Neighbourhood Watch


Action Fraud Have Received Reports of Covid19 Related Scams

Action Fraud have received reports of COVID19 related scams. The majority relate to the online sale of protective items such as facemasks and other items in short supply due to the outbreak, that don't exist.


What scams are we seeing?

The majority of reports are related to online shopping scams where people have ordered protective face masks, hand sanitiser and other products, which have never arrived. Other frauds being reported include ticket fraud, romance fraud, charity fraud and lender loan fraud

Protection advice

Detailed counter fraud advice is available online, including from Scamsmart, ActionFraud, CIFAS, TakeFive, Citizens Advice, Trading Standards and the National Cyber Security Centre.
Reporting to Action Fraud can be done online at or by calling  0300 123 2040.

To report offers of financial assistance from HMRC contact

Police Emergency Response Volunteers

Surrey and Sussex Police are continuing to plan ahead during this period of dealing with Covid 19. In particular we are looking at contingencies in case our resources reduce or if we need additional specific skills and experience. As such we are creating a database of retired Police Officers, Specials and Police Staff, who may wish to return to policing for a temporary period, and members of the public who may have specific skills that would be of use.

To register interest:

Click here to apply online

We will be in touch with you as we develop our resourcing needs.
In the meantime we would be grateful if you could assist us by acting as our ambassadors by following, and encouraging others to follow the current Government advice to halt the spread of the virus.

We encourage you to sign up to ‘In the know’ for Surrey and Sussex Police where you will get tailored updates relating to policing activity.
Thank you for your interest in helping us it is appreciated.
(Please note you do not have to complete the diversity element of the link.)

Adrian Rutherford
Director of People Services for Surrey Police and Sussex Police

Scams Advice During The Coronavirus Outbreak

We are writing to you with regards to the coronavirus and how you can access support and safeguard yourself against scams.

We hope that you are well. As a reminder, we would like to re-iterate the Government and NHS guidelines about maintaining good hygiene; only go outside for food, health reasons or essential work, and stay two metres away from other people outside of your household.  It is particularly important for people who are over 70 and/or have an underlying health condition. Please take care to heed the latest warnings and guidelines issued by the Authorities. 

Social media such as Facebook Community Groups and WhatsApp Groups that send alerts can be great ways of staying in touch with those around you. However, it can be difficult to know who to trust. Such media are all online, and not everyone has access to the internet, so please help others, from a safe distance.

Please be aware that not everyone out there is trustworthy, and some people will take advantage of this unusual situation that our society is facing.

Here are just some of the scams we are aware of, but please note that criminals come in all shapes and sizes and can contact you at the door, by phone, post or online:

  • Be aware of people offering miracle cures or vaccines for coronavirus - there is no specific treatment for coronavirus (COVID-19). Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms until you recover.

  • Home cleaning services.

  • People impersonating healthcare workers, claiming to be offering "home-testing" for coronavirus - this is a scam and these kits are not currently available to buy.

  • Emails saying that you can get a refund on taxes, utilities or similar are usually bogus, and they are just after your personal and bank details.

  • There are lots of fake products available to buy online that say they can protect you or cure coronavirus. These will not help and are designed to take your money.

  • There are new mobile phone applications that claim to give you updates on the virus, but instead, they lock your phone and demand a ransom.

  • Your bank or the police will never ask for your bank details over the phone.

  • People offering to do your shopping or collecting medication and asking for money upfront and then disappearing.


Tips to avoid being scammed:

  • Be cautious and listen to your instincts. Don't be afraid to hang up, bin it, delete it or shut the door.

  • Take your time; don't be rushed.

  • If someone claims to represent a charity, ask them for ID. Be suspicious of requests for money up front. If someone attempts to persuade you into accepting a service they are unlikely to be genuine. If you are unsure, check with family and friends before accepting offers of help.

  • If you are online, be aware of fake news, and use trusted sources such as or websites. Make sure you type the addresses in and don't click on links in emails.

  • Only purchase goods from legitimate retailers, and take a moment to think before parting with money or personal information.

  • Know who you're dealing with - if you need help, talk to someone you know or get in touch with your local Council.

  • Protect your financial information, especially from people you don't know. Never give your bank card or PIN to a stranger.


Contact information:

  • If you think you've been scammed, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. If you need advice, call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133. If you are in immediate danger, contact the police on 999.

  • Contact your bank if you think you have been scammed.


To learn more about different types of scams and how to protect yourself and others, visit and complete the free online training.

