Neighbourhood Watch

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Police News and Appeals - 19th May 2020

Thermal image camera assists in the arrest of two people at Amberley Castle
 
Police arrested two intruders at Amberley Castle with the use of a thermal imaging device.  Officers were called to the castle in the early hours of Friday (8 May) after two people were spotted breaking into the castle. 

Due to the lack of lighting, officers conducted an area search with a thermal imagery camera and were able to detect the two suspects on the roof.  
Assisted by West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, the pair were safely brought down from the Grade 1 listed building. 

A 16-year-old boy and a 28-year-old man from Amberley were both arrested on suspicion of burglary dwelling with intent to steal and criminal damage. The pair have been released under investigation while enquiries are ongoing.

https://www.sussex.police.uk/news/sussex/news/news/thermal-image-camera-assists-in-the-arrest-of-intruders-at-amberley-castle/

Animal lovers warned of pet buying scams

Police are issuing a warning after several people in Sussex have become victims of pet buying scams.

The suspect typically advertises puppies or kittens online and uses the Covid-19 outbreak as the reason the victim can’t come and see the pet.  They will often send photos or videos and persuade the victim to make a deposit or even full payment in advance. The suspects may also try to get the victim to cover other unforeseen costs such as insurance or vaccinations, after they’ve made the initial payment. The pet is never provided.

A woman in her 20s from Worthing responded to an advert for a puppy posted on Facebook. The dog was said to be for sale for £400 plus a £100 delivery fee as it was in Ireland, she was conned into paying a £250 deposit.  The victim received an email that appeared to be from a shipping company advising that a life insurance payment of £300 must be paid in order to ship the puppy from Ireland to England.

She spoke to the seller as this was not agreed and was told it was due to the Covid-19 outbreak and was refundable. The victim became suspicious following the interaction and contacted police.  A man in his 30s, also from Worthing, responded to an advert for a puppy on a pet selling website.

After speaking to the seller and seeing videos of the puppies he sent them a £700 deposit and agreed to pay the additional £200 upon collection of the dog.  The seller ceased communication with him and he never received the pet.

Action Fraud has reported a significant spike in pet buying scams since the Covid-19 outbreak. Nationwide it has seen 669 people lose a combined total of £282,686 in March and April, after putting down deposits for pets they have seen advertised online.

PC Bernadette Lawrie, Financial Abuse Safeguarding Officer for Sussex and Surrey Police said: “Criminals are on the lookout for any opportunity they can capitalise on – and clearly the extraordinary times we find ourselves in are no exception.  It makes complete sense that you would not be able to go visit an animal in person at the moment and fraudsters are exploiting this to encourage people to part with their cash.  Please think very carefully before sending money to a stranger. Make sure you’ve done your research and always trust your instincts.”

To help protect yourself from scams like this:

  • Do your research – Research sellers carefully before sending over any money, check their terms and conditions and returns policy.

  • Trust your instinct – If something feels wrong or seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Never be rushed into making a decision – if it doesn’t feel right then walk away.

  •  Choose a payment method that protects you – If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, avoid paying by bank transfer as that offers you little protection if you become a victim of fraud. Instead, use a credit card or a payment service such as PayPal.

 

Report crime like this to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.  If the victim is vulnerable, report to Sussex Police online or by calling 101. In an emergency always dial 999.  For information about Operation Signature, Sussex Police’s campaign to identify and protect vulnerable victims of fraud, see the Force website here. 
 
https://www.sussex.police.uk/news/sussex/news/news/animal-lovers-warned-of-pet-buying-scams/ 

Police Crime Summary - 19th May 2020

Burglary
 
Reference: 1009 13th May
Location: Kings Stone Avenue, Steyning
Date and time: Approximately 2.20am 13th May
Details: As a result of the dog barking and the alarm sounding the occupants believe someone was outside and attempting to enter the property. No entry was gained and no damage caused.

Reference: 1334 14th May 
Location: Ridgehurst Drive, Horsham
Date and time: Approximately 1615hrs 14th May
Details: A male was seen trying a door handle, no entry was gained.
 
Burglary other than Dwelling


Reference: 0282 18th May
Location: Faygate Lane, Faygate
Date and time: Between 2330hrs 17th May and 0730hrs 18th May
Details: Padlocks were broken off a shed and a power tool was stolen

Reference: 0293 18th May
Location: Crawley Road, Faygate
Date and time: Between 2200hrs 17th May and 0745hrs 18th May
Details: A shed and an outbuilding were broken into, Pedal cycles and power tools were stolen.
 
Other
Burglaries – The good news is that the chances of being a victim of burglary in Sussex is low. There have been very few burglaries in the last couple of months but that doesn’t mean the opportunists are not out there and we need to make sure we don’t give them the opportunity in the nice weather.
Don’t leave doors and windows open and remove any valuable items from view.  Check the security for your sheds and garages and make sure your CCTV or Dash cams are all working.  Get home security advice from our website.


https://www.sussex.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/residential-burglary/
https://www.sussex.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/residential-burglary/keep-your-home-safe/

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

Police News and Appeals - 12th May 2020

Sussex Police maintain focus on domestic abuse

Sussex Police have introduced new initiatives to encourage the reporting of domestic abuse and support victims, an issue which remains a priority for the force at this crucial time.  A new specialist unit, the Local Resolution Team, can deal by appointment with any cases that are not immediately urgent, including a new video appointment service when conversations can’t take place face to face. 

