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Hastings Weekly Bulletin

Alert message sent 29/09/2021 17:03:00

Information sent on behalf of Sussex Police

Wednesday 29th September 2021

Hastings Weekly Bulletin

New and Alerts

Police warning about dangers of ‘sextortion’

Sussex Police are repeating their warning about ‘sextortion’ and the dangers associated with interacting with someone you don’t know online after more than 100 reports across the county so far this year.

Sextortion is a form of blackmail where a perpetrator threatens to reveal intimate images of the victim online unless they give in to their demands. These demands are typically for money or further images.

In the first eight months of 2021, Sussex Police have recorded 106 reports of Sextortion, with a total loss of £14,939.

92% of victims were males, and 69% of those were under 29.

60 of the victims were in West Sussex, 32 were in East Sussex and 14 were in Brighton and Hove.

Criminals often befriend victims online by using a fake identity and then persuade them to perform sexual acts in front of their webcam. They then threaten to share the images with the victims’ friends and family which can make the victims feel embarrassed and ashamed, and prevent them from coming forward to report this incident.

Typically victims are contacted on social media platforms, mainly Facebook and Instagram.

They are then often asked to move to platforms such as Google Hangouts and WhatsApp.

Payments are often made to fraudsters via PayPal, MoneyGram, Western Union, Tap Tap or Gift Cards.

For more information you can visit the Sussex Police website here.

Three people arrested and Class A drugs seized in Hastings

Police in Hastings seized Class A drugs and arrested three people as part of continued work to disrupt the supply of drugs in the town.

Project Adder was launched earlier this year by the Home Office with the aim of tackling drug-related harm and reducing drug-related deaths in five key areas across the UK.

As one of those five areas, Hastings will benefit from a share of the £148 million investment in the scheme, which will run until March 31, 2023.

Led locally by East Sussex County Council and Sussex Police, Project Adder has seen an increased focus on enforcement action against those involved in drugs production and supply, safeguarding those who are vulnerable and at risk of exploitation, and treatment and recovery for those suffering from addiction.

For more information visit the Sussex Police website here. 

Sussex Police launches latest officer recruitment drive

Sussex Police has opened applications for new police officers as part of its commitment to bolster officer numbers across the county.

The force’s latest recruitment window opened on Monday (September 27), welcoming applications over the following two weeks and encouraging members of the community to consider a career in policing. 

The campaign urges potential applicants to ‘Change your life, Change lives’, highlighting the incredible impact police officers have in their communities, alongside the wealth of career opportunities on offer.

Recruitment will close on Monday 11 October.

For more information and the link to apply please visit the Sussex Police website here

Police officers, staff and members of the public celebrate at East Sussex awards ceremony

The hard work, dedication and bravery of police officers, staff and members of the public in East Sussex was celebrated at an awards event last week.

The ceremony was held on Monday (September 20) at The Welcome Building in Eastbourne in front of family, friends and dignitaries including East Sussex Lord-Lieutenant Andrew Blackman.

Awards were presented for a variety of reasons including complex and in-depth investigations, tackling organised crime, impactful community engagement and life-saving actions.

Chief Superintendent Tanya Jones, divisional commander for East Sussex, said: “This is an opportunity to recognise excellent work, which comes in many forms, whether it is acts of courage, tenacity in our response to victims and complex investigations, saving life and the overall essence which is commitment to public service and doing the best that we can.”

To read more about the awards ceremony visit the Sussex Police website here.

Appeal for witnesses to suspicious behaviour in Hastings

Police investigating a report of suspicious behaviour in Hastings are appealing for witnesses.
Officers received a report of two men behaving in an inappropriate manner of the corner of Victoria Road in Ore, in the vicinity of a group of children.

The incident happened around 4.30pm on Saturday (September 18).

Anyone who was in the area at the time and who witnesses any suspicious behaviour is asked to contact police online here or by calling 101 quoting serial 1088 of 18/09.

Burglary Summary

A burglary has been reported at a commercial business off of Elphinstone Road, Hastings (966 of the 22/09 relates).

There has been a burglary reported at a residential property off of St Saviours Road, St Leonards (1526 of the 22/09).

Members of the community are asked to remain vigilant to any suspicious activity in their area, and to report any concerns to police.

You can visit our crime prevention pages on home security here for ways you can protect your home and belongings.

Emerging Issues

Arrests Made Across Hastings This Week

Over 40 arrests have been made across Hastings and St Leonards this week, for offences including; drink driving, criminal damage and common assault.

If your report is not urgent you can call us on 101 or through our website service here. 

Online reports are triaged in the same way as 101 calls but keep our phone lines free for those who can only contact us by phone.

In the case of an emergency, crime in action or where there is a threat to life always call 999.

Out and About in the Community

As always, our teams have been out and about in the community. You may have seen them at some of the following places.

On Tuesday (28/09), in addition to routine patrols in the area, officers from the Neighbourhood Policing Team were out on high visibility patrols in Hastings Town Centre, keeping an eye on things and engaging with the public. This activity was carried out as part of our ongoing work to tackle Anti-Social behaviour on the area.

Under Operation Downsway, a force level initiative to tackle the fatal five offences on the road, officers from the Roads Policing Unit have been out conducting speed checks in Churchwood Road, Hastings.  

Action Fraud Scam and Fraud Reminders

Watch out for fake HMRC emails

Action Fraud are reminding people to be on the lookout for fake HMRC emails after receiving 326 reports about them last week.

They have seen a high number of fraudsters emailing, texting or calling people claiming to be from HMRC and that the recipient is owed a tax refund.

If in doubt, Action Fraud advise people not to reply directly to anything suspicious but to contact HMRC straight away and to search GOV.UK for ‘HMRC scams’.

You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to and texts to 60599. Scam phone calls can be reported on GOV.UK.

Neighbourhood Watch

Hastings and St Leonards has an active Neighbourhood Watch Scheme, with around ‘80’ watches that works closely with local police, council and community members.

Neighbourhood Watch is about getting people together with their community to take action to reduce crime, these schemes can also;
  • Cut crime and the opportunities for crime
  • Help and reassure those who live in the area
  • Encourage neighbourliness and closer communities
To find out more about your local scheme and for information on how to join visit the Hastings and St Leonards Neighbourhood Watch website here

Help Us Keep Sussex Safe

If you have seen or heard anything, or have an 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 Crime Stoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online here.

You can also visit our website here 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 the Ask the Police website here for more information.

Your Local Teams

You can find your local PCSO by entering your postcode on our website here

You can also follow your local Police team on Social Media, click below:

Link and Attachments

Sussex Police will only ever link you to secure websites we trust. We will on send you attachments where we believe it is absolutely necessary.
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Alexandra Hawkins (Police, District Engagement Officer, Hastings & Rother)

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