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Wealden District Police Weekly News and Alerts

Alert message sent 13/08/2020 08:02:00

Information sent on behalf of Sussex Police

Thursday 13th August 2020

Wealden District Police Weekly News and Alerts

Police are appealing for witnesses after a man was assaulted in Hailsham town centre.

Two Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) were on foot patrol on Tuesday 21 July when they came across a man with a facial injury.

The 65-year-old man had been the victim of an unprovoked attack in St Mary's Churchyard shortly before 8pm that evening.

Officers investigating the incident are keen to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time and who may have seen what happened.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police online or by calling 101 quoting serial 1421 of 21/07.

Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

A man has been jailed over a bomb hoax that saw hundreds of residents evacuated in Hailsham.

Shortly after 3pm on January 28, 2019, police received a call from Joseph Firminger reporting a suspicious package found on a wall in The Diplocks.

The item was a round metal tin covered in black tape and with wires coming out of it.

Police officers attended the scene and sent photographs of the package to Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams (EOD).

At the request of the EOD, an initial 100m cordon was put in place - later extended to 400m - to ensure the safety of members of the public and residents in the area.

As a result, around 200 people were evacuated to a refuge at an emergency centre.

The device was examined by EOD and while it did have the appearance of an explosive device, it was found to not be viable and contained no actual explosives.

Firminger was arrested on suspicion of making the device and the subsequent hoax call to police to report it.

A search of his house found items including wiring and tools which forensically matched those on the device. His DNA was also found on the items, and an examination of his mobile phone showed internet searches relating to explosive devices and how to report suspicious items.

Firminger, 26, unemployed, of The Diplocks, Hailsham, pleaded guilty to placing a hoax bomb with intent and communicating false information about a hoax bomb.

He was sentenced to 27 months' imprisonment when he appeared at Lewes Crown Court on Monday (August 3).

Detective Inspector Daniel Dugan said: "Firminger's actions caused a huge amount of distress and disruption to those hundreds of residents who were evacuated while the item was examined.

"His false report also saw a large number of police and emergency service personnel involved, meaning they were taken away from attending other genuine calls.

"We hope this sentencing sends out a message that hoax threats and reports will absolutely not be tolerated and will be taken seriously by police and by the courts."

Police Officer recruitment NOW OPEN (closes 19th August 2020)

Following the Home Office announcement that Sussex Police is on track to achieve its first year Government funded uplift targets, the force launches its latest recruitment drive for those who wish to become police officers through the police constable degree apprenticeship entry route.

To apply click here.

Seeking those who have got what it takes to protect communities, catch criminals and deliver an outstanding service to victims, witnesses and the public; the officers recruited through this campaign will join training cohorts in 2021 and will commence a three-year programme where they will study for a degree in professional policing practice while undertaking their training.

Continuing to strengthen local policing numbers, these officers will make a real difference to communities across the county by giving Sussex residents what they want – a visible and proactive force which is tough on crime.

Chief Constable Jo Shiner said: "We’re continuously looking to employ the right mix of police officers and police staff to deliver an effective, efficient and high quality policing service to the people of Sussex.

"This recruitment drive will continue to add numbers to our frontline and make a positive difference to the public and communities which we serve. Covid-19 has not stopped recruitment however we’ve had to adopt new recruitment approaches and intensive training programmes to ensure we could continue to get highly skilled officers onto the streets of Sussex.

"We are only as good as our people and, as an organisation, benefit from the variety of thinking, approaches and skills which diversity can bring; all of which helps us to deliver a better policing service. This is why we are especially encouraging those who may not have considered a career in policing before to find out more and apply to join us as a new officer."

As one of the first officers nationally to be funded by the Government’s campaign to recruit new 20,000 officers, PC Emma Hatt joined Sussex, from Seaford, having worked with juvenile offenders in a residential unit in Tower Hamlets.

Emma joined the Brighton and Hove division in February 2020, just weeks before the country locked down. Having made a significant impact on her local community throughout the pandemic, now almost six months into the job, Emma is based in Eastbourne and is already on an attachment to investigations.

Emma said: "I joined Sussex Police because I wanted to have a career. There's so many different areas you can go into in policing it’s very exciting to be able to go and help so many people. It's given me a career for life - if you are thinking about it, definitely go for it!"

Welcoming the recruitment news, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: "The opening of the police officer recruitment campaign is great news for Sussex residents and for Sussex Police as an organisation. It also provides a fantastic opportunity for anybody wanting a fulfilling and varied career.

"Local communities will be delighted at the prospect of even more officers joining the 126 that have already been recruited since January. 

"I have applauded senior officers for continuing recruitment during the pandemic and putting extra boots on the ground when we needed them most.

"If you want to make a real positive difference to your local community then apply today."

If you have the judgment to make quick decisions, are confident to be the first person in, have the compassion and empathy to help those in need and the resilience to serve the community every single day; then being a police officer could be the career you've always dreamed of.

Recruitment will close on Wednesday 19 August and it is expected there will be a high volume of applications. Therefore apply now and help make a real difference to your community.

Wet weather driving warning as storm clouds loom

After a spell of very hot weather and the likelihood of storm clouds looming on the horizon, roads policing officers in Sussex are warning drivers to be ready for potentially treacherous conditions when the rain arrives.

Chief Inspector Michael Hodder from the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit said: "Experience suggests that a fresh fall of rain on roads that have been baked in the summer heatwave is likely to leave them very slippery and unfortunately, experience also suggests that many drivers just won't make allowances for it.

"During spells of hot weather, the bitumen in roads warms up and can seep through to the surface reducing the effectiveness of the texture and resistance to skidding. Additionally, there can be a build-up of rubber and traces of oil or diesel, which mix with the rain to create a very slippery surface. Think of how highly-skilled racing drivers struggle to keep control of their cars when an unexpected downpour soaks the track and do what they do - slow down and make allowances for it.

"Add the further hazards of increased stopping distances and reduced visibility from rain and spray and it should be clear to everyone that you need to take much more care." driving in adverse weather advice here.

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

An attempted burglary was reported in the small hours of the 7th August at a property off London Road, Hailsham. Unknown suspects have caused damage to door and windows in an attempt to gain entry. (0508 of 7/8 relates)

Two distraction burglaries have been reported this week on the Wealden district; one in Pevensey off Peelings Lane (Sunday), and one in Hailsham at a property off Stoney Lane (Monday).

The suspect is described as: a white male with dark hair, and a sunburnt complexion, 5'5 slim build and wearing a black vest and reporting to either do work, or collect rubbish from the victims property, once entry has been gained, the suspect has taken cash, and bank cards from the victim.

If you have been victim, or witness similar please report to us online or 101. Always call 999 in an emergency or crime in action.

A garage off Coast Road, Pevensey Bay was broken into during the day time of the 8-9th August. Unknown suspects have cut locks to the garage door and targeted gardening tools from inside. (1175 of 9/8 relates)

There have been no further reports of residential burglaries on the Wealden district this week.

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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