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Horsham weekly news and alerts
Alert message sent 21/09/2021 08:37:00
Information sent on behalf of Sussex Police
Tuesday 21st September 2021
News and appeals Police and banks working to stop fraud against vulnerable people
Banking Protocol scheme alerts local police to suspected scams.
•202 emergency calls were made in Sussex between January and June 2021, protecting customers from losing an average of £11,115 to criminals.
•Use of the scheme has led to 10 arrests in Sussex in the first half of this year.
Branch staff at banks, building societies and Post Offices worked with the police to stop £1,268.182 of fraud through the Banking Protocol rapid scam response in Sussex in the first half of this year, according to the latest figures from UK Finance. In total, the scheme has prevented £174 million of fraud and led to 934 arrests since its national launch in 2016.
UK Finance is urging customers to follow the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign, and remember a bank or the police will never ask you to transfer funds to another account or to withdraw cash to hand over to them for safe-keeping.
Case studies Romance scam
A woman tried to send an online payment of £2500 to the USA to a friend she had previously worked with in the UK. When the payment was blocked, she visited her local bank branch. She said she had been exchanging messages with this friend on a social media platform and that they had asked for the money to pay their hospital fees. Staff invoked the Banking Protocol, and the local police attended the branch. No money was lost to this scam.
A woman in her 80s received a telephone call from a male claiming to be from her bank. The male claimed there was an issue with the victim’s account and in order to help her with this he needed her to withdraw money (£2000) from her account. The victim was told to attend the bank to do so and call back when home for further instructions.
The victim attended the branch and staff confirmed to the victim that this man had not been in contact with them, and it was in fact a scam. The staff refused the withdrawal and invoked the Banking Protocol, alerting local police. Officers attended and offered fraud advice to the victim. The bank also put measures in place to further safeguard the victim from any future frauds.
A man in his 90s visited his local bank branch as an international payment he had attempted to make online had been stopped. He had been contacted by a company who wanted to sell shares that he held in America, saying he could get a return of £60,000 but had to send $7000 dollars which he would get back. Bank branch staff invoked the Banking Protocol and the police visited him at home. No money was lost and the police are investigating this company further.
Rogue trader scam
A woman in her 80s had builders explaining that they had been working on her neighbour’s roof and noticed that her roof also needed repairing. The victim offered to show the builders her property and they told the victim it was an urgent issue which needed to be fixed.
The builders quoted the work (£1500) and told the victim that they needed to take the payment in cash only. The victim explained that she would need to attend the bank to withdraw this.
At her local bank, the victim explained to bank staff what the money was for which made staff concerned it was a scam. Bank staff invoked the Banking Protocol, alerting the local police force and refused the transaction.
Officers attended and were able to offer the victim advice and ensured no suspects were still on the scene. Officers were also able to enquire with neighbours and ensure they were supporting the victim in future. A fraud caseworker has offered her ongoing support.
Public urged to be vigilant after people scammed on Facebook Marketplace
Police are warning people to be vigilant after a number of scams involving items being sold on Facebook Marketplace.
Officers across the county have recorded a spate of crimes in recent months in which the buyer, known as Peter Shyne, arrives at people’s houses after agreeing to purchase an item they advertised for sale.
Once they agree on a price, Shyne shows a payment being made using a banking app on his phone, followed by confirmation the transaction has gone through. When the money does not arrive in the buyer’s account immediately, he explains it sometimes takes a while and then leaves with the item. The seller later realises it was a fake account.
So far, scams have been reported involving an Apple Watch, a Nikon camera and accessories worth £1800, among other items.
The suspect is described as white, 5’ 10” to 6’ tall, of heavy build and with a strong Irish accent. He is usually wearing a baseball cap and a facemask.
Police search for wanted man Sam Kirk
Police are searching for Sam Kirk who is wanted on recall to prison.
Kirk, 34, is sought for breaching the terms of his release licence. He had been serving a 20-month sentence for assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
He is thought to be in the Horsham area. Anyone who sees him, or who has any information as to his whereabouts, is asked to contact police online or by calling 101 quoting serial 969 of 19/08.
Police make arrests and extra patrols after Horsham Park incidents
Police have made a number of arrests and stepped up patrols around Horsham Park following recent incidents in the area.
On Thursday, August 19, at around 7.30pm, a 17-year-old local boy reported being approached by a group of around six teenagers and assaulted.
He suffered facial injuries and a concussion in the attack.
A 15-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of assault and criminal damage and was released under investigation while enquiries continue. The children in the group are believed to be between aged 14 and 17 years old.
Anybody who witnessed the incident or has any information which could help with the investigation can contact police online or by calling 101, quoting serial 1313 of 19/08.
Investigations are also ongoing into three separate incidents in Horsham Park which took place in early September, including assaults on two men and an assault on a 12-year-old boy by a group of teenagers on Friday (September 10).
One person has been arrested in relation to these incidents and enquiries are underway, including the gathering of CCTV footage and witness evidence.
Inspector Ben Starns said: “Horsham Park is still a safe place for everybody to enjoy and we will be conducting regular patrols to reassure the public and deter further offences.
“The park is a large open space within a vibrant town centre and with numerous facilities and areas to relax is popular with local youths along with the rest of the community.
“As a result of these latest incidents, we will looking at carrying out an audit to ensure things such as lighting, access, visibility and designing out crime are considered. The result of this audit will be shared with interested parties with a view to working towards a safer park.
“We would encourage anybody who was a witness to any of the recent incidents or anyone who may have information to support our enquiries to report online or call on 101.” https://www.sussex.police.uk/news/sussex/news/news/police-make-arrests-and-extra-patrols-after-horsham-park-incidents/ Crime summary King Edward Close, Christs Hospital – between 1530hrs 10th September and 1830hrs 14th September a Nissan Juke was stolen. Cad 0327 15/09/21.
Greatham Lane, Greatham, Pulborough – between 18th & 19th September, a lock was cut off a shed door and several items including an antique sewing machine was stolen. Cad 1067 19/09/21.
Park Road, Faygate – over a period of time a catalytic converter was stolen from a Honda Jazz. Cad 0183 21/09/21.
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 email@example.com 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
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Message sent by
Adur, Worthing & Horsham (Police, District Engagement Officer, Sussex)