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Wealden Weekly Update

Alert message sent 19/11/2020 13:36:00

Information sent on behalf of Sussex Police

Thursday, 19 November 2020

News and appeals


Proactive policing and protecting communities remains our focus during second lockdown

Sussex Police’s Chief Constable has thanked local communities for their perseverance during the second national lockdown, revealing police are now dealing with the full range of crimes alongside policing the pandemic.

Crime patterns have shown an increase in some offences including drug trafficking and possession and in public order. Other crimes have also now returned to pre-Covid levels.
Jo Shiner said the focus remains on daily policing, assessing where police resources will have the most impact and continuing to proactively disrupt criminal activity.

“Levels of crime are back to where they were before Covid but our officers are out there making sure we are tackling those everyday incidents that impact the most on our communities,” she said.

“We want to catch criminals, and bring to justice those who bring harm and fear into our communities. We will continue to do that, and we have dedicated enforcement teams within the force to support that work.

“Our proactive police teams have been responsible for dismantling five county drugs lines in the past two months, working hard to address the organised criminal activity that is associated with acquisitive and violent crime in our local communities.

“Covid has not impacted on our policing resources and we will continue to assess everything on its merits and focus our resources appropriately.”

Alongside catching criminals, protecting communities and delivering an outstanding service are the top priorities for Chief Constable Jo Shiner. 

In particular, victims of domestic violence are urged to come forward safe in the knowledge that additional measures have been put in place to ensure they can access help quickly and discretely.

This includes raising awareness of the support services available to victims through enhanced messaging on social media, our website, in newspaper adverts and through community engagement in essential locations such as supermarkets, to reach out to those not online.

Sussex Police also has a 30-strong Local Resolution Team of specially-trained officers who are dedicated to dealing with reports of domestic abuse which are not immediately urgent.
The team, which launched in March, offers a special video appointment service that can be used when conversations can’t take place face-to-face for any reason, particularly during lockdown.

When it comes to policing the pandemic itself, the force’s approach has not changed and officers continue to follow the four Es approach – engaging, explaining, encouraging and only as a last resort, enforcing.

CC Shiner added: “Lockdown two feels different to lockdown one, there are more exemptions and less noticeable changes in crime patterns. However, our policing approach remains the same.

“Where we need to, and where engagement has not been successful, we will enforce. We have issued fines – one £10,000 to the organiser of a house party on Halloween, and two people have been summonsed to court in relation to other breaches.

“What we will absolutely not tolerate is attacks on our officers and frontline workers which, disappointingly, haven’t diminished.

“We know people have a range of different views on Covid and on this lockdown, and we respect that. However, we continue to ask people to take personal responsibility for their actions and to follow the government’s restrictions.

“It’s a complex situation, both for individuals and for organisations, and our aim is to work with our communities in Sussex to find our way through this together.

“Thank you for your support, and please continue to keep reporting information to us so we can direct our resources to where they are needed the most.”

Our priority is keeping communities safe and feeling safe. So we can respond effectively, we ask people to #MakeTheRightCall and contact us online or by calling 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.  

If you're a victim of domestic abuse, or know someone who is, and there's an emergency that's ongoing or life is in danger, call police on 999.

If you can’t talk because the perpetrator is nearby, you can then press the numbers ‘55’ into your mobile phone which will alert the operator to your situation.

The Sussex Safe Space website also provides a valuable directory of help and support from all agencies, available near you.

For further information and advice from Sussex Police, see the force website.


Sussex Police continued support for domestic abuse victims

Sussex Police have successfully introduced new initiatives to encourage the reporting of domestic abuse and to support victims, an issue which remains a priority for the force at this crucial time of further lockdown.

Since a new specialist unit was set up in March more than half of people reporting cases that are not immediately urgent have opted for a special video appointment service that can be used when conversations can’t take place face to face for any reason.

The 30-strong Local Resolution Team of specially trained officers are dedicated to dealing with reports of domestic abuse which are not immediately urgent. They discuss the incident with the caller, carry out an initial investigation and provide safeguarding advice, to leave the victim feeling safer than before and to explore available investigative opportunities to prosecute and prevent domestic abuse.

Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Rayland, Head of the force's Public Protection Command said; "Our preference is to see someone face to face in private at a police station. However, in March we recognised that restrictions such as vulnerable categories, self-isolation, or travel, might make people less able to attend so the force introduced new video conferencing technology.

"The officers obtain a safe contact number and send a one time text message to the caller's smartphone. Activating this link puts the caller in to a virtual waiting room where one of our officers will be able to see and talk to them so that an investigation can take place."

Between March and the end of October over 3200 video appointments took place.

Part of the safeguarding advice includes referrals to independent local support agencies such as Rise and Worth Services.

Afterwards, the caller is told to delete the text, which is disguised in the first place to hide any links with the police.

Steve Rayland added; "We have adapted to ensure we can support people at risk and find them a safe space.

"It’s really important people know that alongside this new initiative we also continue to respond to domestic abuse as normal in emergency situations, arresting perpetrators and protecting vulnerable people.

"In fact, even when the first lockdown restrictions were relaxed during the summer, we found that the number of victims opting for the remote video meeting remained the same, equal to the numbers opting to visit a police station.

"No matter what is going on around us there is no excuse for domestic abuse it simply isn’t acceptable. The police priority hasn’t changed if you are victim of domestic abuse I would urge you to make contact with us so that we can help.

“We have also enhanced awareness raising during the lockdown period and beyond over the White Ribbon Campaign period (25 November and 16 Days of Action), with social media signposting to support services and further information on our website, newspaper adverts and community engagement in essential locations to reach out to those not online.

“We are including more targeted messaging in our awareness campaigns for the LGBTQI community following engagement with the LGBT External Reference Group, which we plan to develop in the New Year. Recent victim surveys indicate that reporting of domestic abuse amongst the LGBTQI community may be lower than heteronormative relationships. We know that DA can happen in any adult relationship, and we want the LGBTQIA+ community to feel confident to come forward and report instances of abuse.

“But our message remains the same throughout Covid restrictions and beyond – If you are experiencing domestic abuse, you are not alone. We can help break the cycle of abuse. We take all allegations of domestic abuse seriously and our staff and officers understand the complexities of domestic abuse. We want to help support victims to move forward with their lives.”

Katy Bourne, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner said; “We know that cases of domestic abuse and violence spiked in the first lockdown.

“As we find ourselves in a similar situation it is just as important as the first time to reach out to particularly vulnerable people and make sure they know there is someone who will listen and help them.

“I’m pleased that, following the extra investment into Sussex Police this year, we have been able to put in place innovative measures to safeguard victims at a time when it can be incredibly difficult for them to safely reach out for help.

“Police and PCCs are going the extra mile during this crisis to ensure that people do not feel they have to suffer in silence.

“We may be in lockdown but we must not feel locked out.”
If you're a victim of domestic abuse, or know someone who is, and there's an emergency that's ongoing or life is in danger, call police on 999.

If you can’t talk because the perpetrator is nearby, you can then press the numbers ‘55’ into your mobile phone which will alert the operator to your situation.

The Sussex Safe Space website also provides a valuable directory of help and support from all agencies, available near you.

For further information and advice from Sussex Police see the force website. 

The numbers of domestic abuse reports to Sussex Police have remained broadly constant over the year so far. There were just over 2000 in February, rising before and during the first lockdown period to some 2750 per month by August, and at levels just over 2000 again by the end of October.

About 50% of the reports result in criminal investigation, but even where that is not the case officers are able to provide advice and access to sources of specialist support to people reporting incidents.

The message of support for domestic abuse victims during lockdown is echoed by the National Police Chiefs Council in a Release issued on 19 November


Sussex Police launches final police officer recruitment drive of 2020

This week Sussex Police has opened recruitment for the third time this year, as part of its push to drive up officer numbers by 2022.

During this round of recruitment, the final opportunity for this year, applications will be sought for cohorts to join the force in late 2021 as part of a three-year programme where they will study for a degree in professional policing practice while undertaking their training. The Degree Holders Entry Programme also offers a two-year option for those who want to fast-track to a policing career.

