers have stopped numerous vehicles as part of an initiative to identify criminals targeting farms, rural dwellings, sheds and garages.
Some of the vehicles stopped belong to farmers checking on their outbuildings, and other members of the community, many of whom have expressed their appreciation for the proactive steps police are taking.
Detective Chief Inspector Alasdair Henry, district commander for Wealden, said: "If criminals think the police have reduced capability to tackle crime because of the current pandemic, they are mistaken.
"On the contrary, we are putting an increasing number of resources and focus on preventing and detecting crimes such as theft, burglary and drug dealing.
"The public are reporting suspicious activity in ever greater numbers, no doubt due to heightened sensitivity about anyone being out and about without just cause.
"It is therefore hopefully a source of reassurance when they encounter one of the proactive police patrols in their area.
"This community intelligence, along with our increased patrol activity, is really helping to build the picture of rural crime, and will undoubtedly lead to arrests."
In honour of every doctor, nurse, carer and key worker who has died in the fight against Covid-19, at 11am on Wednesday 28th we paused for a minute of silence and reflection.
Our gratitude for your selflessness and sacrifice has no bounds.
In respect to those that cannot be here today to tell you in their own words, please stay at home and help save lives.
We would like to take the opportunity to say thank you for Staying at Home, Protecting the NHS and Saving Lives these past few weeks.
We all know it’s frustrating when you see or hear of others who aren’t doing their bit, and we all know everyone is getting irritable and wound up.
We all know this is not easy, for anyone, but know it is not forever, and just how important it is for everyone to continue to follow the guidance issued.
You can report potential breaches of Covid19 measures to us online here.
Officers arrest Hailsham man on suspicion of drugs offence
Police in Hailsham have arrested a man on suspicion of possessing cannabis with intent to supply to others.
Officers made the arrest shortly after 2pm on Thursday (April 23). A quantity of cannabis was also seized by police.
The 20-year-old local man was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of a Class B drug and was interviewed at Eastbourne Custody Centre. He was released under investigation pending further enquiries.
Wealden Police Inspector Jon Gross said: "This arrest is another example of our commitment to reducing the harm of drugs within our communities.
"I am sure our enforcement activity will have been noticed by the local community and that this will have been welcomed by those living in the area."
Wealden Police Teams continue to be humbled by your well wishes
We would like to take the opportunity to thank each and every one of you in
our communities who have stopped us on their daily exercise to brighten up our day with well wishes, also to those who have written in to the Police stations, or helped to donate various items to key workers, as well as vulnerable members of our community – thank you all for your kind messages of support and well wishes during these difficult times.
This week the team were most humbled to receive anonymous packed lunches to fuel them for the day, as well as a delivery of Rainbow ribbons from Connor in Hailsham, a lovely young man who has been making them for keys workers in his spare time – a big thank you to you all.
As we head into the weekend, the safety and welfare of local communities continues to remain our top priority during the current climate.
We would like to reassure our communities, that there are no crime types that we would no longer respond to and we will not stop arresting people – you should continue to call 999 in an emergency where a crime is in progress or there is a threat to life. If your call is not urgent and can be reported through our website, we ask you to do so in order to release the pressure on our emergency lines and resources - our online services offer you the option to self-report, which will be then be prioritised and actioned.
Each contact to the police for help will be risk assessed. Priority of response will be given to maintaining public order, situations of violence or where life is in danger and where a very vulnerable person is involved. Please do not call police to report cases of COVID-19
Sussex’s Deputy Chief Constable has described an increase in assaults on police officers and other emergency workers during the coronavirus pandemic as ‘sickening’
The comments from Jo Shiner come as news that Sussex Police has recorded a 39% increase against officers. PCSOs and other emergency workers in April compared to the same period last year – with an increasing number linked to Covid-19.
In all, 169 offences were recorded against frontline officers and staff* in the first four weeks of the lock down. These included officers being punched, kicked, bitten, spat and coughed on and threats to infect the officers and their families.
Last weekend, eight police officers and a PCSO across Sussex reported assaults including:
A man from Brighton who said he had Covid-19 and coughed in the officers face when he was arrested for possession of cocaine.
An officer who was bitten on the finger by a man fined for being out under Covid-19 legislation in Littlehampton.
In two other incidents in Brighton officers were kicked, grabbed, spat at and racially abused.
Deputy Chief Constable Jo Shiner said: “It is absolutely sickening that police officers, staff and other emergency workers, putting themselves in harm’s way every day to help others, are being faced with violence and the threat of contamination.
“I have spoken to a number of injured officers over the past month and know how traumatising this is, both for the officers and their families, worried about the consequences.
“I have no doubt the vast majority of people will be equally appalled and agree that anyone putting public service workers in harms way during this crisis, or indeed at any time, deserve the harshest of sentences.”
In Sussex, 122 assaults against police officers were recorded between 23 March and 28 April, an increase of 58% compared with the same period last year.
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “I’m appalled that the women and men on the frontline of this crisis are being threatened with the virus that they are working so hard every day to protect us against.
“Let me be clear, coughing or spitting at an emergency worker and claiming to have Covid-19 will not be treated as some sort of practical joke. It is a crime and you will face harsh consequences.
“Whilst most people are behaving responsibly to help our emergency services, a few individuals are continuing to act selfishly. In many ways this pandemic has already brought out the very best in our communities but where it brings out the worst, offenders will be swiftly brought to justice.”
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced that such behaviour could constitute common assault, and attacks on emergency workers specifically were punishable by up to two years in prison.
A shed at a property on New Road, Hellingly was broken into in the small hours of the 27th April. Residents have awoken to find the locks on the shed tampered with, fortunately nothing was stolen. (379 of 27/04 relates)
A number of garages off Milland Road, Hailsham were broken into between the 27-28th April. Unknown suspects have forced entry into residents’ garages. Local prevention teams are compiling reports, if you too have been affected please report it to us. (1082 of 28/04 relates)
An attempted burglary occurred overnight on the 29-30th April at a property off Blossom Walk, Hailsham. Homeowners have noticed their rear door frame was damaged whereby someone has attempted to force entry. (674 of 30/04 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
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 www.crimestoppers-uk.org
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.
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