Neighbourhood Watch

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Catalytic Converter Theft and Free Offer - 20th April 2021

The National Police Chief Council and British Transport Police are running a targeted week of action to raise awareness of catalytic converter theft and offering crime prevention advice to help car owners protect their cars from theft. And we’re taking part along with our partners.

Across Sussex the number of catalytic converter thefts has increased. Criminals are stealing the catalytic converters for the precious metals contained within them, some of which can be worth more than gold.

We are encouraging car owners to:

  • Protect your car by asking your dealer if they can give you any advice on locks or guards that are approved by the vehicle manufacturer and tested to Sold Secure Gold.

  • Mark your catalytic converter with a forensic marker such as SmartWater and register your converter to make it harder for thieves to dispose of.

  • Park your car somewhere well-lit and overlooked, amongst as many cars as possible. Try to park so the convertor can't be easily reached - close to a wall or fence. Try not to park at the end of the row if there are free spaces.

For more information about protecting your car against crime visit our website here and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Criminals can remove a catalytic converter within minutes and will probably use a jack to raise the car off the ground to do so. They will not be alone and may have a vehicle nearby to make their getaway. Sometimes they will wear high visibility vests to give the false impression that they are carrying out a repair such as changing a tyre.

We’re asking members of the public to take a second look, what may appear to be an innocent act, may be criminals at work. Please do not approach anyone you think may be in the act of stealing a catalytic converter, but to call 999 immediately.

Also if you have any information about catalytic converter thefts, please report this to us either online on our website here using the ‘Report’ button on the front page or by calling 101.

This week our officers will be at garages across Sussex offering free catalytic converter forensic marking with SmartWater. SmartWater is a liquid with a unique forensic code which is detectable under a UV light and can lead to the detection of crime and reunite people with their stolen property. All you need to do is go one of the garages listed below and your car’s catalytic converter will be marked. You will need to register, these details will be available on your visit.

To allow for social distancing and for garages to manage this effectively some are requesting you make a pre-booked appointment or they are allowing 15 minute time slots on arrival without an appointment.  Please see the details of the garages and who to contact if booking is required here on our webpage.

Police News and Appeals - 9th April 2021

Do you recognise any of these dogs?

Sussex Police have released more photos of a number of suspected stolen dogs they seized last month in a bid to identify them and reunite them with their lawful owners.


Officers seized 10 dogs during a search warrant at a location in Surrey on 16 March. An investigation is underway by detectives at Crawley CID, who have been working closely with the Force’s specialist Rural Crime Team and other police forces, to help identify the dogs and their lawful owners.

The dogs, a mix of Lurchers and Spaniels, continue to be cared for at a secure location.  Two-year-old Cocker Spaniel Willow, who was one of the dogs seized, was successfully reunited with her owners last month. She had been stolen during a burglary in Suffolk in July 2020.

Detective Chief Inspector John Wallace, of Crawley CID, said: “We are desperately seeking the lawful owners of the remaining dogs which were seized in the recent warrant.  We are working through all information meticulously and pursuing other lines of enquiry to progress the identification of these dogs. This is a complex investigation and we suspect that some of the dogs may have been stolen months ago.  We appreciate this has been an agonising time for those members of the public with missing pets who have been waiting for further information.

 

"However we have now released more detailed photos of the dogs in a bid to try and identify them and return them to their rightful owners. The dogs have each been given a name for the purpose of the investigation.  If you recognise one of these dogs, please email dogtheft@sussex.pnn.police.uk quoting the name of the dog you recognise. The email address is the fastest way to contact us and we have a dedicated team managing this.

The names of these dogs can be found on our social media pages here:
https://www.facebook.com/sussexpoliceforce/posts/3949312591780935 
https://twitter.com/sussex_police/status/1380137536371187717 

"While we continue to progress enquiries on identification, our priority continues to be around the health and welfare of the dogs and medical treatment is ongoing."


The location of the site is not being disclosed for operational reasons.
In January, Sussex Police launched a dedicated operation ‘Op Collar’, led by the Rural Crime Team, to respond to and help prevent dog thefts.

https://www.sussex.police.uk/news/sussex/news/witness-appeals/do-you-recognise-any-of-these-dogs/ 

Police Crime Summary - 9th April 2021

Burglary – There have been no burglary dwellings reported since the last bulletin.