The 30-strong team of specially trained officers are dedicated to dealing with reports of domestic abuse which are not immediately urgent. They discuss the incident with the caller, carry out an initial investigation and provide safeguarding advice, to leave the victim feeling safer than before and to explore available investigative opportunities to prosecute those responsible for domestic abuse.

New dedicated ‘Domestic Abuse’ cars across Sussex are also responding to reports where there is not an immediate threat, in addition to emergency response officers who always respond immediately to high risk incidents. These additional mobile resources are equipped with body worn video and respond in marked cars to reports of domestic abuse, with time to listen and deal thoroughly with the allegations.

The force is also carrying out domestic abuse awareness publicity at local supermarkets, with high profile signage at entrances and take-away information, complementing an online campaign. Even though our social media pages are already reaching out those affected by domestic abuse, we recognise that not everyone has access to the Internet, and some may have their access controlled. 

So police officers and PCSOs are visiting supermarkets to raise awareness of domestic abuse and let people know that despite what is going on right now the police are still here, will still respond if you need help, and will arrest and prosecute. Lockdown hasn’t changed our focus on domestic abuse, it is still a priority and if you are suffering from domestic abuse we urge you to call us or speak to an officer.

If you're a victim of domestic abuse, or know someone who is, and there's an emergency that's ongoing or life is in danger, call police on 999. 
If you can’t talk because the perpetrator is nearby, you can then press the numbers ‘55’ into your mobile phone which will alert the operator to your situation.

The Sussex Safe Space website  also provides a valuable directory of help and support from all agencies, available near you.
To read the full report please click on the link or go to our website for more information about domestic abuse.


https://www.sussex.police.uk/news/sussex/news/force-news/sussex-police-maintain-focus-on-domestic-abuse/

Rural crime still a focus in lockdown

Criminals planning to take advantage of the current lockdown to commit offences in rural areas are finding that their activities are more likely to come to the attention of countryside communities.

Three men were arrested near High Hurstwood in the Wealden district recently when police were alerted to a suspicious car in the area. The men were found crawling along a hedgerow and after running off from officers were arrested on suspicion of burglary and going equipped for burglary.

Rural PCSOs are continuing their proactive work, liaising with farmers and countryside businesses, offering rural crime prevention advice and offering property marking, including delivering property marking tools along with instructions on how to use them.  We have also increased our high-visibility patrols around rural beauty spots and areas popular with people taking their lockdown exercise as these can also be attractive to opportunistic thieves.

Additionally, we are liaising with partners including the National Farmers' Union and the Country Land and Business Association in association with the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, to consult with farmers to ensure that they are being supported by police and to give them the opportunity to inform us of what is going on locally to them.

Sergeant Tom Carter, operational lead for rural and wildlife crime, has appealed to people visiting the countryside to respect the rural environment.

To find out how you can protect yourself and your property, visit our crime prevention advice pages.  You can report any offences or suspicions online or call 101, but if it is an emergency or a crime is occurring there and then, dial 999 immediately.
 
To see the full report please click on the link or go to our website.
 
https://www.sussex.police.uk/news/sussex/news/force-news/rural-crime-still-a-focus-in-lockdown/

Police Crime Summary - 12th May 2020

Burglary
There are no burglary dwellings to report this week
 
Burglary other than Dwelling
Reference: 1633 7th May
Location: Arun Way, Horsham
Date and time: Between 1600hrs 6th may and 1000hrs 7th May
Details: 5 sheds on the allotment were broken into. Unknown if anything was taken.
 
Other
Trying car door handles.
There was a report on 5th May that a male had been seen on CCTV trying car door handles in Horsham. Unfortunately the CCTV didn’t capture any facial images and there is no line of enquiry.

We would like to remind everyone to ensure all property including sheds, garages and vehicles are locked and secure when not in use.

Also, a reminder that if you are at the rear of your property or in the garden to please ensure your front door is also secure. If you see anything suspicious please contact us by calling 101 or go to our website and report it online.

Fraud Newsletter
This month’s newsletter covers Cyber Awareness, emails, buying pets online and being pressured by doorstep callers to have work on the house including hedge cutting and tree cutting.
Please click on the link or go to our website.
https://bit.ly/2zuoFs4

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

Do You Know How To Spot A Phishing Email? - 30th April 2020

Email has always been the most commonplace method used by online fraudsters to trick innocent people out of their money, their identity… or both.

It still is. And currently, they’re exploiting the current Coronavirus pandemic with persuasive messages ranging from vaccines and cures to tax refunds and fake charity appeals.


Fraudsters send emails containing links which seem authentic, but actually lead to websites designed to capture your confidential details.

