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Horsham Weekly Bulletin
Alert message sent 05/05/2020 11:01:00
Information sent on behalf of Sussex Police
Tuesday 5th May 2020
Crime summary Burglary other than Dwelling
Reference: 0301 28th April
Location: Broomfield Road, Henfield
Date and time: Between 2100hrs 27th April and 0900hrs 28th April
Details: An insecure shed was entered and a power tool was stolen.
Reference: 0318 28th April
Location: Sandy Lane, Henfield
Date and time: Between 2300hrs 27th April and 0600hrs 28th April
Details: A garage door was forced and power tools were stolen.
News and appeals Police tackle crime as they keep people safe during lockdown
With the announcement of 348 fines having been issued across the county for breaches of new public health regulations, Sussex Police confirms enforcement is the absolute last resort.
Deputy Chief Constable Jo Shiner said: “We empathise with the public and understand how difficult it is at this time. We will continue our policing approach of engaging, explaining and encouraging and only then as an absolute last resort we will enforce. We do not want to criminalise people who we know are under pressure unless we have to.
“Our enforcement in relation to some crimes has, if anything, ramped up. We are seeing significant impacts in relation to drugs offences, county lines, violence and we are having a visible policing presence in rural areas in relation to thefts and burglaries. We also continue to police our roads effectively, identifying people who are drink and drug driving, speeding and driving in an anti-social way.
999 and 101 call rates for the past month remain lower than the same period last year, at around 25% and 14% less respectively, but online reports have tripled driven by the public reporting breaches of the current measures.
Encouraging the reporting of domestic abuse and ensuring any victims can receive help and support during this period remains a policing priority.
DCC Shiner added: "In the past two weeks, we have started to see an upwards trend in domestic violence crimes following a dip and we expect this to rise further when lockdown measures are eased or modified.
“We have adapted to ensure we can support people at risk and find them a safe space. We will always pursue offenders.”
Some of the specific measures in place include:
Dedicated ‘domestic abuse’ cars across Sussex, responding to medium risk incidents. Emergency response officers will always respond quickly to high risk incidents.
A new specialist team able to deal with any non-urgent cases by appointment and this has included a new video appointment service where conversations can’t take place face to face.
The launch this week of domestic abuse awareness at local supermarkets, with high profile signage at entrances and take-away information, complementing an online campaign.
If you're a victim of domestic abuse, or know someone who is, and there's an emergency that's ongoing or life is in danger, call police on 999. If you can’t talk because the perpetrator is nearby, you can press the numbers ‘55’ into your mobile phone which will alert the operator of your circumstances.
The Sussex Safe Space website provides a directory of help and support available near you.
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Police warn of sextortion and webcam blackmail
Police are warning of sextortion and the dangers associated with interacting with someone you don’t know online after a vulnerable man in East Sussex was blackmailed via social media.
Sextortion is a form of blackmail where a perpetrator threatens to reveal intimate images of the victim online unless they give in to their demands. These demands are typically for money or further images.
Criminals might befriend victims online by using a fake identity and then persuade them to perform sexual acts in front of their webcam. Criminals will then threaten to share the images with the victim's friends and family. This can make victims feel embarrassed and ashamed, and prevent them from coming forward to report the incident.
On Tuesday, 21 April, police received report that a vulnerable man in his twenties in the Eastbourne area was contacted by a stranger on social media and they began talking.
The victim was asked to show intimate parts of his body on webcam during a video call, which he did when asked. He was then threatened and told that the video would be shared with his friends and family if he did not pay €75,000 (£65,550).
Thankfully the victim did not pay any money and contacted police. The matter is being investigated and the victim has been provided with support and fraud prevention advice.
Advice tips to stay safe from sextortion and webcam blackmail:
Do not share intimate videos online.
Do not get lured into compromising situations such as removing clothes or performing intimate acts online.
Always remember that what goes online may well stay online
Be wary about who you invite or accept invitations from on social networking sites. Do not accept friendship requests from complete strangers
Update the privacy settings on your social networking accounts so only people you know can view your account
Do not include any sensitive, private or confidential information in profiles
Quickly block nuisance and fraudulent users from further contact with you and also report them for abuse
If you become a victim of this type of scam, do not respond to the blackmailer's demands, but report the issue to the police and the relevant social networking site
If you think that you have been persuaded by anyone to part with payment details, contact your bank or card issuer immediately
Report crime to Sussex Police online or by calling 101.
For more information about Operation Signature, Sussex Police's campaign to identify and protect vulnerable victims of fraud see the Force website here.
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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.
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.
If you saw or heard anything, or have any information about any incident in this message please contact us online, email us at email@example.com 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
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