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Eastbourne Weekly Update

Alert message sent 05/06/2020 10:18:00

Information sent on behalf of Sussex Police

Friday, 5 June 2020

News and appeals


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. 

You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report it online.

Volunteers' Week shines a light on selfless contribution of Special Constabulary

Sussex Police is marking Volunteers' Week by celebrating the incredible contribution made by its Special Constabulary.

During the coronavirus pandemic and all year round, these volunteers put themselves on the frontline not for pay or material reward, but to support the work of the force in keeping people safe.

Special Constables have volunteered more than 6,100 hours since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown period, which makes up some of the astonishing 26,181 hours contributed by Specials from May 2019 to April 2020 inclusive. 

They include Gio Manzella, who has been volunteering full time with Sussex Police during lockdown having been furloughed from his main job as an aircraft broker. Working with Crawley response, he has helped arrest a man suspected of dealing drugs near a school and rescued a man from a car which set alight after a collision.

Wealden Special Constables Steve Wood, Chris Pring and Andrew Jelinek (pictured above) have contributed more than 100 hours each since the start of the coronavirus lockdown, with duties including Op Blitz patrols tackling anti-social behaviour and responding to calls about coronavirus restriction breaches. They also made arrests for drink driving, breach of the peace and domestic violence, as well as dealing with offences relating to drugs and fraud.

Special Constable Julie Rainey has continued to balance her full-time job at the RNLI with her voluntary role working within the Safeguarding Investigations Unit in Brighton. During the Covid-19 pandemic, she has been part of a team reaching out to support the most vulnerable victims of domestic abuse, sexual offences and stalking.

Assistant Chief Constable Julia Chapman said: “I would like to thank all our Special Constables for the significant difference they make to people’s lives in so many ways including; protecting the public from harm, investigating offences, problem solving, and building trust and relationships with the public and partner agencies.

"As volunteers from the community they really have the ability to empathise and engage with those they help and the fact they do this in their own time is even more powerful.”

Specials Weekend (June 5 - June 7) will be celebrated across the force by highlighting the great work of the Special Constabulary.

A 'Response Take Over' is being organised in Uckfield whereby Special Constables will staff the Uckfield response team for an entire shift. Police Constables will be on hand to support should the need arise, but will otherwise be freed up to complete necessary paperwork and administration jobs.

Currently, more than 10 experienced Special Constables have volunteered to take part, with a range of different skills between them.

Similarly in Brighton, a Divisional Support Team made up of Special Constables with a wide range of specialist training will be supporting the division with a mix of prevention and response work.

Throughout Volunteers' Week and Specials Weekend, Special Constables who are working alongside their usual teams will be encouraged to tweet and promote the good work being done by volunteers across the force.

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “Special Constables have been involved in policing Sussex since 1831 and are an integral part of policing in the modern world.

“They are a unique and tenacious group of people who give their time for free and bring a wealth of experience and diversity to the Sussex Police workforce.

“I would like to thank all of our special constables in Sussex for volunteering their services and helping to make our communities a safer place to live and work.” 

UK police stand with those appalled by George Floyd death

UK police leaders have come together and published a statement about George Floyd’s death.

Chief constables from forces across the country, the chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the chief executive of the College of Policing and the President of the Police Superintendents' Association have spoken following the death of George Floyd and the events that have followed in the United States.

They said: “We stand alongside all those across the globe who are appalled and horrified by the way George Floyd lost his life. Justice and accountability should follow.

“We are also appalled to see the violence and damage that has happened in so many US cities since then. Our hearts go out to all those affected by these terrible events and hope that peace and order will soon be restored.

“In the UK we have a long established tradition of policing by consent, working in communities to prevent crime and solve problems. Officers are trained to use force proportionately, lawfully and only when absolutely necessary. We strive to continuously learn and improve. We will tackle bias, racism or discrimination wherever we find it. 

“Policing is complex and challenging and sometimes we fall short. When we do, we are not afraid to shine a light on injustices or to be held to account.

“The relationship between the police and the public in the UK is strong but there is always more to do. Every day, up and down the country, officers and staff are working to strengthen those relationships and address concerns. Only by working closely with our communities do we build trust and help keep people safe.

“We know people want to make their voices heard. The right to lawful protest is key part of any democracy, which UK police uphold and facilitate. But coronavirus remains a deadly disease and there are still restrictions in place to prevent its spread, which include not gathering outside in groups of more than six people. So for whatever reason people want to come together, we ask that people continue to work with officers at this challenging time.”

The legislation around the maximum number of people in gatherings varies across the devolved nations of the UK.

Martin Hewitt, Chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council
Mike Cunningham, Chief Executive of the College of Policing
Paul Griffiths, President of the Police Superintendents' Association


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.”

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “Through my ongoing consultations with local residents and organisations, including the National Farmers’ Union, I know that our rural and village communities in Sussex can sometimes feel ‘abandoned’ and ‘forgotten about’.

“Rural crime is particularly worrying and, since the Covid-19 lock down, there have been many disturbing reports of fly-tipping and expensive equipment theft. I want to reassure our rural residents that these crimes will not be ignored and are being taken extremely seriously.

“This expanded team will have the specialist knowledge, skills and training that is vital to police our rural communities, successfully investigate and prosecute crimes made against them and keep people feeling safe where they live and work.

“I know that this will be welcome news to many residents and organisations across Sussex.”

Crime summary

A burglary occurred on 31/05/2020 on Hazelwood Avenue, whereby a storage unit was broken into and a bag of various items were stolen from within (Ref:47200087957)
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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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Eastbourne, Lewes and Wealden team (Police, Prevention team, Sussex)

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