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Lewes District Police Weekly News and Alerts

Alert message sent 20/11/2020 12:33:00

Information sent on behalf of Sussex Police

Thursday 5th November 2020

Lewes Neighbourhood Policing Team News and Alerts

Police are appealing for information following the burglary of a construction site in Ditchling

The incident happened in Lewes Road overnight between Sunday (15 November) evening and Monday (16 November) morning. A vehicle was seen to approach the site between 8pm and 10pm on Sunday.

Items such as construction tools including screw guns, nail guns, a petrol grinder and a laser box were taken.

An unknown man was seen to approach the property about 9am on Friday (13 November) before it was burgled. His presence was queried by a neighbour before he returned to a van.

Police are keen to identify and speak to the man pictured to ascertain whether he had any involvement.

PC James Goff: "This incident has had serious financial implications for the victim who has lost valuable equipment worth in the region of £5,000.

"It has also resulted in a delay to the construction schedule.

"We are appealing to anyone who can identify this man, or witnessed anything suspicious, or has noticed anyone with new equipment that they can't account for, to come forward.

"If you have information please report it to us online or by calling 101, quoting 47200197054."

Knife Crime Awareness Week, Results

Sussex Police made a total of 34 arrests and removed 589 weapons from public circulation during Operation Sceptre week of action on knife crime. 

Between November 9 and 15, Sussex Police joined other forces across the country to raise awareness of knife crime as part of the campaign through targeted operations, educational work with schools, patrols, weapons sweeps, knife amnesty bins and test purchasing activities.

Arrests for offences including knife possession, weapon manufacturing, robbery and possession of drugs with intent to supply were made as part of proactive work carried out during the week. Eight of the 34 arrests were knife related.

Due to coronavirus restrictions officers were unable to attend schools to talk about knife crime with students and instead held virtual assemblies across the region.

Throughout the week members of the public were able to dispose of knives and bladed articles in our knife amnesty bins placed at police stations across Sussex. Over 400 knives were recovered from the bins and will now be destroyed.

In East Sussex over 15,000 students were reached through virtual assemblies and schools were encouraged to open up honest conversations about the dangers of knife possession and the legal and personal consequences of getting caught with one. 
"It is a misconception that carrying a knife makes you safer. Carrying a knife for protection is not a defence in law and even being caught with someone carrying can result in a sentence if you are caught.   

“Whilst we did increase our activity during this week of action, our activity to combat knife crime is part of everyday policing.

"We have year-round operations to address knife crime including engaging with young people in schools, the launch of our knife crime engagement van and work with partners to ensure people are signposted to help at an early opportunity. 

"We also work hard to target disrupt prolific offenders, through the Tactical Enforcement Unit and are intensifying our activities through days of action - which means individuals carrying knives are increasingly likely to be caught and prosecuted.

"This anti-knife week is also a crucial reminder that there is help out there for those who do not feel safe. We always have amnesty bins in police stations where you can drop off your dangerous and unwanted blades and we will continue to work with our partners to take positive action when knife crime occurs.”

If you need to talk to someone anonymously, Crimestoppers can be reached on 0800 555 111. As always, you can report online or via 101. In an emergency, always call 999.  

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

To apply click here.

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.”
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.

ASB patrols this weekend across Lewes and the Coast

At this time of year there is often an increase in anti-social behaviour, which can distress and worry many residents.

Additional Officers will be deployed this evening on our ASB targeting patrols, Op Blitz this Friday and Saturday- call 07989188960 between 1600-2200 (both Friday and Saturday) to report ASB directly to officers out on patrol.

Sussex Police will not tolerate any anti-social behaviour at any time of the year. Outside of these times report ASB online or to 101, and always call 999 in an emergency.

Domestic Abuse During Lockdown

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.

Crime Summary

2 vehicles were stolen from properties off St Leonards Close, Newhaven, in the small hours of the 15th November. Unknown suspects have gained entry to properties to take car keys.

Newhaven Police are investigating the two crimes, if you have any information that may assist our enquiries please contact 101, or report online. (114 of 15/11 relates)

2 unknown youths were seen off by residents on the afternoon of the 15th, at a property off Spences Lane, Lewes after being seen trying to gain entry to garages and sheds. (897 of 16/11 relates)

Tools were targeted from a building site off Lewes Road, Hassocks overnight on the 15th, unknown suspects have used force to enter the building. (190 of 16/11 relates)

A commercial property off Meeching Road, Newhaven was broken into overnight on the 18th. Unknown suspects have used force to gain entry to the rear of the property, fortunately nothing was stolen. (1145 of 19/11 relates)

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:

With more stores reopening, and online shopping slots becoming available, please take the time to refresh your online security, only trust known websites, and remember offers that sound too good to be true generally are. More support and advice here.

NHS Track and Trace scams, if you're contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service, please know, that you will not be asked to provide any passwords, bank account details or pin numbers.

Find out more about how NHS test and trace works here, and how to spot emails and text for legitimacy.

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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