Neighbourhood Watch

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£15M Lost To Online Shopping Scams Last Christmas - 25th November 2021

Online shopping scams cost shoppers £15.4 million over the Christmas period last year.

New data from Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime, reveals that 28,049 shoppers were conned out of their money when shopping online over the Christmas period last year – an increase of almost two thirds (61 per cent) when compared to the same period in the previous year.

Ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Action Fraud is warning the public to take extra care when shopping online as reports of online shopping fraud have continued to surge. Here are some simple tips to help you and your family enjoy a secure online shopping experience this festive season.

Where to shop
Buying from an online store you haven’t used before? Carry out some research first, or ask a friend or family member if they’ve used the site and about their experiences before completing the purchase.

Your information
Only create an account if necessary or to save you effort if you’re going to use that site a lot in the future. Be cautious if the website asks you for details that are not required for your purchase, such as your mother’s maiden name or the name of your primary school.

Payment method
When it's time to pay for your items, check there's a 'closed padlock' icon in the browser's address bar. Use a credit card when shopping online, if you have one. Most major credit card providers protect online purchases.

Phishing
Some of the messages you receive about amazing offers may contain links to fake websites. If you’re unsure about a link, don’t use the it – go separately to the website. Report suspicious emails you receive by forwarding them to: report@phishing.gov.uk. Report suspicious text messages by forwarding them to: 7726.

Email accounts:
Make sure that your really important accounts (such as your email account or online shopping accounts) are protected by strong passwords that you don't use anywhere else.

Need help changing your email account password? You can use these links to find step by step instructions: Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Outlook, BT, AOL Mail

If things go wrong
If you've lost money to an online shopping scam, tell your bank and report it as a crime to Action Fraud (for England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or Police Scotland (for Scotland). By doing this, you'll be helping to prevent others becoming victims of cyber crime.

For more of the government’s latest advice on how to stay secure online, visit the Cyber Aware website: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/cyberaware

Police News and Appeals - 23rd November 2021

Drink-driver convicted after narrowly avoiding collision with police

A dangerous drink-driver who narrowly avoided a head-on collision with a police car has been disqualified.

Adam Baines was returning to his home in Itchingfield after drinking at a pub in Horsham in the early hours of September 4 this year.  The 20-year-old engineer drank five Jack Daniels and Cokes and another shot of alcohol but still got behind the wheel.  In police interview, he suggested there was “no other way” for him to get home and “a taxi would be £30”.

PC Adams and PC Dempsey from the Horsham Response Unit had been informed that Baines was driving home while intoxicated, and were trying to intercept him.  At Bashurst Hill, a narrow country lane with blind bends, they saw the headlights of Baines’s black Audi A4 approaching them at high speed.  PC Adams swerved into a ditch to avoid a head-on collision which she claimed could have caused serious injuries or even been fatal. The officers added that they were put in fear for their lives by Baines’s driving.  But despite that, Baines did not stop at the scene and proceeded home where he was later arrested.  He gave a breath test reading of 72 microgrammes (mcg) per 100 millilitres (ml) of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg per 100ml.

Baines, of The Wedges, Itchingfield, admitted drink-driving and dangerous driving when he appeared before Crawley Magistrates’ Court on September 20.
He then appeared for sentence at Lewes Crown Court on October 29, where he was disqualified from driving for 18 months.  Baines was ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and was fined £500. He must also pay £425 costs and a £95 surcharge.

Following the case, PC Adams said: “Baines put his own life and the lives of other road users at risk – rather than pay £30 for a taxi – when he decided to drive his car home while more than double the legal drink-drive limit.  His disqualification means another dangerous driver has been banned from our roads.”

https://www.sussex.police.uk/news/sussex/news/court-results/drink-driver-convicted-after-narrowly-avoiding-collision-with-police/

Volunteers recognised with long service awards

A number of volunteers have been recognised for their long service after Southwater Community Police Station celebrated its 25th anniversary.

A total of seven individuals who have given at least five years’ service received certificates for their selfless efforts during the event held at the station on Friday evening (12 November).  It was hosted by Chief Superintendent Howard Hodges, Divisional Commander for West Sussex, who commended the volunteers for keeping community policing alive.

“We are fortunate to have a large band of volunteers across Sussex including Special Constables, custody van drivers, CCTV viewers and administrators, among others,” he said.  "These individuals give up their own free time to maintain and enhance the service we provide, which in turn supports our three force priorities: to protect communities, catch criminals and deliver an outstanding service.  I am hugely grateful to every single one of our volunteers and it is particularly fitting that we recognise the volunteers at Southwater Community Police Station as it celebrates its 25th anniversary.”