Why not become a Scam Marshal? A Scam Marshal is any resident in the UK who has been targeted by a scam and now wants to fight back and take a stand against scams. Scam Marshals do this by sharing their own experiences, helping others to report and recognise scams, and sending any scam mail that they receive to the National Trading Standards Scams Team, so that it can be utilised as evidence in future investigative and enforcement work. Visit for more information and to sign up.

For additional useful sources of information please visit the Quick links page of the Sussex Neighbourhood Watch website - the direct link to that is 

Police News and Appeals - 24th March 2020

Don't fall victim to coronavirus fraudsters

Police are reminding Sussex residents to stay on the alert as reports come in from elsewhere across the country of frauds or attempts related to the current Covid-19 coronavirus issue.

Only one report has so far been made to Sussex Police, of a suspicious phone call that went no further thanks to the alertness of the resident, but nationally there have been more than 100 reports to Action Fraud since the start of February, with total losses reaching nearly £970,000.  The majority of reports are related to online shopping scams where people have ordered protective face masks, hand sanitiser and other products, which have never arrived.  Other frauds being reported include ticket fraud, romance fraud, charity fraud and lender loan fraud.

There have also been over 200 reports of coronavirus-themed 'phishing' emails. These attempt to trick people into opening malicious attachments which could lead to fraudsters stealing people’s personal information, email logins and passwords, and banking details.

Some of the tactics being used in phishing emails include:

  • Fraudsters purporting to be from a research group that mimics the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organisation (WHO). They claim to provide the victim with a list of active infections in their area, but to access this information the victim needs to either click on a link which redirects them to a credential-stealing page or make a donation of support in the form of a payment into a Bitcoin account

  • Fraudsters providing articles about the virus outbreak with a link to a fake company website where victims are encouraged to click to subscribe to a daily newsletter for further updates

  • Fraudsters sending investment scheme and trading advice encouraging people to take advantage of the coronavirus downturn

  • Fraudsters purporting to be from HMRC offering a tax refund and directing victims to a fake website to harvest their personal and financial details. The emails often display the HMRC logo making it look reasonably genuine and convincing

Superintendent Sanjay Andersen, head of the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, said: “Fraudsters will use any opportunity they can to take money from innocent people. This includes exploiting tragedies and global emergencies.  The majority of scams we are seeing across the country relate to the online sale of protective items, and items that are in short supply across the country, due to the Covid-19 outbreak. We’re advising people not to panic and to think about the purchase they are making. When you’re online shopping it’s important to do your research and look at reviews of the site you are buying from.”

PC Bernadette Lawrie, Surrey and Sussex financial abuse safeguarding officer, said: "The advice is simple, think very carefully before you hand over your money or bankcard and don’t give out your personal details unless you are sure who you are dealing with.  To date we have only seen one report in Sussex, involving an elderly vulnerable lady in Chichester who was phoned by someone impersonating a doctor and advising her that he had her personal details and that she had contracted the coronavirus. She hadn't. The motive was not established, but it was clearly suspicious. No money was lost and officers visited her to give reassurance and guidance on how to remain safe.

“We are working together across law enforcement, government and the private sector to combat this criminal activity and protect the public. If you think you have been a victim you can report to Action Fraud, but if you are elderly or vulnerable report directly to Sussex Police on 101 or online.

"You can protect yourself by:

  • Watching out for scam messages - don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails and never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details

  • When shopping online, if you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, and ask a friend or family member for advice before completing the purchase. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one as most major credit card providers insure online purchases

  • Protecting your devices from the latest threats - always install the latest software and app updates to protect your devices from the latest threats. The National Cyber security Centre offers advice on looking after your devices.

Sussex Police's Operation Signature offers further information on how to keep yourself safe from unwanted callers and other approaches. 

The NHS and Public Health England websites offer the latest health information and advice about Covid-19.

Katy Bourne, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, said: "Times of crisis can bring out the very best in people who are legitimately trying to help, but it also can attract opportunists and callous criminals who seek to capitalise on our most vulnerable and elderly. I urge residents to heed this police advice around ‘coronavirus scammers’ and to be extra vigilant at this time.  There has been a very welcome mushrooming of local online networks offering help and advice and some, however well-intentioned, may be incorrect or misleading so this co-ordination of trusted prevention advice will hopefully help to ensure our residents stay scam aware.”

Police Crime Summary - 24th March 2020

Reference: 0167 18th March
Location: Kinds Road, Horsham
Date and time: Between 1800hrs and 2200hrs 17th March
Details: A bathroom window was entered and several items were stolen.

Reference: 0291 21st March
Location: Broadbridge Heath
Date and time: 21st March
Details: Males seen trying door handles of properties. No access gained and nothing stolen.

