One in twelve

One in twelve
According to their own figures, police in West Sussex are only managing to solve one burglary in twelve. The West Sussex Gazette quotes the temporary chief constable as follows:

“We are taking this very seriously. I think there are two very clear reasons why this number has fallen. The first and most important is we just need to get better at investigating.”

He went on to blame a new computer system used to store data recently rolled out across the force.

The Sussex Police news isn’t all grim though: burglary victims will be pleased to learn that the force performs above average on a fifteen metre shuttle run; that a Chief Inspector has just set off for a ten day ‘fact-finding’ tour of Canadian universities; and that the Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner has been busy loading unwanted bedroom furniture into the back of a van.

Police retreat from Dyke

Retreating police
The Telegraph reports:

An illegal rave in a National Park was still going strong after nearly 24 hours after police admitted there were not enough officers to close it down.

Officers struggled to control the crowds and eventually gave up, leaving residents to endure the pounding music.

One resident in nearby Poynings, who did not wish to be named, said last night: “It’s really loud and it’s been going on all night and all day. .. I can see why it might be difficult to move them off the hill but I can’t understand why there aren’t more police officers to get rid of them.”

A [police] spokesman said: “At present the assessment is that it would not be possible or safe to close the event down, given the number of police officers available. “

The Argus has a long report:

“I spoke to one police officer nearby and asked them what they were going to do about it and I was told ‘we only have four officers, so there’s nothing we can do’.”

And the Mail also has the story this morning:

The rave, which is still going strong more than 24 hours after it started, shows no sign of stopping and party-goers have warned it could ‘carry on for days’.

A [police] spokesman said: ‘Overnight it was assessed that due to the darkness, rain, and numbers present, it was not appropriate or practical to attempt to close the gathering safely. With daylight, officers have been re-assuring local residents that action is being taken .. At present the assessment is that it would not be possible or safe to close the event down, given the number of police officers available.’

There is an informative YouTube video here.

Poynings residents express their views in an Argus comment forum:

7:21pm Sun 25 May 14 binbag says

It’s still going on now. No sleep again tonight. Don’t think the police stopped people going up there early enough. As the police are taking no action won’t this just encourage this happening more often.”

7:25pm Sun 25 May 14 Josie81 says

It’s a bloody nightmare here in Poynings. No sleep last night, can’t work today (I am studying for exams), and tonight seems set to be just as bad as last night. Police don’t seem interested in doing anything about it. Probably all down at the beach …

7:35pm Sun 25 May 14 binbag says

I’m in Poynings too. Was so loud last night. Doesn’t seem as loud now but that could be just the way the winds blowing. Too exhausted to do anything today. Hate to be a killjoy but hope it pours with rain tonight!

7:40pm Sun 25 May 14 Josie81 says

Yes, BB, nature looks set to take revenge with lots of lovely rain tomorrow 🙂 What a horrible mess these ravers have made of our beautiful Downs. Feel very sorry for the poor animals trying to rear their young in peace.

METRO now says:

By 7:00am on Monday everyone had gone and just one car remained — which had broken down.

The Argus reports a police post mortem in June:

Senior officers .. blamed rain and darkness for their decision to let the 2,000-strong party go on for more than 24 hours. .. Temporary Chief Constable Giles York .. said “It was dark, it had been raining on and off and footing was unsecure. [Raves] are not safe places. .. It’s not as simple as walking in and taking the power lead out.”

[Updated often.]

Fight back against fraudsters

neighbourhood watch logoDate: 6 May 2014
Press release number: PR5939

Residents across West Sussex are being urged to fight back against fraudsters as Scams Awareness Month officially launches this week with a focus on online swindles.

West Sussex County Council’s Trading Standards Service is supporting the national month long initiative and is warning people to be on their guard and look out for others who might fall victim to scammers.

New research from the Citizens Advice Bureaux has concluded that fraudsters are “picking the pockets” of up to four million people each year.

Fraud offences in England and Wales rose by 25% in 2013, compared to the previous year, with 207,252 cases reported to Action Fraud.

Moreover, Citizens Advice has calculated that up to four million people could be conned each year as many scams go unreported. West Sussex Trading Standards will look at phone scams, mail hoaxes and doorstep fraud during this month.

Lionel Barnard, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services, which covers Trading Standards, said: “It’s so important that we raise awareness of scammers who prey on the most vulnerable members of our society, whether through the post, via the phone, over the Internet, email or a knock on the door.

“Scammers employ very clever and persuasive tactics to snare their victims so it’s vital residents are made aware and are advised who they can contact to report a scam or for help if they are a victim of a scam.”

Online shopping and auction scams was the biggest single fraud type with almost 40,000 recorded cases nationally and WSCC Trading Standards has advised that non-secure websites asking for financial details should be treated with the utmost caution.

Additional analysis has also revealed that hoaxes over the phone and via text messages are just as likely:

  • Over a third of scams (34%) were over the phone.
  • Almost a quarter of scams (24%) were through visits to a web site.
  • 16% were letter or fax scams.
  • One in ten scams (10%) were through emails.

The Council’s trading standards service this week gave the following top tips for dealing with scams:

  • If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
  • Never give out your bank details or send money unless you are certain you can trust the person contacting you.
  • Contacted out of the blue? Be suspicious.
  • Your bank and the police will never collect your bank card, ask for your PIN or come to your home.
  • Make sure the website’s secure, if you are buying online – check for the padlock or “https” next to the web address.
  • It you haven’t bought a ticket you can’t win it.
  • You shouldn’t have to pay anything to get a prize.
  • Pressure to make a decision straight away? Take your time and just say: “No thank you”.
  • Walk away from job ads that ask for money in advance.
  • Computer firms do not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer.
  • Don’t suffer in silence – tell others about scams.