In the financial year 2020/21 Sussex Police is on track to recruit over 290 Officers. This will ensure it recruits into the 129 additional officers as a result of Operation Uplift (the government increase of 20,000 nationally) and 50 additional officers funded by the precept. In addition, the recruitment plans ensure that it replaces all those officers who leave the force during the year – normally as a result of retirement. As such Sussex Police will see a net increase of 179 officers over the financial year.

With opportunities to specialise in a diverse range of policing specialisms, a career as a police officer opens doors to roles in areas such as safeguarding, community engagement, investigations and anti-terrorism. 

Those who enter the force will experience a job that is challenging and demanding, but offers job satisfaction and variety like no other. By 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.

Director of People Services, Adrian Rutherford commented: “As a police officers and staff, we’re proud of our role, our impact and our dedication every day, but I hope that Covid-19 has demonstrated this to the public now more than ever.

“Our communities depend on us, and we do all we can to protect our communities, catching criminals and deliver an outstanding service. We can only do this with the right kind of people, so this police officer recruitment is so important to help us add to our front-line and strengthen our teams who deliver so much, right across the county.

“We’re a police force that is full of difference, insight and experience thanks to our people, and we want to grow this even further.  I’d challenge anyone who may never have considered a career in policing before to just give it some thought.  You might be just the person we need, so do read through our recruitment pages and listen to the stories of our people to find out more.

“Policing won’t offer you an easy job, but will it offer you a career unlike any other, that is rewarding, varied and full of opportunities.”

One of the latest officers to join Sussex Police is PC Jaimine Shahid. She joined the force as a constable in September having previously worked as a pharmacy dispenser and a policy enquiry officer.

Joining at one of the most unique times in the history of policing, Jaimine is currently undergoing her 13-week training at Police HQ, before moving on to a Divisional Coaching Unit in December, where she will begin operational duties with the support of an experienced officer and coach.

Jaimine said: “As cliché as this may sound, I have always wanted to join the police. Not because of the salary, power or privilege, but because I want to break down the barriers that some people feel between the public and the police. At the end of the day, we are the community, we just wear a uniform. 

“I come from a Bangladeshi background, and know that within some communities, the perception of police, for a wide variety of reasons – is negative. My goal is to show these communities that police are here to help and that we are part of their community, not working in isolation. 

“My Attestation Day, when I formally became a police officer, was the biggest day of my life.  I couldn’t be more proud of myself and the fact that all my hard work had paid off.  Longer –term, I want to join the Safeguarding team. My sense of compassion and my desire to help vulnerable people means I think I could make a real difference there.”

Welcoming the recruitment news, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “I’m pleased to see Sussex Police continuing with their recruitment campaign with such gusto during another lockdown period.

“This is great news for Sussex residents and for Sussex Police as an organisation. It provides a fantastic opportunity for anybody wanting a fulfilling and varied career.

"I applaud senior officers for continuing to put extra boots on the ground when we need them most. I know that local communities will be delighted at the prospect of even more officers joining the force.

"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 at midnight on the 30 November. Please note, we anticipate high levels of interest, particularly in the Degree Holder’s Entry Programme so recommend submitting your application as early as possible as it may be necessary to close the recruitment window early. Apply now and help make a real difference to your community.

Crime summary

A burglary occurred between 12/11/2020 – 13/11/2020 in East Grinstead whereby an outbuilding at a farm was broken into and tools stolen from within Ref: 47200195560)

A further burglary was committed on Tilsmore Road, Heathfield, between 01/02/2020 – 29/02/2020 in which a garage was broken into and tools stolen from within the garage (Ref: 47200196158)

Another burglary happened at a farm in Forest Row, between 14/11/2020 – 15/11/2020, the suspect(s) entered a unit within the yard area, and fortunately nothing appeared to be stolen (Ref: 47200196731)

A burglary was committed on Goldsmiths Avenue, Crowborough, the circumstances involved a suspect entering the property via rear door and stealing jewellery from within Ref: 47200198705)
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
Links and attachments: Sussex Police will only ever link you to secure Websites we trust. We will only send you attachments where we believe it is absolutely necessary.

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

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