Burglary other than Dwelling


Reference: 1416 6th April & 0139 7th April
Location: Thelton Avenue, Broadbridge Heath
Date and time: Between 1000hrs and 1800hrs 6th April
Details: Padlocks were broken and latches were damaged on two garage doors. No entry was gained and nothing was stolen.  

Reference: 0390 9th April
Location: Billingshurst Road, Ashington
Date and time: Approximately 2100hrs 8th April
Details: An attempt was made to steal items from an insecure shed. At this time it is believed that nothing was stolen.

Other
There won’t be a bulletin next week. The next bulletin will be on or around Tuesday 20th April.

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

We Want Safer Roads For All Road Users - 30th March 2021

View shocking footage that shows the significant risks associated with antisocial riding here

It has been re-released as we remind motorcyclists: we welcome careful and considerate riding, but we will deal robustly with anyone who compromises road safety.

Police provide education, engagement and enforcement to all motorists 365 days a year, and the vast majority of road users travel safely and competently.  But with the warmer weather and the easing of lockdown restrictions likely to lead to more traffic on our roads, officers are urging bikers in particular to stay safe.

Motorcyclists represent almost a quarter of all fatal and serious injury collisions – despite making up only five per cent of vehicles on our roads.

Our message also follows concerns raised by communities across Surrey and Sussex of speeding, excess noise, and antisocial riding and driving, with some residents so fed up they are considering selling their homes.  We are continuing to address these issues by working with communities, and partners including local authorities, charities and the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership.

Chief Inspector Michael Hodder, of the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: “It would appear a number of riders have no regard not only for their own safety, but for those they endanger too.  They also seem to have left their common sense at home whilst forgetting how their loved ones would feel if they hurt themselves or someone else by the stupidity of their selfish riding.”

We’re also urging the public to share our social media messaging over the next three weeks, which will encourage motorcyclists to enjoy the ride responsibly, considerately and safely.

One experienced rider from Sussex, who did not wish to be identified, has pleaded with his fellow riders to work with the police; not against them.  “If you continue to do what you’re doing, speeding through towns and villages and taking unnecessary risks, it will result in more and more police intervention,” he said. “You could also kill yourself or someone else. It only takes a minor lapse in concentration or something unavoidable, like a cat running out in the road, for a serious incident to happen.

“Speed kills, and while we don’t want to tar all riders with the same brush, it is important for everyone to understand the risks. We are far more vulnerable than most road users, and the stats prove that.  It’s also important for communities to recognise that not all bikers ride dangerously or antisocially.  Ultimately, we all need to work together. Stick to the speed limits, and drive or ride safely and responsibly. Don’t give your loved ones a reason to attend another funeral.”

We will also be supporting the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s annual two-wheeled campaign – aimed to reduce the number of collisions involving motorcyclists through education and enforcement – from Tuesday 6 April to Sunday 18 April.

For advice on riding safely, visit the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership website here.  To report an incident of dangerous or antisocial driving or riding, visit the Operation Crackdown website here.

The above footage was captured as a group of motorcyclists travelled between Kent and Sussex in April 2019. It led to three individuals being convicted of dangerous driving.

Warning: Criminals Continue To Take Advantage of Coronavirus Vaccine Roll-Out As Phishing Email Reports Soar - 29th January 2021

E-mails now in circulation, which attempt to trick people into handing over their bank details, were reported more than 1,000 times in 24 hours. It appears to come from the NHS and asks the recipient to click on a link to accept or decline an invitation to receive the coronavirus vaccine. If they click accept, they are asked to input personal information and their bank card details.

The national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime has previously warned about coronavirus vaccine scams, with many people reporting receiving fake text messages purporting to be from the NHS.

Head of Action Fraud, Pauline Smith, is warning the public to remain vigilant as fraudsters continue to act:

"It's despicable that fraudsters will take advantage of such an important tool in the fight against this evil and deadly disease. Not only are the people being targeted with this email at risk of losing money, or having their identity stolen, but they are also at risk of not receiving the real vaccine.

