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Wealden District Police Weekly News and Alerts

Alert message sent 25/06/2020 12:48:00

Information sent on behalf of Sussex Police

Thursday 25th June 2020

Wealden District Police Weekly News and Alerts

Name sought for Uckfield rugby club burglar

Police at Uckfield are seeking a night-time burglar who took a till drawer from the local rugby club bar, only to find it was empty.

At about 5am on Thursday 28 May, this man entered the grounds of Uckfield RFC at Nevill Road, Uckfield, by climbing the main gate, used a brick to smash the glass on the pitch exit door, then went straight upstairs to the till behind the bar, smashed the till screen with the same brick and then left with the till drawer.

He left by running across the rugby pitch towards Mitchelham Road and the woods nearby.

But the till drawer was empty as the club has been closed since March because of coronavirus!

PC Rebecca Walter said; "If you think you know who this man is, please let us know. You can contact us online or by calling 101, quoting serial 254 of 28/05."

Sussex Police welcomes 64 new trainee officers to the force

A further 64 recruit constables have taken their first steps in their policing careers this week. The new officers were formally sworn in at an attestation ceremony on Wednesday (17 June) evening – the first to be held in person since lockdown was eased.

The new PCs were personally welcomed by T/Chief Constable Jo Shiner and PCC Katy Bourne, while family and friends joined the proceedings from around the world via Zoom.
Amongst the recruits were the first 26 trainees on the force’s new Degree-Holder Entry Programme (DHEP) which is being run alongside the force’s Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) course for non-degree holders.
T/Chief Constable Jo Shiner said: “I am very proud to welcome these new officers to the force. Attestation is such a significant ceremony, marking the start of a policing career, so it was fantastic that we were able to bring the recruit constables together for this event, through adapting to meet social distancing guidelines and by welcoming their families virtually.
“All 64 new officers will be joining their divisions in nine weeks to continue their training on the job in their new communities.
“I wish them all every luck in their new careers."

“It is through the innovation and hard work of our training team that our recruitment of police constables has remained fully on track throughout these challenging times - and I am delighted that we have been able to launch our first ever Degree-Holder Entry Programme (DHEP) this week.
“Providing this new training route, as well as our PC Degree Apprenticeship, is helping us meet the demands and complexities of modern policing.
“Funding from both the council tax precept and the Government’s police recruitment programme is ensuring we accelerate our plans to get new officers on the streets and improve diversity in policing.
“So I am pleased to say that, despite the challenges of lockdown, we are well on our way to achieving the expected Government-funded uplift of 129 officers by March 2021, with our next PC recruitment campaign launching on 20 July.
"The force’s recruitment of PCSOs and policing staff funded by the rise in council tax precept is still 100 per cent on track as well.”

PC Jo Hutchins was one of the new recruits attending the ceremony at the East Sussex National in Uckfield, following an extensive risk assessment and application of social distancing and hygiene measures.
“I feel so proud,” said PC Hutchins, from Worthing, who has started on the DHEP this week. “It was fantastic to see all my new colleagues going up and collecting their warrant badges.”
“I joined up because I think it’s a great time to begin a policing career. There have been such positive changes in recent years and I want to be part of that.
“I worked in hotel management previously and whenever we had to call the police, I found their handling of situations wholly positive, and it inspired me to become an officer. Joining age 40, I hope my maturity and experience will help me provide that same good service to the public. I'm heading to West Sussex, but not sure exactly where yet”

