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Lewes Police weekly News and Alerts
Alert message sent 19/03/2021 10:31:00
Information sent on behalf of Sussex Police
Friday 19th March 2021
Lewes and Seahaven Police weekly News and Alerts
Sussex Police will pilot a national initiative aimed at tackling knife crime and protecting communities from serious violence.
Sussex is one of four police forces in the country to pilot the use of Serious Violence Reduction Orders (SVRO), which will help police tackle knife crime by giving them additional powers to stop and search adults who have previously been convicted of knife and offensive weapons offences.
The orders, introduced through the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in Parliament this month, will be issued to adult offenders only, and at the discretion of the court.
An offender issued with a SVRO will face an increased likelihood of being stopped by the police and if they continue to carry weapons, they will be sent back to prison or brought before the court.
Detective Superintendent Stu Hale said: “Knives and other dangerous weapons have no place on our streets. We work tirelessly to remove them and to take action against those found to be carrying them, as part of our ongoing commitment to keeping our communities safe. Key to this is multi-agency working through the Violence Reduction Partnerships, tackling local issues, with a focus on early intervention with children and young people.
“By signing up to be a part of this pilot project, we are looking to build on the extensive work we already do in Sussex to tackle knife crime and serious violence.
“The powers granted within the order will help us identify and manage persistent offenders, which in turn should act as a powerful deterrent to others thinking of continually carrying a knife. If you persist in carrying weapons, you will be caught and dealt with robustly.
“Carrying weapons is extremely dangerous and although some people may carry them to feel safe, it actually puts you at more risk of coming to harm.”
Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “Sussex Police are helping to lead the way in tackling serious violence and knife crime by taking part in this ground-breaking pilot.
“By targeting habitual knife carriers in an intelligence-led and consistent way officers will be sending out a clear message that this dangerous and reckless behaviour will not be tolerated.
“Following weeks of high profile success on our roads by the new Sussex Enforcement Units, the deployment of SVROs is another clear demonstration of Sussex Police cracking down on serious violence to make our streets even safer.”
The use of SVROs will complement the wider activity that Sussex Police is doing under Operation Safety, the force response to tackling knife crime and serious violence, with the primary focus on reducing knife crime committed against young people.
Last year, Sussex Police secured additional funding from The Home Office’s Serious Violence Fund for 2020/21, with the primary focus on reducing knife crime committed in public spaces against young people. Tactics used to prevent knife crime include the use of the Operation Safety van to engage, inform and educate members of the public on the risk of carrying knives, targeted days of action, knife sweeps, increased patrols and a multi-agency awareness campaign to engage with young people on the dangers of carrying knives.
Knife amnesty bins are available in police stations across Sussex, allowing people to safely dispose of knives with no consequences and no questions asked.
If you are a parent or carer and you are concerned someone you care for is in danger of becoming a victim of knife crime, try to talk with them in the first instance or seek advice from Family Lives on 0808 800 22 22.
If you're concerned or have information about knife crime, you can report online or via 101. In an emergency always dial 999.
Blessing Olusegun investigation: Statement from Sussex Police
We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of Blessing Olusegun, a much-loved and popular 21-year-old woman and business student from South London. In September 2020, Blessing spent a week in Bexhill in East Sussex working as a carer.
At 6.20am on Friday 18 September the body of a woman was found lying on the beach at Bexhill near Galley Hill. The body was identified that morning as that of Blessing and her next of kin, her mother, was visited and informed by Metropolitan Police officers later the same day.
Sussex Police detectives attended and, with no immediate evidence of a crime, the Coroner was notified and a police investigation launched. The investigation remains ongoing and, to date, police have carried out detailed enquiries to explore the circumstances leading to Blessing’s death. These include:
A search of the area where Blessing was found: this located her phone and slippers piled neatly 300m away on the beach
Enquiries in the local neighbourhood to identify any potential witnesses
Interviews with people who last saw or spoke with Blessing, including family and friends
A search of Blessing’s room at her work placement in Bexhill and belongings found on the beach, including forensic tests
A forensic examination of her devices and a detailed review of her phone records, which is ongoing
Retrieval and review of CCTV from the local area; this showed Blessing walking to and entering the beach at around 1.30am. She was alone and no evidence of others being in the vicinity has been captured on CCTV
Toxicology tests and a medical examination was carried out by a pathologist who found Blessing had died from drowning; they found no evidence of violence or any internal or external injuries.
Because there is no evidence of third party involvement, Blessing’s death is described as ‘’non suspicious”. The Coroner will decide on the facts of the case and determine how, when and where Blessing died.
Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Pippa Nicklin said: "I have spoken with Blessing’s mother and explained we remain absolutely committed to finding out the facts of what happened to Blessing. This is a very distressing time for her and we are keen to do everything we can so that hopefully she may gain some closure over the death of her much-loved daughter.
“Although there continues to be no evidence of a crime we are still carefully and fully examining all the circumstances leading up to Blessing's death, from her arrival in Bexhill, to her leaving the house where she was working and walking to the beach.
“It has been reported that we have not properly investigated Blessing’s death because of her ethnicity and we strongly refute these claims.”
All evidence collated will be submitted to the Coroner, who will set a date for an inquest in due course.
We ask for everyone to respect the privacy of Blessing’s family at this difficult time.
ASB Patrols this weekend
Each week, targeted ASB patrols head out across the district to known areas, and areas of ASB, behaviour or driving, reported by your communities.
Call 07989188960 between 1600-2200 each Friday and Saturday if you witness, or are victim to anti-social behaviour (ASB), and report directly to officers on the ground, out targeting areas of known and reported ASB.
This number does not change each week, keep a note of it if you need to contact us. Outside of these times please continue to report anti-social behaviour to us online, or by calling 101, or remember always call 999 in an emergency.
We have only seen one reported burglary on the Lewes/Seahaven districts this week involving a break in at a building site off North Lane Newhaven on the 16th March. Unknown suspects have used force on gates to the site to cause damage and remove locks to gates to gain entry. Nothing was reported as stolen and the site has been secured.
Residents; remember too you can register your property on website such as Immobilise, which not only helps to protect your property but also helps to reunite stolen items should they be recovered by the Police.
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?
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 www.crimestoppers-uk.org
You can also visit our website at www.sussex.police.uk 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 www.askthe.police.uk/ for more information.
Your local teams
You can find now find details of your local PCSO and your local Neighbourhood Policing Teams here.
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