Reference: 0787 21st March
Location: Middleton Road, Horsham
Date and time: 21st March
Details: Damage was caused to a front door and a window believe in an attempt to enter the property. No entry was gained and nothing has been stolen.
Burglary other than Dwelling

Reference: 1119 17th March
Location: Meadow Close, Horsham
Date and time: At approximately 0130hrs 13th March
Details: A garage door was forced open and power tools were taken.

Reference: 0633 18th March
Location: New Street, Horsham
Date and time: Between 1500hrs 14th March and 1930hrs 17th March
Details: The lock was forced on a garage, unknown if anything was taken.

Reference: 1121 18th March
Location:  Coombe Hill, Billingshurst
Date and time: 18th March
Details: A garage was broken into, not sure if anything was taken.

Reference: 0726 23rd March
Location: Queen Elizabeth Road, Rudgwick
Date and time: date and time unknown
Details: Two lawn mowers and other items stolen from a garage.

At the moment we have seen a slight rise in thefts from sheds/outbuilding and garages, this is not necessarily specific to Horsham but in general and we would like to remind everyone to secure outbuildings. We have also seen a couple of reports regarding thefts of lead from above doorways and sheds. Please check your outbuildings and report any suspicious activity.

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

Sussex Police Launches Police Officer Recruitment - 10th March 2020

As a result of increased funding to the precept from the Police and Crime Commissioner, Sussex Police launch their latest recruitment drive on Monday 9 March until 23 March 2020 and are looking for people who’ve got what it takes to join them on the front-line as a police officer.

Being a police officer is one of the most personally rewarding, challenging and diverse careers available. Tackling crime, taking knives off the streets, engaging and educating young people and being the person everyone looks towards for help; no two days are the same.

Officers are dedicated to keeping communities safe and feeling safe, identifying and protecting vulnerable people, preventing and responding to harm. It is a vital role in our mission to protect and serve the people of Sussex. Which is why we’re looking for people who 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; who’ll have their colleagues back no matter what and the resilience to serve our community every single day.

In return, successful recruits are promised a good starting salary, great training experiences, opportunities for progression through the ranks or within specialist fields such as detective, roads policing, firearms and public protection and the pride that comes from helping others.

Individuals can now join as an officer through one of two new entry routes, created by the College of Policing with the demands of modern day policing in mind. Launched in Sussex in December 2019, the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) offers three-year apprenticeship programme where individuals will study towards a degree in professional policing practice.

The Degree Holder Entry Programme is aimed at existing degree holders of any subject area and will launch in early 2020. Offering a two-year practice based programme, individuals receive a level six graduate diploma in professional policing practice.

Chief Constable Giles York said: “I am really pleased to welcome applications for our 2021 police officer recruitment.  Policing will appeal to those who want to make a difference, offering a lifetime of opportunities and I appeal particularly to those who may never have thought policing was for them.

We are looking to attract the next generation of police officers.  A career as a police officer is very challenging with exceptional job satisfaction and just so rewarding; for example long hours, shift-work, responding to possibly traumatic incidents and seeing the very real, sometimes life-changing, if not life-saving, differences you can make.

We are looking for energetic and engaging people with resilience, confidence, compassion and empathy - it’s an incredibly fulfilling career with great opportunities to progress.  The public will see more policing where it is needed most, always prioritising areas where communities face the greatest challenges.

Police officers make challenging decisions which impact the public every day. They face complex issues, often in dangerous situations, with growing demands from digital investigation and vulnerable individuals. In short, they really change people's lives."

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “I am pleased that the recruitment window is open again for police officers in Sussex, continuing our biggest recruitment drive in a decade.   I know from speaking extensively to residents that they value their police force very highly and they want to see more visible policing in the areas where they live and work.   Sussex residents deserve the very best police force and I am confident that we will attract high calibre candidates.
So, if you feel you have what it takes and want to play a vital role in your community, apply today!”

What Goes Online Stays Online - 2nd January 2020

Every time you use social media, buy or sell something online, visit any kind of website, send or receive an email, find your way using a mapping app or save a photo to the cloud, you add to your digital footprint. The same goes for downloading music, making Skype calls and using a voice assistant. Every time you post a photo of your children or your friends, you add to their digital footprint too.