Top tips for using email safely and securely

If you receive an email you haven’t requested or it seems suspicious in any way, make sure it’s actually from the person or organisation who claims to have sent it. Do this by calling the actual person or organisation on a number you know to be the right one.

  • Don't click on links in emails from unknown sources, or if it seems strange that the email would come from that source.

  • Never open attachments from unknown sources, or if it seems strange that the email would come from that source.

  • Check for poor design, grammar and spelling, and whether the email addresses you by your name.

However, even if an email passes these tests, it may still be from a fraudster.

  • Don't make purchases, payments or charity donations in response to spurious emails.

  • Beware of emails which suggest that you need to transfer money, provide personal details or perform some other critical action urgently to 'resolve a problem'. Banks, government departments, the police and other trusted organisations would never communicate with you in this way.

  • Don't reply to an email which you suspect is fraudulent, and don’t forward it unless you’re reporting it.

  • Don't click on 'remove' or reply to unwanted email – this simply tells senders that your account is live, and may result in you getting a flood of unwanted scam or spam emails.

  • Make sure spam filters are switched on and set up appropriately to avoid unwanted emails getting through, but permitting authentic ones from trusted sources. Check junk mail folders regularly in case a legitimate email is filtered there in error.

  • Use strong passwords to prevent your email accounts from being hacked. Keep passwords to yourself, and don’t use the same or a similar one for more than one online account.

  • When sending emails to multiple people, list their addresses in the 'BCC' (blind copy) box instead of in the 'To' box. In this way, no recipient will see the names of the others, and if their addresses fall into the wrong hands there will be less chance of you or anybody else receiving phishing or spam emails.

  • Delete everyone in the email trail before forwarding or replying.

  • Think twice before you click on anything.

 

During this pandemic, we have seen a huge increase in the number of fraudulent emails being sent by cybercriminals. For comprehensive, practical, impartial advice on safe and secure email, visit www.getsafeonline.org/safeemail.

Businesses And Residents Urged To Check Security - 15th April 2020

Local businesses are being urged to ensure their premises are sufficiently protected during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Sussex Police believe there could be an increase in organised acquisitive crime across the county – including burglaries of business premises – and have increased police patrols and proactive targeting of known local criminals.  Officers are also advising residents to make sure that their valuables are secure, especially as warmer weather may well result in opportunistic crooks taking advantage of properties left insecure.

You can find crime prevention advice for protecting your business from the inside out and keeping high value items safe at home on the Sussex Police website.

Detective Chief Inspector Alasdair Henry, burglary prevention lead for Sussex Police, said: “We take burglary very seriously. Staff across the force are working hard to prevent an increase in burglary and we are ready to respond to any spikes in such criminality.  We are urging business owners to ensure that they have sufficient and robust security features in place and that they are in full working order. Security cameras should be checked and owners need to make sure that any service doors are both secure and locked. Don't store cash in premises whilst they are closed."

"Owners of high value jewellery are encouraged to ensure it is securely locked away in the house, ideally in a safe or similar secure storage, rather than being left in drawers or cupboards. Residents should ensure that doors to their homes are kept locked, especially overnight, but also when they might be out enjoying their gardens, and that they have measures in place to keep their residence secure.  It is vital that we all work together to disrupt organised crime and prevent opportunistic burglaries. Our Sussex Police website provides some excellent detailed advice on how to protect your property from crime."

“Please do not hesitate to report suspicious activity to us. This includes reporting people trying to sell items that you suspect are stolen. If you have any information concerning burglary or people selling stolen goods please get in touch with us immediately online or by calling 101. You can also report anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.  In an emergency, such as a crime in progress, please dial 999.”

Katy Bourne, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner said: “It is important to remember at this time that, whilst our police officers are having to provide support to protect the capacity of the NHS, they are still committed to protecting our communities because criminals are not staying at home.

“As many businesses have been forced to close due to the ‘lockdown’, the vacant premises are more vulnerable to being targeted by criminals seeking to make a profit from this pandemic. So, I’m urging business owners to heed the preventative advice that Sussex Police have released today and take simple measures to better protect themselves and their livelihood.  The police are still there for us when we need them most, so if you see something suspicious or have been a victim of any crime type, please still report.”

Communities can work together to prevent crime. By joining an existing Neighbourhood Watch scheme or becoming a Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator, your community can be stronger together.

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 www.getsafeonline.org

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: www.getsafeonline.org/online-safety-and-security/password-protocol-and-control

  • 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 www.actionfraud.police.uk 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 www.ico.org.uk

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.
 
https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/alert/coronavirus-related-fraud-reports

 

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 https://www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling  0300 123 2040.

To report offers of financial assistance from HMRC contact phishing@hmrc.gov.uk.

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’ https://www.intheknow.community/ 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 .gov.uk or NHS.uk 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 www.FriendsAgainstScams.org.uk 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 www.FriendsAgainstScams.org.uk/ScamMarshals 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 http://www.sussexnwfed.org.uk/pages/3943/1/Quick_Links.html 

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