In 1996, Sussex Police decided to sell the police house in Southwater.  Recognising that this would leave the area without sufficient cover, Neighbourhood Watch coordinator Karen Haynes and local PC Gareth Ellis – who lived in the police house – came up with an idea.  They suggested that if the force could finance renting an office from Horsham District Council, then it could be run by volunteers.  Karen put an advert in the local magazines for volunteers, and by the time the community station opened on 9 September that year, a total of 14 people had put their names forward.

Among them was David Scott, who still works there to this day. When he signed up, he had just retired having served Surrey Police for 30 years.  He said: “When I retired, I missed the comradeship. I saw the ad and gave Gareth a ring, and said I was interested in helping. I said to my wife when I started that I would do it for a couple of years, but 25 years later here we are!  I work there twice a week now, but I’m on call if ever they need anything. I still enjoy it and I do think it’s vital to have that policing presence in Southwater.  I think we our volunteers all deserve a pat on the back because without their support we wouldn’t have a police office in Southwater.”

David, 77, and his team, are responsible for duties including recruiting more volunteers, conducting interviews, administration, training, running the office, engaging with the public, taking incident reports and more.  In 2006, the station was put forward and won the UK Volunteer of the Year award.  Currently, it is manned by a team of 22 volunteers who have been trained by Sussex Police to deal with incidents from antisocial behaviour to road traffic collisions, and to offer support to crime prevention initiatives and schemes in the village.

https://www.sussex.police.uk/news/sussex/news/news/volunteers-recognised-with-long-service-awards/

Police Crime Summary - 23rd November 2021

Handford Way, Plummers Plain – between 1800hrs 13th November and 1000hrs 14th November, screws and door hinges were removed from a shed door, a chainsaw and a generator was stolen. Cad 140 17/11/21.

Henfield Road, Cowfold – between 2200hrs 16th November and 0700hrs 17th November, a padlock on a shed was damaged and an electric pedal cycle was stolen, the shed was located close, damage was caused to the bike. Cad 0290 17/11/21.

Chantry Lane, Storrington – between 0100hrs and 0130hrs 17th November, an open garage was entered and power tools were stolen. Cad 0801 17/11/21.

Newman Way, Billingshurst - approximately 2230hrs 16th November, damage was caused to a garage door believe in an attempt to enter, no entry was gained and nothing was stolen. Cad 1094 17/11/21.

Cedar Close, Horsham – between 1500hrs and 1535hrs 17th November, an attempted distraction burglary, nothing was stolen. Cad 1547 17/11/21.

Staples Hill, Partridge Green – between 0100hrs and 0300hrs 17th November, a sat nav and phone charger were stolen from a van. Cad 0725 17/11/21.

Brighton Road, Mannings Heath – Saturday 13th November, a financial card was stolen. Cad 0973 17/11/21.

Staples Hill, Partridge Green – between 1700hrs 16th November and 0745hrs 17th November, tools were stolen from a van, no damage was caused. Cad 1177 17/11/21.

Stane Street Close, Codmore Hill – between 2200hrs 18th November and 1000hrs 19th November, a pedal cycle and some tools were stolen from a shed. Cad 0626 19/11/21.

Blackstone Lane, Blackstone, Henfield – between 1030hs and 1500hrs 19th November, a shed door was damaged and items including a motocross bike was stolen. Cad 0832 19/11/21.  

Blunts Way, Horsham – between 18th and 21st November, some jewellery was stolen from a property. Cad 0852 21/11/21.

Kithurst Lane, Storrington – between 2200hrs 19th and 0600hrs 20th November, some accessed a garden via an insecure gate and stole items from an insecure shed. Cad 0363 22/11/21.

London Road, Ashington – between 2330hrs 19th November and 0500hrs 20th November, damage was caused to a secure outbuilding, power tools and hand tools were stolen. Cad 0440 22/11/21.

Staples Hill, Partridge Green – between 1600hrs 17th November and 0720hrs 18th November, damage was caused to a van, believe someone has tried to enter and steal. No entry was gained and nothing was stolen. Cad 0809 18/11/21.

Gay Street, Pulborough – between 1630hrs 19th November and 0900hrs 20th November, the padlock was broken off a workshop, nothing stolen. Cad 0623 22/11/21.

Amberley Close, Storrington – between 1830hrs 17th November and 0900hrs 18th November, the catalytic converter was stolen from a Honda car. Cad 0418 23/11/21.
 