The DHEP is a two-year-programme that allows recruits to gain a fully-funded Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice while training on the job. Like the degree apprentices, the DHEP trainees are officers from day one on a full salary.
The two training programmes offer a choice of entry routes into becoming an officer, helping to ensure policing remains an attractive and competitive career choice, appealing to those who may not have previously considered policing as a career.
By revolutionising the training and standardising assessment and accreditation across the country, the programmes will provide our officers with a publicly recognised professional qualification, reflecting the skills and knowledge required to meet current and future challenges.
“I’ve come such a long way and today means so much to me, I’m overwhelmed,” says PC Leann Knowles, who is one of the 38 recruits who started the degree apprenticeship this week.
“It’s been so rewarding working as a PCSO for three years in Worthing. Now
I’m looking forward to being able to do even more to help people,” says the 35-year-old mum.
“Having grown up in care and had a difficult youth myself, I find I am able to connect and empathise well with wayward young people and help them move towards a more positive future.
“I left school at 15 with no qualifications, so becoming an officer and doing this degree apprenticeship is a massive achievement for me. I hope to inspire young people that no matter what people say, they can make it. Just go for it – and see where it takes you.”
If you are interested in joining us, you can register your interest here.
Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “On Wednesday I saw 64 new police officers sworn into Sussex Police. Speaking to some of them after their ceremony, it was clear that they are enthusiastic, forward-thinking and eager to make a positive difference to our communities.
“I’m pleased that they will soon be out patrolling our streets and keeping Sussex safer.
“I applaud the senior officers who have worked so hard in this lockdown to find new ways to meet recruitment and training targets.
“I was also incredibly impressed at how they adapted the ceremony to adhere to social distancing and gave family and friends the opportunity to ‘zoom’ call into the proceedings and witness this very proud moment for themselves.
“More visible, proactive policing is what local residents want to see and we are delivering on that with these extra boots on the ground. I look forward to seeing them in action very soon.”

New recruit PC Abbie Coldham, was proudly watched by her mum, Valorie, who is herself an officer in investigations in Worthing.

PC Valorie Coldham said, "I am so excited for Abbie. I knew she could do it. I can't wait to see where she is going to take it."

“I made the leap to becoming a police officer later in life in 2017 after doing a degree as a mature student. And I have never looked back.

“After 6 months I went into investigations. I find my life experience helps me read an offence and get to what's behind it. It’s a role that really fits with my nature. That's why I am so glad that Abbie has gone into a meaningful career, where she can use her qualities.

Abbie said: “I feel so happy to have become an officer. Seeing how well my mum took to the role helped inspire me that I could do it, but it was an event last year that gave me the final push. I was driving home from work and saw a man lying in the road badly injured. My instinct was to go in and help, as others were just standing by. I called an ambulance and also the police – as it appeared to be a hit and run - and I stayed with the man until the paramedics arrived."

"The incident showed me how strong I can be when faced with challenging situations - and so I went for it and applied.”

The trainees will still come to Sussex Police HQ for practical elements of their programme like scenario training and personal safety training but in response to the current conditions, the force's learning and development team have worked with the College of Policing to adapt training to meet social distancing guidelines, using online learning and video conferencing for much of the classroom-based learning.

Special Constables take over response shift to celebrate voluntary contribution

Special Constables were responsible for Sussex Police's first 'Response Takeover' on Saturday (June 6) in a fitting culmination to Volunteers' Week.
The event saw the Wealden response hub managed solely by a team of 12 volunteer officers for an entire late shift, from 5pm to 4am.

Organised and executed by Special Constable Steve Wood and involving Special Constables from Crawley, Brighton, Eastbourne, Uckfield and Hailsham, the takeover celebrated National Specials Weekend by highlighting the valuable contribution of Special Constables to the police force.

The event also provided an opportunity for some multi-agency working with two Special Constables from British Transport Police joining to patrol the district's railway stations.

Newly-appointed Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Julia Chapman said:

“This event was a fantastic opportunity for Sussex Police to highlight the valuable work of our Special Constables and to celebrate the significant contribution they make to the force.

“I was delighted to attend the start of the ‘response takeover’ and really enjoyed seeing and speaking with all the Special Constables that had signed up for the shift.

“Thank you to all the officers, special and regular, who worked hard to make this event happen and to make such a success. Your efforts – not just during this weekend but all year round – are hugely appreciated.”

The shift started with a welcome from T/DCC Chapman and Chief Inspector Di Lewis, district commander for Eastbourne and Lewes. 