What happens when you have a digital footprint?
Your digital footprint is part of your online history and can potentially be seen by other people, or tracked and held in a database … or many databases. This is the case even if you are careful with your privacy settings. Here are just a few examples of what could, and does, happen as a result of your online history:
• Companies can target you with specific marketing content on social media and other websites. You could also receive emails, letters or phone calls from these companies.
• Advertisers can track your movement from site to site to gauge your areas of interest.
• Entertainment providers (such as music or films) could target you with unwanted recommendations for content.
• Prospective employers can look into your and family members’ background.
• Your child’s application for schools, colleges, universities, scholarships, clubs or even sports teams could be rejected.
• You, family members or friends could become the victim of fraud or identity theft.
• Your children could be at risk of criminal activity threatening their online or physical safety.
• Records of your online activity could fall into the wrong hands, including perpetrators of organised crime.
• Tech companies such as browser and search engine providers can track and record what you’ve searched and viewed. This, in turn, could be shared with other parties including law enforcement agencies.
• You could be refused life, medical, property or vehicle insurance based on information you have shared online.

How to minimise your digital footprint, or make sure it’s a good one:
• Don’t overshare information about yourself, family members or friends that would be better kept private. That’s on social media, websites and apps requesting details and in response to texts and messages.
• Think before you post. Even if your social media privacy settings are set up correctly, there’s no guarantee that your posts or photos won’t be shared.
• Be aware that every time you visit a website, it’s visible to tech companies like website owners, browsers and search engines.
• Read terms and conditions and data privacy policies on websites and apps before providing any personal data or making transactions. What can the providers do with your data, and why would you agree to it? If you’re not comfortable with the information being requested, don’t provide it.
• Check geolocation settings on mobile devices, apps and cameras. If you don’t want anybody to know where you are, or where you have been, disable them.
• Never stop enjoying the many excellent benefits of using the internet, but always bear in mind what digital trail you’re leaving, who may be able to access it and how they may be able to use it.

Get Safe Online is the UK’s leading source of information and advice on online safety and security, for the public and small businesses. It is a not-for-profit, public/private sector partnership backed by a number of government departments, law enforcement agencies and leading organisations in internet security, banking and retail.

For more information and expert, easy-to-follow, impartial advice on safeguarding yourself, your family, finances, devices and workplace, visit If you think you have been a victim of fraud, report it to Action Fraud at or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Police News and Appeals - 31st March 2020

Man wanted for assault, stalking and criminal damage

Police are searching for wanted man Darren Worsfold.  Worsfold, 41, is wanted for the offences of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, stalking and criminal damage.  He is known to frequent Royal George Road and the surrounding areas of Burgess Hill, and has links to other nearby towns including Haywards Heath.  He is described as white, approximately 5' 8", of proportionate build with short brown hair.

Anyone who sees him or who has any information as to his whereabouts is asked to call 999 immediately quoting serial 143 of 23/03.
To see a photograph of Darren, please click on the link or go to our website.

Man who set fire to mid-terraced house jailed for almost four years

A man who deliberately set fire to a mid-terraced house in Horsham has been jailed for almost four years.

Shortly after 11am on 25 May 2017, police were contacted by West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service regarding the incident in Laughton Road.  The fire – which cause approximately £88,000 worth of damage – had started in a first floor bedroom and was thankfully extinguished before it could spread to neighbouring properties. 
The house was unoccupied at the time, but was home to a woman and her two children.

A forensic examination of the scene concluded the fire was deliberately started, and police enquiries led to the arrest of Fabrizio Indovino, 43, a residential care worker, of Denne Parade, Horsham.

In police interview, the defendant denied having been anywhere near the property in the weeks leading up to the fire. But a search of his premises revealed a fuel receipt from the nearby Tesco Express petrol station – CCTV was checked and showed Indovino had filled up a jerry can and cycled with it towards the scene of the fire shortly before it happened.
He was charged with arson and originally denied the offence, and the case was due to go for trial; however he later changed his plea to guilty.

At Hove Crown Court on 18 March, Indovino was sentenced to 43 months’ imprisonment.  A further charge of arson with intent to endanger life will lie on file.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Stuart Beckett, said: “This was a mindless act which caused a significant amount of damage to the property, costing tens of thousands of pounds to repair. But it could have been a whole lot worse – thankfully no one was in the house at the time, and the incident was brought under control by the fire service before it could spread any further.”

Richard Bradley, West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service’s Business Fire Safety Training and Quality Assurance Manager, said: “Following this fire in May 2017, our fire investigators worked closely with officers from Sussex Police and carried out a thorough investigation of the property.  It became clear quite quickly that we were dealing with a case of arson, and we were able to support the police as they built their case.  This incident had the potential to be significantly worse than it turned out to be, which has been recognised by the severity of the sentence handed down to the defendant.”