The Roads Policing monthly update for November has been published on the Sussex Police website and provides an overview of what our teams have been doing to keep our roads safe.  You can find the latest update in the campaigns section on the Sussex Police website.

https://www.sussex.police.uk/police-forces/sussex-police/areas/campaigns/campaigns/ksi---killed-and-seriously-injured/

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 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call 101, quoting the reference number provided.

 

Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Keep Your Home Safe and Secure This Autumn - 26th October 2021

This week we launched our autumn burglary campaign, sharing crime prevention advice on how to protect your homes and outbuildings as we approach the clocks going back this weekend.

With longer nights drawing in, we want residents to think about the hidden security risks around their homes, and make it more difficult for opportunist burglary.

Sussex remains a safe place to live and work. Our burglary solved rate has increased over the last few months and we continue to concentrate our efforts to catch criminals and protect our communities from this crime type.

Sussex Police is committed to reducing burglary in Sussex and catch those response. Recently, officers stopped a cloned white Citroen van on suspicion of being linked to multiple burglaries across Sussex. Officers found number of stolen tools, power tools and assorted gardening equipment. Two men were subsequently arrested.

Chief Inspector Alasdair Henry, said: “Having your property burgled can be one of the most upsetting and destructive crimes to occur and we are committed to do all we can to reduce this crime and catch those responsible.

“Sussex is a safe county and suffers from relatively low levels of burglary and we intend to work to continue to make our county an inhospitable place for burglars to operate.”

To protect your property, you can find practical prevention tips on the Sussex Police website to:

  • Protect your home including information on door and window locks

  • Keep burglars out of your property 

  • Keep your shed or garage safe and secure 

  • Access to all information on protecting your home from crime.

Find burglary crime prevention advice here.

There are also other ways to protect your personal belongings by using property marking. Register your belongings on the free Immobilise national property register. It only takes a few minutes and increases the chances of being reunited with your property if it is stolen. Find out more on their website here.

Police News and Appeals - 26th October 2021

Expansion boost for Sussex Police's Rural Crime Team

Sussex Police's Rural Crime Team (RCT) is expanding, with extra police officers joining to enhance the work of the unit which tackles unlawful behaviour in rural communities.

Following success of the launch of the dedicated team in June 2020, four new PCs are joining the unit, which is based out of Midhurst and Heathfield. This brings the establishment of the team up to two sergeants, 12 constables and six Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs).

The team has a specialist focus on agricultural, wildlife, environment and heritage issues as well as dog theft. Through community engagement, crime prevention advice and law enforcement, the Rural Crime Team targets criminals perpetrating rural crime and brings them to justice.
To see the full story, please click on the link or go to our website.

https://www.sussex.police.uk/news/sussex/news/force-news/expansion-boost-for-sussex-polices-rural-crime-team/

Police keep up pressure on drug dealers in Sussex


Police across Sussex have been keeping up pressure on 'County Lines' and other drug dealers.

During 2020 Sussex Police recorded 236 disruptions against such 'lines' into the county, mainly from London, an increase of 171% in disruptions over the previous year. Over the past 12 months alone 29 such lines have been disrupted.  And in October this work was intensified as part of a continuing national effort.


During the past year co-ordinated police activity has increased, with a Surrey and Sussex Police intelligence team known as Operation Centurion, which works with London's Metropolitan Police to better target and prosecute offenders of county lines activity between the capital, Surrey and Sussex. In the six months since the team’s inception, they have contributed to more than 50 lines being disrupted, and to charges of over 60 individuals across both counties.


Members of the public can also help, the best advice is to trust your instincts – if somebody shows signs of mistreatment, or a child seems to be travelling long distances or is unfamiliar with a locality, you can report suspicions to local police on 101 or online or to British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 if you see something on the railway network.

There are also many sources of further advice and assistance to help combat the harm caused by drugs. Safe Space Sussex takes you to all the local organisations who provide support for those affected by drugs misuse.

For further information on County Lines see the Sussex Police website. 
To read the full story, please click on the link or go to our website.


https://www.sussex.police.uk/news/sussex/news/news/police-keep-up-pressure-on-drug-dealers-in-sussex/

Horsham woman who had sexual relationship with school pupil is jailed

A Horsham woman who harassed a teenage boy with whom she became infatuated whilst she was a teaching assistant at a school where he was a pupil, has been sent to prison. 