The team of Special Constables then prepared for duty, equipped with a wide range of skills between them including those trained in response driving, statement taking and suspect interviewing. A unit of Police Constables remained on site on standby in case they were needed.

Over the course of the 11-hour shift, Special Constables responded to numerous incidents including road traffic collisions, missing people and reports of suspicious behaviour, as well as dealing with coronavirus-related calls and transporting people to custody.

When not attending a call, they actively patrolled anti-social behaviour and drug hot-spots, as well as rural villages where burglaries had recently taken place.

Officers completed all post-incident paperwork themselves, meaning there was nothing to hand over to those starting on the early shift.

The newly-appointed head of the Special Constabulary, SC Alan Rankin Thorn, took a step back from management duties on the night to fill a front-line operational role instead. He said: "I thoroughly enjoyed the shift. I got to see quite a bit of the countryside, had some good company and did the longest blues runs in a very long time!"

He was working alongside SC Andrew Jelinek, who chose this event as his last operational shift as a Special Constable before joining the regulars.

SC Steve Wood said: "The event was a great success. We attended and competently dealt with every job that came in, and everyone really enjoyed the shift."

Careers don’t come more rewarding than this.

Tackling crime, taking knives off the streets, engaging and educating young people and being the person everyone looks towards for help. A Police Officer’s role is demanding and diverse – no two days are the same.

We are currently accepting expressions of interest as we anticipate to open for recruitment in July for Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA).

If this is the career for you, please register your interest in future opportunities and we will contact you when we are open by clicking here.

We’re looking for people who have the judgment to make quick decisions; are confident to be first person in; have the compassion and empathy to help those in need; who’ll have their colleagues back no matter what and the resilience to serve the community every single day.

In return, we promise you a good starting salary, great training experiences, opportunities for progression, the chance to achieve a professional qualification in Policing Practice and the pride that comes from helping others. You will become part of our policing family; dedicated to keeping communities safe and feeling safe, identifying and protecting vulnerable people, preventing and responding to harm.

In the past, we’ve received high volumes of applications, so we recommend that you submit your application as early as possible. Follow our social media accounts for more information.

Operation Blitz – Tackling ASB in your towns and villages

ASB patrols are out again this weekend.

Call us on 07770700642 from 6pm – Midnight to report anti-social behaviour you see or hear. (Friday and Saturday each week only)

This week we will continue to patrol known areas, and hotspot locations, as well as your town centres following youth related ASB around supermarkets.

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.

Crime Summary

Overnight on the 19th – 20th June, a property off Plumyfeather Lane, Groomsbridge had outbuildings and sheds broken into. Suspects have used force and or tools to cut locks from shed to gain entry. Gardening and various other tools were targeted. (0609 of 20/06 relates)

A male, described as; white, 6ft, tall, slim build, and clean shaven, gained his way into the home of a victim at a property off Moore Park, Hailsham during the daytime of the 21st June. The male stated he was there to collect rubbish, and entered the victim’s home, he left short after. A bank card was stolen from inside the property and subsequently used. (0914 of 20/06 relates)

Overnight on the 20th-22nd June, a property off Crowlink Lane, Friston, had two electric cycles stolen from a secure shed at the property. (0851 of 22/06 relates)

A property off Chiddingly Road, Horam, had damaged caused to doors and windows when unknown suspects have attempted to gain entry during the evening of the 21st June. Fortunately no entry was gained and nothing taken. (1024 of 21/06 relates)

There have been no further reports of residential 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:
  • Despite shops re-opening across the UK, many of us continue to shop online. Please remain vigilant and take extra care.
Over £16 million has been lost to online shopping fraud during lockdown.

For more information, click here.

  • As venues prepare to re-open with social distancing measures in place following the corona virus outbreak, we are urging people to be wary of fraudsters selling fake or non-existent tickets to events - spot the signs of ticket fraud here.

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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Eastbourne, Lewes and Wealden team (Police, Prevention team, Sussex)

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