"The public have been fantastic at reporting these scams to us and raising awareness in their local community as well. But unfortunately, as this latest phishing campaign shows, we still have to remain cautious and alert. Remember: anything purporting to be from the NHS asking you to pay for the vaccine, or provide your bank account or card details, is a scam."

How to protect yourself

In the UK, coronavirus vaccines will only be available via the National Health Services of England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. You can be contacted by the NHS, your employer, a GP surgery or pharmacy local to you, to receive your vaccine. Remember, the vaccine is free of charge. At no point will you be asked to pay.

The NHS will never:

  • ask you for your bank account or card details

  • ask you for your PIN or banking password

  • arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine

  • ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips.


If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you are suspicious about an email you have received, forward it to report@phishing.gov.uk. Suspicious text messages should be forwarded to the number 7726 which is free of charge.

If you believe you are the victim of a fraud, please report this to Action Fraud as soon as possible by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.

COVID-19 Vaccination Scam Alert - 6th January 2021

We are aware that some people are receiving fraudulent calls and text messages offering the COVID-19 vaccination. In some cases, people are asked to press a number on their keypad or to send a text message to confirm they wish to receive the vaccine. Doing so is likely to result in a charge being applied to their phone bill. In other cases, callers are offering the vaccine for a fee or asking for bank details.


People are warned to be alert to these scams. The vaccine is only available from the NHS and the NHS will contact you when it is your turn. At present, appointments are only being offered to members of the public over 80 years old.


The NHS will:
NEVER ask you to press a button on your keypad or send a text asking you to confirm you want the vaccine.
NEVER ask for payment for the vaccine or for your bank details.


If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft you should report this directly to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. Where the victim is vulnerable, report it to Sussex Police online or by calling 101.

Police News and Appeals - 20th April 2021

Police support for national stalking awareness campaign

Sussex Police and the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner are reminding people of assistance and advice available, in addition to expert investigation, in support of National Stalking Awareness Week, 19-23 April, 'Unmasking Stalking'.

Police are already advising and supporting more stalking victims than ever. As the second highest recorder of stalking offences after the Metropolitan Police, reports in Sussex are up by more than 100% in just three years, with more victims feeling confident to come forward to report offences.

The force recorded 13,324 reports of offences involving stalking during 2020.  As soon as a new law came into effect in January last year, Sussex was the first force in the country to secure court Stalking Protection Orders (SPOs), which run for a minimum of two years. The force has already secured 30 SPOs and applications for a further five are currently due to be heard by courts in Sussex. These Orders equip police with valuable powers to better protect victims or anyone connected with them in stalking cases. Significantly, SPOs enable police to enforce both prohibitions and/or specific requirements.  Mick Richards adds; "During the current Covid-19 pandemic and as it hopefully recedes, your safety online remains particularly important and there are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself.

Sussex Police have also just initiated a Stalking Perpetrator Programme, with extra government funding. Up to 30 spaces are available for people who have been given an SPO and who agree to engage with specialist therapists in behavioural intervention therapy sessions. These are 12 1:1 consultations. The aim is to help the perpetrator to acknowledge, accept and recognise the difficult emotions and thoughts that trigger harmful behaviour, in turn helping them manage those emotions and behaviour without causing harm to others.
So far four people have been identified for participation in the programme with all new cases being considered.

Stalking is a crime that is distressing and malicious and is something no one should have to put up with.

Think FOUR. Is the behaviour;
F – fixated
O – obsessive
U – unwanted
R - repeated


Visit the Sussex Police website to learn more about stalking and harassment and how to report this dangerous and debilitating crime.  For further information on local support services go to Safe Space Sussex.  You can report stalking or harassment online or by calling 101 or in person at your local police station.  But always call 999 if you are in danger. Our officers and staff will undertake a risk assessment and focus on keeping you safe.