Fatinah Hossain, 25, of Dutchells Copse, Horsham, appeared at Brighton Crown Court on Thursday 21 October, and pleaded guilty to one count of perverting the course of justice and one count of sexual activity with the boy while in a position of trust.  She was sentenced to five years and four months in prison. She will be a Registered Sex Offender indefinitely and will be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 10 years after she is released from prison.  She has also been issued with a Restraining Order to last indefinitely, prohibiting her from any contact with the initial victim and several other people, and from entering specified areas of Horsham.
 
Hossain was charged with offences in October 2020 and was bailed by Magistrates. She then created a number of fake social media accounts using different names including that of a 14-year-old girl. Using this particular account, she fabricated messages between her and an adult family member of the boy.

If you are a victim of stalking see the Sussex Police website for how to report it and for sources of advice and assistance.
To see the full story, please click on the link or go to our website.

https://www.sussex.police.uk/news/sussex/news/court-results/Horsham-woman-who-had-sexual-relationship-with-school-pupil-is-jailed/

Residents urged to keep their homes secure and safe this autumn

Sussex Police is reminding residents to review their home security as we approach the clocks going back this weekend.  With longer night’s drawing in, we want residents to think about the hidden security risks around their homes, and make it more difficult for opportunist burglary.

Sussex remains a safe place to live and work. Our burglary solved rate has increased over the last few months and we continue to concentrate our efforts to catch criminals and protect our communities from this crime type.  Sussex Police is committed to reducing burglary in Sussex and catch those responsible. Recently, officers stopped a cloned white Citroen van on suspicion of being linked to multiple burglaries across Sussex. Officers found number of stolen tools, power tools and assorted gardening equipment. Two men were subsequently arrested.

Chief Inspector Alasdair Henry, said: “Having your property burgled can be one of the most upsetting and destructive crimes to occur and we are committed to do all we can to reduce this crime and catch those responsible.  Sussex is a safe county and suffers from relatively low levels of burglary and we intend to work to continue to make our county an inhospitable place for burglars to operate.”

To protect your property, you can find practical prevention tips to:
Protect your home including information on door and window locks
Keep burglars out of your property
Keep your shed or garage safe and secure
Access to all information on protecting your home from crime can be found on our website.

The Sussex Police website has a wealth of crime prevention advice which you can share with our local communities here.

https://www.sussex.police.uk/news/sussex/news/residents-urged-to-keep-their-homes-secure-and-safe-this-autumn/

Police Crime Summary - 26th October 2021

Jarvis Lane, Steyning – between 2200hrs 18th October and 0600hrs 19th October, the rear door of a pick-up truck was forced open and power tools were taken.  Cad 0256 19/10/21.

Laines Road, Steyning – between pm 18th October and 1500hrs 19th October, 2 vehicles were entered, cash was stolen. Cad 0837 19/10/21.

Laines Road, Steyning – between 0100hrs & 0200hrs 19th October, a car was entered and cash was stolen. Cad 1564 19/10/21.

Worthing Road, Horsham – between 1245hrs and 1320hrs 21st October, whilst parked in the supermarket car park, someone stole a bag containing house keys, reading glasses and a diary. Cad 1008 21/10/21.

Spierbridge Road, Storrington – between 1830hrs and 2030hrs 21st October, a Mercedes was stolen. Cad 1380 21/10/21.

Worthing Road, Horsham – between 1230hrs and 1345hrs 21st October, an insecure car was entered whilst parked in the supermarket car park. The victim believes someone attempted to steal the vehicle. Nothing was stolen. Cad 0130 22/10/21.

Edwards Close, Broadbridge Heath - between 0930hrs and 0940hrs 22nd October, a wallet was stolen from an insecure van. Cad 0675 24/10/21.

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 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call 101, quoting the reference number provided.

 

Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Vehicle Crime in the Steyning Area - 22nd October 2021

We have been made aware of some vehicle crime activity in the Steyning area namely in Jarvis Lane and Laines Road. 4 vehicles have been entered.

 

Jarvis Lane – a pickup truck had its rear tail gate door forced open and power tools were taken. This happened between 2200hrs 18th and 0600hrs on the 19th.

 

Laines Road – 2 cars were entered and money was taken. In another incident in Laines Road cash was also taken. We believe this to be opportunists trying car door handles. These happened between 18th & 19th.

Please remember to lock your vehicles and to make sure all other outbuildings such as garage, sheds etc. are also locked when not in use.

Streetsafe Online Tool - 14th October 2021

Have you seen the new StreetSafe tool? It’s an online tool where you can tell us anonymously about locations in your neighbourhood that make you feel or have made you feel unsafe. This could be due to environmental issues such as street lighting, abandoned buildings or vandalism or because of behaviours you’ve experienced that could include being followed or verbally abused.

