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3 June 2020

News and appeals

Man arrested after teenager approached in Hassocks

Police have arrested a man after a 17-year-old girl was approached in Hassocks.
Officers believe this incident may be linked to a further three similar reports and police would like to hear from anyone who believes they have also been a victim of this crime in the Hassocks, Hurstpierpoint or North Brighton area.
The 17-year-old girl was approached by a man in his 30s driving a silver vehicle in London Road, Hassocks, around 10pm on Wednesday (27 May).
The man, who was not known to the victim, asked the girl to get in his car but she declined and walked away.
Police believe this incident may be linked to a 44-year-old woman being approached in Langton Lane, Hassocks in June 2019; a 22-year-old woman being approached in Hurst Road, Hurstpierpoint, in November and  a 16-year-old girl being approached in Copse Hill, Brighton in December.
Investigating officer Sam Bate said: “We would like to praise the victims in the case for coming forward and reporting this to us as suspicious behaviour.
Further investigation work has taken place and we believe the four incidents could be linked due to the similarities in the nature of the occurrences and description.
“You can report information to us either online or call 101 quoting Operation Ecuador.”
On Sunday (31 May), police arrested a 32-year-old man from Burgess Hill on suspicion of stalking involving serious alarm or distress and harassment without violence. He was released on police bail until Friday 5 June.

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).
Read more here.

Sussex Police Tactical Enforcement Unit expands into the west

Sussex Police’s Tactical Enforcement Unit (TEU) has launched an additional team in West Sussex division to continue to make the county a ‘hostile environment’ for dangerous and persistent criminals.

The TEU is a proactive police unit, which was set up in December last year to target Sussex’s most prolific offenders, will be expanded to form three teams across the force.
The first expansion launched in West Sussex on Friday (29 May). The new team is made up of eight PCs, and a Sergeant. The TEU will then expand again in July with dedicated teams in Brighton and Hove and East Sussex divisions. Read more here.

Sussex Resilience Forum thanks volunteers for their hard work

To celebrate Volunteers’ Week, 1 – 7 June, the Sussex Resilience Forum (SRF) is shining a light on the stories of Sussex volunteers who have supported their communities in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.
From the start of the pandemic, volunteers have provided services at all levels, from delivering vital  PPE supplies to protect the frontline, to making welfare calls and food drops to support individuals within communities.
The SRF is the multi-agency operation through which the work of local authorities and emergency services co-ordinate the response across public services, also working closely with health services and the military and linking with central government.
The Volunteer Work stream triages requests for support from these and also other voluntary, community & social enterprise organisations, and Volunteers’ Week is a chance to celebrate volunteers supporting directly and also those less formal voluntary efforts, where people have selflessly given their time and efforts to help others.  
Neil Stocker, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, SRF Co-Chair, said: “I have been so impressed by the scale of ingenuity, enthusiasm and sheer persistent hard work which has gone into the efforts of volunteers to help and protect the people of Sussex.
“The scale of the efforts, ranging from rescue charities driving thousands of miles to deliver PPE and essential equipment, to individuals who’ve taken up responsibility for looking after people in their local communities, and those volunteering to use their specialist skills within the SRF, has been astounding. I thank each and every one of them for their efforts.
“As we turn our minds increasingly to planning how to support our communities as they consider the next tentative steps towards recovery, I know that volunteers will remain an essential part of this effort.”
Organisations and individuals involved in supporting the SRF’s response include:
Team Rubicon UK
Sussex 4x4 Response
Sussex 4x4 Assist
Red Cross
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service
West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service
Haywards Heath Mutual Aid
In addition, throughout Volunteers’ Week, the SRF agencies will be sharing stories of localised examples of voluntary work to support communities. Please visit @SussexRF on Twitter and Sussex Resilience Forum on Facebook to see these throughout the week. 


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, email us at or call 101, quoting the reference number provided.

Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at


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Anna Habdas (Police, Prevention Support and Engagement Officer, Sussex)

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