Police Crime Summary - 31st March 2020

Reference: 0094 25th March 
Location: Station Road, Cowfold
Date and time: During night-time 25th March
Details: Items were stolen from a container at the rear of a property and damage was caused.

Reference: 0790 26th March
Location: Wantley Hill Estate, Henfield
Date and time: During the afternoon of 26th March
Details: Items were stolen from a property that was unattended and had been left insecure.
Burglary other than Dwelling

Reference: 0620 25th March
Location: Brighton Road, Shermanbury
Date and time: Between 1250hrs and 1350hrs 25th March
Details: A garage was entered and gas bottles were stolen.

Reference: 0563 28th March
Location: New Street, Horsham
Date and time: Time frame unknown
Details: A garage was entered after breaking the lock, nothing believe to have been stolen.
Please click on the link to see the April 2020 cyber aware newsletter. This month it also includes Coronavirus.

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

Get Safe Online Campaign - Coronavirus and Keeping Safe Online - 1st April 2020

Right now, safeguarding ourselves, our loved ones, friends and colleagues from COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is uppermost in people's minds in the UK and around the world. After all, this is an unprecedented situation which warrants unprecedented precautions.

Also of great importance, however, is making sure we also remain safe in the virtual world during restrictions on travel, socialising, office life and other things we normally take for granted.

Why is online safety even more important than usual?

Invariably, a crisis affecting large numbers of people triggers a huge volume of fraudulent activity. With Coronavirus, expect fake ads for anything from vaccines to face masks, links to sensational news and video, bogus charity appeals, and phishing emails claiming to be from travel, compensation and insurance companies or event/tournament organisers. Fraudsters know that at times like these, we may be too concerned or preoccupied to spot that something isn't right.

Business owners with employees not accustomed to working from home also need to take simple precautions additional to those we normally exercise in regular workplaces. And if we're using the extra time on our hands to relax, there's also more chance that we could be letting our online guard down, whether we're social networking, gaming, dating, downloading or the many other things we take for granted.

However Coronavirus is affecting your online life, please read our top tips to help you protect yourself, your family, finances, devices and organisation. And as always, make sure you check out our advice including passwords, payments, safe buying and updating your software and apps.

Find comprehensive information from keeping yourself protected online at

Coronavirus-related scams

Reported Coronavirus scams cost victims in the UK over £800,000 in a single month, according to Action Fraud. Here's how to help avoid them:

  • Be wary of approaches from supposed travel agents, tour operators, airlines, cruise companies, insurance companies or compensation firms promising to arrange travel, accommodation or event entry refunds: they may well be fraudulent. If in doubt, call the company you have been dealing with, on the phone number you know to be correct. These approaches can take the form of emails, texts, social media posts, direct messages, online advertisements and phone calls.

  • Be wary of ads for products such as face masks, hand sanitiser, vaccines, cures and hard-to-get goods, as they could be for non-existent products. Never pay by bank transfer, and where possible pay by credit card as doing so provides additional protection.

  • As always, don't click on unknown links in emails, texts or posts, or email attachments. They could link to websites that capture your passwords and other confidential details or cause a malware infection, both of which can result in financial or identity fraud. They could also link to adult, hate, extremist or other content.

Working from home

  • Ensure that cloud-based collaborative services such as file sharing and conferencing are secured with strong passwords and two-factor authentication (2FA).

  • Set strong passwords for new accounts or remote accesses and impose rules about password usage, such as not sharing, using a password manager and not using passwords for more than one account. For information about strong passwords, visit:

  • Consider whether it is safe and/or sensible to enable employees to use their own computers and mobile devices for work purposes ('bring your own device')

  • If employees need access to your company's network, files and email, set them up a virtual private network (VPN). Beforehand, read reviews for VPN security levels. Existing VPNs should be fully patched.

  • Emphasise the importance of protecting company-issued devices in case of loss, theft or damage. Ensure they can be locked down in the event of loss or theft. Devices should be kept out of harm's way, for example from family members and visitors to the home.

  • Employees should ensure that their broadband routers are secured to avoid unwanted intrusion, and if they are out and about, avoid using Wi-Fi hotspots whilst doing anything confidential.

  • If work conversations are confidential, make sure they are out of earshot of any smart speakers that may be in the home.

  • Maintain your normal checks and controls, including for data breaches, which could be more likely under the current conditions. It may also be worth notifying your insurance provider that staff are home working.

  • Report actual or attempted fraud immediately to Action Fraud at or by calling 0300 123 2040. If you're in Scotland, call Police Scotland on 101.

  • Report data breaches which may compromise individuals' rights and freedoms to the Information Commissioner's Office at

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