We’ll use the information to share with local authorities and other partner agencies to gain a better understanding of how people feel in an area and what measures, activities or initiatives can be put in place to help people feel safer. You can find out more about how your data will be used here.

To use the StreetSafe tool visit our website here and plot on the map where you have felt or feel unsafe. You will be given the option answer additional questions on your personal characteristics (gender, age, sex) but will not ask for your name or date of birth.  

The murder of Sarah Everard and the conviction Wayne Couzens has sent shock waves through policing across the UK, Sussex included and we fully recognise that the case will have a profound impact on public trust and confidence in the police, particularly that of women.

StreetSafe is one way to help us rebuild public trust by people in our communities completing the online tool to enable improvements to be made in areas where people do not feel safe.

Please note StreetSafe is not an alternative to reporting crime to us, please use our normal reporting methods.

West Sussex Community Safety and Wellbeing Team - 17th August 2021

The Community Safety and Wellbeing Team is part of West Sussex County Council and works with partner organisations to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour across West Sussex. The team are involved in a number of community safety issues including:

  • Domestic Abuse

  • Sexual Violence

  • Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking

  • Staying Safe Online

  • Child Exploitation

  • Preventing Radicalisation and Violent Extremism

  • Hate Incident Reporting

  • Serious and Organised Crime.


To keep up to date with community safety topics, including current support and advice, information on key campaigns and events taking place across the county, you can follow them on social media via Facebook and Twitter and you can also sign up to their Community Safety E-newsletter, which comes out 6-weekly.

The team also host a number of free webinars throughout the year aimed at residents which are promoted in their newsletters and across their social media platforms.

Violence Reduction Partnership Survey - 17th August 2021

Sussex Violence Reduction Partnership brings together the police, local authorities, judicial bodies, health providers and community organisations to tackle the root causes of serious violent crime in Sussex, to protect young people and make our communities safer.

They are currently conducting a survey try to gain a broad spread of public views in respect of serious violence and knife crime, to inform the community confidence baseline, which is a key success measure for the Home Office.

Neighbourhood Watch would like to invite you to participate in this survey, which is being hosted by Sussex Police. To take the survey please visit https://sussexpolice.researchfeedback.net/s/OpSafety . If you are hesitant to click this link then please search online for "Op Safety/Violence Reduction Partnership survey".

Staying Safe Online - Safe Against Scams In West Sussex - 17th August 2021

Due to the success of previous sessions, West Sussex County Council is running more Safe Against Scams webinars. Please share the information about these sessions with your family and friends, so we can prevent as many people as possible from becoming a victim of fraud.

More than ever before, we have been relying on technology to enable us to work, learn and connect with each other. Inevitably, criminals have exploited and used our increased digital lives to their advantage. The pandemic has seen a rise in scams including telephone, courier and romance fraud, which have all become an increased concern in West Sussex. Not only is there the financial impact on victims, but the emotional impact can be even more significant.

To help raise awareness of these different types of scams, how to spot them, and what to do if you or your family become a victim, the West Sussex Community Safety & Wellbeing Team alongside Trading Standards are running free monthly scams awareness webinars for you to attend:

Tuesday 14 September 2021: 10:00 – 11:30am - Book here
Tuesday 12 October 2021: 10:00 – 11:30am - Book here
Thursday 4 November 2021: 10:00 – 11:30am - Book here

If you prefer, you can book to attend any of the above sessions via Eventbrite here.

For support with accessing the webinars from your own device, or for the opportunity to view the webinars on a library iPad at your local library, call for support or register your interest by contacting the Remote Digital Support Service via 0330 222 3455.

Covid Vaccine Passport Scam - 23rd June 2021

We have been made aware of a Covid Vaccine Passport scam email going around that purports to be from the NHS and informs recipients that they can apply for their “Digital Coronavirus Passports”.

Clicking on the link within the email, takes you to a convincing but fake NHS website that asks for personal and payment details (for an admin fee).

The website has since been taken down, but in case similar emails/websites appear can you please circulate the attached alert to your residents, members, groups and mailing lists.

And just to reiterate, your vaccination status is obtained FREE through the NHS App, website or by calling the NHS on 119.

More information can be found on the gov.uk website;  
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/demonstrating-your-covid-19-vaccination-status-when-travelling-abroad

Please note that any Phishing scams can be reported to  SERS (Suspicious Email Reporting Service):  report@phishing.gov.uk

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