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Lewes District Police Weekly News and Alerts

Alert message sent 04/06/2020 12:02:00

Information sent on behalf of Sussex Police

Thursday 4th June 2020

Lewes District Police Weekly News and Alerts

New team launched to tackle countryside crime in Sussex

Sussex Police has launched a new rural crime team, whose overall aim is to crack down on unlawful behaviour in isolated communities.

This team, launched on Monday (June 1), has been made possible with the precept increase, as acquired by Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Katy Bourne at the start of this financial year. The new funding will allow for more enforcement and greater local policing presence, part of which is rural crime.

The team will have a specialist focus on agricultural, equine, wildlife and heritage issues and it has been brought together to serve the rural community, to increase confidence and encourage reporting through preventing crime and carrying out more proactive investigations.

Made up of two sergeants, eight constables and six police community support officers (PCSOs), the team will be operating out of bases at Midhurst and Heathfield.

The impact of rural crime has become more apparent in recent years and this is reflected with the implementation of the national Rural Affairs Strategy in 2018, from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).

Sussex Police’s own Rural Crime Strategy aims to make rural communities feel safer by building long-lasting partnerships, responding to the community’s needs and provide an effective policing service. In turn, this work aims to increase confidence in the police in our more isolated areas.

With 62% of Sussex’s area dedicated to farming and a significant proportion being in the South Downs National Park, Sussex is defined as ‘significantly rural’ by DEFRA (2011).

Recently, Sussex Police arrested three men near High Hurstwood, Wealden, on suspicion of burglary and going equipped for burglary. This is just one example of the force’s approach to disrupting rural crime in the county.

Chief Inspector Steve Biglands, Sussex Police’s Rural Crime lead, said: “We are keenly aware of the significant impact that these types of crimes have on our remote communities, and the implementation of this new team is designed to provide a direct link between those more isolated and the police. We want to encourage reporting of rural crimes, because with this insight, we are able to deploy the team to where they are most needed in order to protect the most vulnerable. We have a substantial number of rural residents and businesses in Sussex and they deserve our protection.”

Deputy Chief Constable Jo Shiner said: “It is so important to have a dedicated team for this area of policing, which quite often can go unnoticed. We want to reassure the residents of Sussex that we are here to disrupt rural crime, to catch those who think they can get away with it and to ensure our more isolated communities feel safe in their own homes.

“There have been cases recently of animal thefts, quad bike thefts and numerous other countryside offences. We understand how destructive these are to people’s livelihoods, and how damaging they can be emotionally to the victim. We want perpetrators of these crimes to know we are here to catch them: do not consider committing the crime because we will bring you to justice.

“Working closely with partners, we can draw on expertise and resources from all over the county; together, we can provide the service needed to prevent rural crime.”

Operation Blitz – Tackling ASB in your towns and villages

Operation Blitz is a designated ASB patrol, and an on-going drive, each Friday and Saturday night between 4pm-10pm in which officers from the Lewes district Prevention team take to the streets in areas which have seen an increase in ASB crimes, or youth related ASB, along with areas which have come to attention from your reports over the week.

From 4pm-10pm, you can call officers on a designated phone number should you witness or become victim of any ASB, or youth related ASB. The contact number for the Lewes areas (which covers all rural towns north of Lewes, right down through the coast including Peacehaven, Newhaven and Seaford) is: 07989 188960.

Outside of these times, please continue to report ASB to us on 101, or report online on the newly designed ASB reporting form here.

Whilst we continue to direct patrols to known areas of ASB to prevent further occurrences; no one knows your neighbourhood quite like you do - ASB in our district will not be tolerated, if you have any concerns within your local community around ASB, please report it to us by either calling 101, or visiting our website - alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at

Your reports help to form designated patrols across the district, and assist your local Prevention team in intervening early, to help prevent ASB and crime and disorder from occurring across your towns and villages.

Remember if an offence is occurring, or there is an immediate danger to you or those around you, always call 999.

Hundreds of offences detected in latest speed campaign

Police are reminding all road users to drive and ride responsibly, after more than 800 speeding offences were detected over the bank holiday weekend.

Officers were deployed across Surrey and Sussex to provide education and enforcement as part of the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s bi-annual speed campaign, and in response to community concerns.

This consisted of static checks and proactive patrols on main roads including the M23, as well as rural routes including parts of the A29 and A272 in West Sussex, and sections of the A259 in East Sussex.

Across the weekend, more than 600 speeding offences were detected in Sussex and approximately 285 in Surrey, resulting in fines, prosecution notices and words of advice.

Chief Inspector Michael Hodder, of the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: “It is clear from the feedback we’ve had from the community and on social media that our response to this national campaign has been well received. However, it’s also clear that a small minority of motorists continue to drive or ride in excess of the speed limit.

“This is not about targeting any vehicle type in particular; this is about educating all motorists and providing enforcement where necessary. The bottom line is if you don’t exceed the speed limit, then you have nothing to worry about.”

In addition to speed checks, officers also detected a number of other offences, such as drink-driving, driving without insurance or an MOT, driving with an illegal number plate and this insecure load in Winchelsea, which resulted in a £100 Fixed Penalty Notice:

These dedicated patrols were in addition to Surrey Police and Sussex Police’s ongoing commitment to tackling the fatal four offences – speeding, drink and drug-driving, mobile phone use and not wearing a seatbelt – 365 days a year.