If you would like further information about stalking or harassment, there are several organisations that specialise in providing advice and support to victims.  Veritas is a local organisation which provides advocacy and support for victims of stalking. Also for details of an online chat facility, delivered by Veritas Justice for victims of stalking to easily reach out for help and advice during this time, go to the Veritas website

The National Stalking Helpline provides advice and guidance to current or previous victims of stalking or harassment and can be contacted on 0808 802 0300.  The Suzy Lamplugh Trust provides practical personal safety advice - call them on 020 7091 0014
TO READ THE FULL STORY, PLEASE GO TO THE SUSSEX POLICE WEBSITE OR CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW.
 
https://www.sussex.police.uk/news/sussex/news/force-news/publication-embargoed-to-00.01-monday-19-april-police-support-for-national-stalking-awareness-campaign/

Warning after impersonator fraud scam reported in Sussex

Police are issuing a warning after several people in West Sussex have fallen victim to impersonator fraud scams in the last month.  Impersonator fraud is when a victim is deceived into giving money or financial details to someone claiming for an organisations they trust.

On Tuesday (13 April), police received report that an elderly couple in Chichester had been contacted by someone claiming to be from Hammersmith Police on 25 March.  They were told that money their savings account was corrupt and they needed to send money or gold. The victims purchased £24,000 of gold bars and gave them to a man who attended their address claiming to be from Scotland Yard.  After not hearing from the suspects, they contacted Sussex Police and an investigation into this matter is underway.

Another similar case was reported in Chichester on 25 March where the victim lost £5,000 of their savings to a fraudster purporting to be an officer for the Metropolitan Police.  PC Laura Marmolejo said: "We are urging people to be vigilant if they receive an unsolicited phone call from someone talking about finances.  There are steps you can take to ensure the person calling is who they say they are. If you’re in doubt, hang up the phone and talk to a trusted family member or friend before making any decisions about your finances.  People who are genuinely from organisations such as the police will not make you ask you for funds or financial details.  These are absolutely appalling crimes that exploit victims’ trust and can have a devastating effect on their lives. We are determined to find those responsible and bring them to justice.  Anyone with information about these crimes is urged to report it to us online or by calling 101.”

Key things to remember

  • Never send or give money to anyone you don't know or trust.

  • Check people are who they say they are.

  • Don't share your personal information.

  • Make decisions in your own time.

  • If in doubt phone a relative or a friend.


Trust no-one who cold calls you about your bank account or a problem with your computer.  Under no circumstances would the bank or police:request a card PIN or security details over the telephone, or arrange collection of bank cards or money from a home address

For further information on scam warning signs, please see the website here.
https://www.sussex.police.uk/news/sussex/news/news/warning-after-impersonator-fraud-scam-reported-in-sussex/

Police Crime Summary - 20th April 2021

Burglary – there are no burglaries to dwellings to report.
 
Burglary other than Dwelling


Reference: 0430 14th April
Location: St John Close, Horsham
Date and time: unknown
Details: A wheelchair was stolen from an insecure shed.

Reference: 0303 15th April
Location: St Leonards Park, Horsham
Date and time: Between 14th and 15th April
Details: Fishing equipment was stolen from an insecure garage.

Reference: 0372 15th April
Location: St Leonards Park, Horsham
Date and time: Between 14th and 15th April
Details: An insecure outbuilding and an insecure shed were entered, several items including pedal cycles and tools were stolen.

Reference: 0266 17th April
Location: St Leonards Park, Horsham
Date and time: Between 14th and 15th April
Details: Power tools were stolen from an insecure shed.
 
Other
PCSO Patrols
Have you seen our officers out on patrol in your area? Our officers were out on foot patrol in Faygate Village and Lower Beeding last week.
And after receiving reports of drug dealing in car parks, our officers were out on joint foot patrol through Horsham town centre with one of the Neighbourhood Wardens #PartnershipWorking

You can find out who your local officers are from the District Commander to PCSOs, by visiting the Sussex Police website.

Catalytic Converter thefts.
Horsham Police, in conjunction with Motorline Toyota are holding a free catalytic converter security marking event today Tuesday 20th April between 9am - 2pm at the Motorline Toyota Garage, Lyons Corner, Five Oaks Road Nr Slinfold. No appointment necessary.

If you are unable to make this event today, there will be another event at the same location on Saturday 24th between 0930am and 1130am.

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

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