“Hello” from the Wealden Prevention Team.
This is the latest edition of our Newsletter. The aim is to provide a summary of some of our pro-active engagement. Activity that is over and above the routine deployment of officers to urgent calls and crime enquiries that happens every day across the district.
What follows is a snapshot of some of that engagement activity in the last two months.
Throughout December our team conducted foot and vehicle patrols in the following towns and villages including: Polegate, Willingdon, Alfriston, Pevensey, Westham, Stone Cross, Hailsham, Hellingly, Chiddingly, Heathfield, Herstmonceux, Uckfield, Rotherfield, Crowborough, and Fletching.
Throughout these patrols we attended different local councils for drop in sessions, spoke to local residents such as café owners and security staff at local supermarkets. We attended Hadlow Down after reports from the Chair of the Parish Council regarding dangerous parking and provided a regular presence in the area.
A Community Meeting was also held at Polegate Council Offices which was held by PCSO Whitaker. This gave residents an opportunity to talk to us about any concerns or issues that they had and was well attended.
Our team were also very pleased to provide the Charles Hunt Centre in Hailsham with £500 so that the elderly and vulnerable were able to have a Christmas Party. These funds were provided through the Police Property Act Fund.
On 11th December our Mobile Police Station was at Fletching Village Hall after a request to attend by the Town Councillor. Also present was our Community Speedwatch Manager as a number of residents had expressed concerns over speeding in the local area.
The Mobile Police Station is a new initiative that has been implemented in addition to our everyday patrol activity. It gives members of the public another way to talk to us about any concerns they may have, to report crimes and to receive crime prevention advice.
Throughout January, Wealden Prevention Team have conducted patrols throughout all areas of Wealden.
In addition to our regular static and mobile patrols, we have conducted some additional engagement events. On 9th January there was a Community Safety Meeting held at Uckfield Civic Centre. This was held by PCSO Choppin and PCSO Whitaker in partnership with the Town Council. Around 28 members of the public were in attendance, including a representative from Uckfield News and Uckfield FM. One of the main issue raised was a concern regarding drug dealing. The PCSOs were able to provide reassurance to those present regarding this and other issues raised. PCSO Sue Choppin also reiterated the importance of residents reporting concerns to us.
On 17th January PCSO’s Lewis and Matthews had members of the Cubs and Brownies visit Uckfield Police Station. They were shown around the police cars, vans, cells and even had a visit from a dog handler, where they met a dog named Polly. It was another great opporutnity to engage with young people about local policing.
On 18th January PCSO McDonagh and PCSO Hodgens were in Polegate with our Mobile Police Station. It was well attended and members of the public raised a number of concerns predominently about parking on Polegate High Street. Whilst we were there the PCSO’s also conducted patrols and moved on any vehicles that were parking incorrectly. We signposted individuals to the correct services to report any anti – social parking and provided local shops with preventitive measures and information around this issue.
On 29th January Insp Gross spoke with Tony Williams on Uckfield FM about some of the opportunities and challenges facing the Wealden policing team. Crime reductions in 2018 across most parts of Wealden and planned increases in PCSO numbers in the next few years are cause for some optimism, but not complacency. You can listen to the interview by going to: http://www.uckfieldfm.co.uk/2019/audio/inspector-jon-gross-wealden-police/
On 30th January PCSO Gilling attended Hailsham Cricket Club to meet with Rob Wilkinson and the Junior members of the club to present them with a £500 donation from the Police Property Act Fund.
Operation Blitz is the dedicated policing initiative by local Officers and PCSOs to tackling nuisance behaviour and low level crime. It operates on Friday and Saturday evenings and other key dates such as school holidays.
Officers are allocated specific tasks and areas to identify young people that are involved in anti – social behaviour and to investigate any offences that have involved the sale of alcohol to underage persons.
Over the period of December and January as a result of Operation Blitz there have been:
In addition to our usual Blitz patrols we have been regularly working with Rail Enforcement Officers and the British Transport Police at Uckfield Railway Station in order to help reduce youth related anti-social behaviour between Crowborough and Uckfield
We are continually working to refine our patrols and engagement activity in order to keep everyone feeling safe across Wealden. As we do this we will hope to continue to build on the reductions in crime and anti-social behaviour we have seen throughout Wealden in 2018. Reductions in burglary, vehicle crime and anti-social behaviour are encouraging. They are testament to the efforts of not only your local team but also colleagues in the wider Prevention, Response and Investigations departments.
Whatever the reported crime levels you can be assured that we continue to focus on responding to, and, where possible, preventing emerging crime series. We are currently experiencing a pattern of rural commercial burglaries which we hope to resolve through the identification and arrest of those responsible as quickly as possible.
Over the next few weeks we will be completing more engagement activities.
These will include:
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“Hello” from your Wealden Policing Team:
In this document you will find the following:
Click here to view the document.
We are being contacted by residents who have received phone calls purporting to be from HMRC, who claim that the resident is being taken to court for none payment of income tax and if they make a payment over the telephone the court case will be dropped. Fortunately all those who have been contacted have realised that this is a scam and have turned their phones off.
This scam has been around for a couple of years unfortunately it has re-emerged again in our areaso please be AWARE !
'There’s a good sense of community in the quiet, rural close where my husband and I have retired to. We have a good relationship with our neighbours. We look out for each other but that didn’t stop someone from breaking into our home.
We decided to go away for the night and that is when it happened. It was our neighbour who realised our home had been broken into and she let us know.
As soon as we walked in we saw broken glass all over the lounge floor where the glass in the patio doors had been smashed. Not much was disturbed downstairs, but when I went upstairs it was a different story. All the bedrooms, except one, had the drawers upturned and our things carelessly thrown everywhere. Someone had rifled through everything.
I keep a small box in our bedroom which holds my mother’s ashes, even this had been tampered with, I knew because when I looked inside the tissue paper was torn. It really upset me that someone had opened it. I was so relieved to find that my mother’s ashes were untouched inside. I don’t know what I would have done if something had happened to them.
I can’t believe this happened to us! My engagement ring was stolen and that can never be replaced. Heart breaking.'
The person responsible for the burglary of this retired couple’s home was convicted and received a four year prison sentence.
To read more stories from people who have shared their experience of being burgled and what happened to those responsible click on this link https://sussex.police.uk/advice/protect-your-home-and-belongings/burglary/burglary-victim-stories/