The campaign is also run in conjunction with partners including Sussex Safer Roads Partnership and DriveSmart in Surrey.

Chief Insp Hodder added: “We work closely with our Community Speedwatch volunteers to identify areas of concern and to address them accordingly. This may involve educational messaging, site speed checks and proactive policing enforcement.

“While the vast majority of road users drive safe and responsibly, there are a small number of people who wrongly assume they can use our roads to commit offences. In doing so, they are risking the lives of themselves and other road users.

“It only takes a momentary lapse in concentration or an unforeseen hazard to cause a collision. Once you add excess speed into the equation, these risks are greatly increased. Speed kills, it’s as simple as that.”

Last year in Sussex, a total of 1,393 speed-related collisions were recorded – the highest number in the county since 2009. Of these, 315 resulted in serious injuries and 18 in fatalities.

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne commented: “Sussex residents are still telling me that road safety is one of their top local priorities, especially since lockdown has led to some road users ignoring safe speed limits.

“The recent rise in local council tax supported by residents has enabled Sussex Police to invest more money into the roads policing unit over the last year. I’m pleased to see that the team continues to take swift, proactive action to reduce the number of collisions and fatalities on our roads during this crisis and beyond.

“Sussex Police will continue to be a visible presence on our roads, educating all road users and they will not hesitate to use enforcement where necessary.”

For more information on this speed campaign, please see a further press release on the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership website here.

You can report incidents of dangerous or antisocial driving or riding in Sussex via Operation Crackdown.

Sussex Police to welcome a new Chief Constable

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, has chosen Jo Shiner as her preferred candidate to be the new Sussex Chief Constable.

The announcement comes after a rigorous recruitment process, which began in March, following the retirement announcement from Chief Constable Giles York.

Jo Shiner has been Deputy Chief Constable for Sussex Police for the last 18 months. Previously, she was Assistant Chief Constable for Kent Police. 
Jo Shiner said: “I feel very humbled and privileged to be given the opportunity to be the preferred candidate for the Chief Constable of Sussex.

Sussex Police is a fantastic force and, subject to confirmation by the Police and Crime Panel, I am committed to ensuring that we continue to provide the very best possible service to the public, through protecting our communities and making Sussex a hostile environment to criminals. 

Chief Constable Giles York’s last working day with Sussex Police will be on Thursday (4 June) when he will provide a statement, and you can read more about the recruitment process and Jo Shiner here.

Sussex Police’s Tactical Enforcement Unit (TEU) carried out a warrant at an address in Saltdean following concerns of suspected drug dealing.

Acting on information received from the public, the team searched the house and seized  £35,000 worth of drugs including cocaine, cannabis and diazepam, along with £16,000 cash. Two men aged 32 and 47 and a 56-year-old woman were all arrested on suspicion for being concerned in the supply of drugs. They have been released under investigation.

The team, made up of officers with specialist skills in proactive policing, carries out targeted disruption, enforcement and patrol activities wherever it is most needed.

The TEU captures some of Sussex’s most wanted and prolific offenders, including those involved in serious violence, organised crime and county lines drugs gangs.

Policing as usual continues in Sussex, despite the current crisis we are living in. This enforcement activity shows the importance of making the right call, and to report anything suspicious to us, or other agencies anonymously such as Crimestoppers so that we can respond effectively.

Our priority is keeping communities safe and feeling safe, and we are asking the public to continue to make the right call so we can ensure that our resources are focused on those who genuinely need our help and to prevent crime.

Since the launch of the TEU on 16 December 2019, the team has made 105 arrests, conducted 263 intelligence led stop and searches, seized thousands of pounds worth of 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, is expanding from May 29 thanks to the additional precept and Government funding. The team is growing to form three teams in each division, the next expansion is in West Sussex, followed by East Sussex in July this year.

Inspector Dan Hiles, who is leading the TEU, said: “There is no officer who enjoys the idea of a criminal evading justice. The unit was set up to target exactly those people, while helping to keep communities safe."

If you notice anything suspicious, we want to know about it. Please report online or call 101. In an emergency always dial 999.

You can alternatively report anonymously to Crimestoppers here or by calling 0800 555 111.​​​​​​​

Crime Summary

Overnight on the 31st May, a property on Gibbon Road, Newhaven was entered. Unknown suspects have gained entry via a communal door. Personal items including cash was stolen. (0892 of 01/06 relates)

Around 1430 on the 31st May, a suspect male was seen by homeowners trying to enter their kitchen window at a property on Gibbon Road, Newhaven. The male had his face covered and was wearing gloves. Fortunately no entry was gained and he made off once he was seen. (1526 of 31/05 relates)

In the small hours of the 2nd June, a property off Ditchling Road, Wivelsfield reported various equipment, and tools stolen after unknown suspects have forced entry to a building, cutting locks to gain entry. (1638 of 02/06 relates)

There have been no further reports of 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:

With more stores reopening, and online shopping slots becoming available, please take the time to refresh your online security, only trust known websites, and remember offers that sound too good to be true generally are. More support and advice here.

NHS Track and Trace scams, if you're contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service, please know, that you will not be asked to provide any passwords, bank account details or pin numbers.

Find out more about how NHS test and trace works here, and how to spot emails and text for legitimacy.

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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