What to do if you have been scammed:

  • Report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 to help stop it happening to others.
  • Often you can’t get your money back if you’ve been scammed, especially if you’ve handed over cash.
  • If you’ve paid for goods or services by credit card you have more protection and if you used a debit card you may be able to ask your bank for a chargeback.

Get advice and report scams to Trading Standards through the Citizens Advice consumer service on 08454 04 05 06 or online support.

If you know someone who has sent money in response to a scam or has fallen victim to doorstep callers you can also report your concerns direct to West Sussex Trading Standards Service online.

Best Regards


John Wright MBE
Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Federation.
Mobile: 07917385213
Business:01444 247368

Wrong way

Wrong way
The Argus reports:

A pensioner has been arrested after driving up to five miles the wrong way down the A27. The 74-year-old from Brighton was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving at 6.40am this morning (Wednesday 2nd). .. An officer travelling on the westbound carriageway managed to get him to stop east of the Kingston roundabout.

How should crime and disorder be dealt with?

crime-and-disorder-surveyThe Safer West Sussex Partnership is inviting residents, businesses and partner agencies from across West Sussex to participate in its survey on crime and disorder.

Each year the partnership conducts a comprehensive review, bringing together information from a range of sources to produce a picture of where crime is occurring, the types of crimes people are suffering from and what agencies and organisations are doing to deal with the issues.

Using this information the Partnership can identify which crimes and areas of work are priorities for the year which is then published in a County Community Safety Agreement.

To support this review the Partnership is seeking the views of people who live and work in West Sussex in order to steer the delivery of services underneath its priorities. We would like you to tell us which of our ten priorities are most important to you and how you would allocate resources if you were in charge of the budgets.

Help us to deliver better services for you and your communities by spending a few minutes filling in our online survey available at

Please feel free to forward this email onto any other parties you believe may be interested in helping us shape the way we serve our customers and communities.

The survey will run until the 11th April.

Please contact the Better Communities Team for more information:

Mid Sussex Police – Monthly Update


Mid Sussex District Monthly Update – October 2013

How we deliver policing to Mid Sussex District is broken down into three pillars –
Keeping People Safe, Neighbourhood Policing and Best Use of Resources.

To reflect this, my update will be structured alongside the three key themes supporting each pillar.

Keeping People Safe

Catching criminals
After a call from a member of the public, we located a group of young people kicking and damaging wing mirrors on Fairfield Road, Burgess Hill. We are now investigating their involvement in the damage of six vehicles.

We have suffered many diesel thefts on Victoria Industrial Estate, Burgess Hill. PC Upton has identified a possible suspect and is progressing activities to locate and arrest them.

Following reports of suspicious activity we have arrested a suspect for attempted burglary. They are currently on bail whilst the investigation is progressed.

Police have offered a reward for information leading to the arrest of Mark Vine. Mark is currently wanted for Burglary and the teams from Mid Sussex and other departments in the force are actively seeking him.

Cutting Crime
A Cannabis factory was discovered in Cuckfield after Police attended the address regarding an incident. Two people have been arrested and are currently on bail.

Dealing with critical incidents
None of note

Neighbourhood Policing
Being Visible and Accessible
The Neighbourhood Policing Team hold monthly surgeries and bi-monthly neighbourhood panel meetings in each ward for residents to attend, for more information please go to

Welcome to our new team members
New Police Community Support Officers (PCSO’s) – Karen ILES, Chelcie SHANAHAN and Jamie JOHNSON
New Police Constables (PC’s) – Katie BREEDS and Claire IRVING

Providing a Quality Response
The Neighbourhood Policing Team is working with West Sussex Fire and Rescue to help deliver the ‘Who Cares Scheme’. This scheme is aimed at people over 65 with vulnerabilities. It is a free service from West Sussex Fire and Rescue including a home visit to offer fire safety advice, fit smoke alarms and/or specialist detection/protection equipment. Call free on 0800 328 6487 or visit to make a home fire safety check referral.

At the end of October, Halloween and firework literature was handed out to all local shops across the district and ‘NO Trick or Treat’ posters were available for members of the public at Police Stations and other public buildings. The posters were gratefully received by everyone.

Working with Communities
Business Watch is being set up across Mid Sussex to increase the flow of communication between business communities and Sussex Police. The aim is to prevent and detect crime, increase intelligence and build relationships with this community. If you wish to find out more about this initiative email

Best Use of Resources
On Mid Sussex District we have an excellent team of Special Constables, eight in total, who are a real credit to the Force. They provide us with lots of support and their assistance on a variety of operations and calls (often at short notice) is highly commendable.

‘Thank you Specials for your ongoing commitment and support – you do a fantastic job!.’

Being Productive and Effective – Burglary Series
Op Bourne is running in relation to a spate of burglaries that have occurred in the Mid Sussex District. Burglars are targeting houses with the aim of stealing cash and jewellery. Offences have primarily been occurring between 8am – 5pm with the offenders entering premises via the rear of the property by smashing a door or window.

Please ensure that you lock and secure your outbuildings. Side gates should be locked shut and access to the rear of your house restricted. Where you have high value items such as jewellery or cash in your property please make sure they are not on view and where possible securely hidden away. Please keep an eye out in your street and local area and report any suspicious activity immediately to Sussex Police on 101 or 999 if you believe that a crime is in progress.

Please share this message with your family and friends – thank you.

Chief Inspector Simon Beardwell
Mid Sussex District Commander
West Sussex Division