ASSISTANT Chief Constable Robin Smith, who has many years’ service in Sussex Police, will act as the county’s temporary Deputy Chief Constable following the appointment of Olivia Pinkney as Chief Constable of Hampshire Police.
Chief Superintendent Laurence Taylor will join the chief officer team as temporary assistant chief constable with responsibility for Local Policing and Public Protection from 24 March.
Photo top: Robin Smith (left) and Laurence Taylor
Posted in News, Police, Sussex Tagged with: Police appointments
SUSSEX police have issued a warning to dog owners following reports of the worst slaughter of sheep in living memory after more than 100 were found dead in a field in West Dean, near Chichester.
The horrific discovery was made by farmer Gordon Wyeth at the West Dean Estate yesterday afternoon (March 7). The sheep, many of them pregnant, had been herded into a tight group against a fence and gate bordering woodland where they had panicked and had either died from shock or by being crushed in the flock.
A total of 116 sheep, worth about £17,000, died in the field just north of the A286, near the old railway bridge at the eastern end of the village.
Sergeant Tom Carter from Sussex Police said: “I have never seen or heard of sheep-worrying on this scale before and this was a terrible sight. While there are no signs of any of the animals being savaged, we are all but 100 per cent certain that their deaths were brought about by dogs.
“The flock was last checked around lunchtime on Sunday, so the incident could have occurred at any time over the next 24 hours. However, if as we suspect, it was a dog attack, it may well have happened in daylight and we want to hear from anyone with information about it.
“This is not just about the Mr Wyeth’s livelihood – and it will cost him at least another £2,000 to dispose of the carcasses – but also his emotional attachment to the animals that he has raised and nurtured.”
James Osman, the National Farmers’ Union adviser for Sussex, said: “This is the worst incident of its kind in living memory and talking to colleagues around the country, the number of deaths is double what we have come across in the past.
“We are in full support of the police’s efforts to discover whose dog or dogs were responsible and urge anyone with information to get in touch with them.”
Sgt Carter continued: “We have seen a rise in sheep-worrying incidents and as Spring approaches more dog owners will be heading for the countryside to exercise their pets. We urge people to keep their dogs on a lead while they are walking in rural areas and around livestock. So often in these incidents the owners are horrified by what their dogs have done, but they have to accept that even the most docile of pets can quickly turn into a killer given the opportunity.”
“A farmer can legally shoot a dog that is chasing livestock and seek compensation from the person responsible for the animal, so please don’t take the risk.”
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to email email@example.com or call 101 quoting serial 862 of 07/03.
Photo top: a sheep which was found savaged on the Ashdown Forest last summer
Posted in Animals, News, Police, Sussex Tagged with: Dead sheep, POlice warning, slaughter, worst ever
A Sussex Police officer has been dismissed from the force without notice after it was found that he was guilty of gross misconduct after accessing computer systems without good reason and on one occasion, disclosing the content of a police serial to a third party.
PC Forrest Knight, 48, who was based at the Sussex Police headquarters in Lewes, appeared before a gross misconduct panel yesterday (February 24).
The panel, chaired by Assistant Chief Constable Robin Smith, heard how PC Knight had been under considerable stress in his private life following the breakdown of his marriage when he accessed the force’s command and control and intelligence systems in March 2014.
PC Knight claimed to have done so to input information about contacts associated with his estranged, now divorced, wife and believed that his doing so was a lawful policing purpose. However, he was given advice on the first occasion that he did so, but continued to access the systems with specific searches connected with his private life.
In April 2015, he made a false report to Sussex Police that his then partner was a ’cause for concern’ as she had failed to respond to his text and phone contact.
He then went on to access this record on the force’s command and control system on three occasions and, in doing so, noted her car had been caught on an ANPR camera.
He phoned her the following day and told her this information. The officer denied passing this information and claimed she must have obtained information about the location of the camera from a police documentary. This explanation was not accepted by the panel.
He was found to have committed gross misconduct on four counts involving access to police information and systems and was also found guilty of misconduct with regard to having entered incorrect duty times in his computer record.
A challenge from PC Knight’s solicitor that the first of the breaches had been dealt with by management advice by his supervisor at the time and in effect resulted in double jeopardy was dismissed by the panel.
However, ACC Smith did note that the management action taken at the time was incorrect and he was ‘disturbed’ that the incident had not been referred immediately to the Professional Standards Department. However, he accepted that the full facts had not been available to the supervisor at the time.
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry said: “Sussex Police expects the highest personal and professional standards of anyone who works for us and any allegations of behaviour that do not meet those standards are rigorously investigated.
“Despite being warned that the action he was taking was not authorised, PC Knight continued to access systems drawing himself deeper into the trouble that was entirely of his own making.
“We accept that he was under pressure in his private life, but he had shared this with force and was receiving the support of his colleagues. However, the panel felt that his actions did amount to gross misconduct and he has been dismissed from Sussex Police.
“It is important to show that the force has the ability to fairly investigate its own staff and this highlights our determination not to allow the name of Sussex Police to be tainted, nor bring into disrepute the enormous amount of good work carried out day-to-day by thousands of hard-working and enormously dedicated police officers and staff.”
Posted in News, Police, Sussex Tagged with: gross misconduct, police officer dismissed
Above: Katy Bourne on a recent visit to East Grinstead, where she grew up
SUSSEX Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne has welcomed news that the Government is delaying proposed changes to the way that police funding is allocated, following an admission from the Policing Minster that there was a statistical error in the data that had been used.
“The initial, indicative, funding proposals have caused a great deal of concern to PCCs across the country and I am pleased that a decision to delay changes for the 2016/17 funding allocation has been taken,” she said.
“It is absolutely right that the police funding formula is examined but it has to be in a fair and transparent way, in consultation with PCCs and Chief Constables, and it must consider local policing demand.
“I would like to thank Sussex MPs for their valuable support around raising this issue and for joining me in making strong representations to the Home Secretary for fairer funding, on behalf of Sussex residents.”
The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement will be delivered at the end of this month and the funding formula for 2016/17 is expected to be announced in December.
Posted in News, Police, Sussex Tagged with: Katy Bourne, police funding
POLICE in Sussex are to review the support they provide against crime in schools.
Superintendent Laurence Taylor, policing lead for children and young people, said “It is key for police forces to have a continued footprint in schools.
“If we don’t get it right with policing in schools, we miss opportunities to intervene at an early stage to prevent children’s behavioural issues becoming more problematic in later life.
“It is essential that we break down barriers between children and police, intervene early when problems do arise and support schools in pupils’ education, regarding issues such as online safety.”
Sussex Police, under Deputy chief Constable Olivia Pinkney, are reviewing their current policy around schools officers as they recognise the need to work differently in the future.
Laurence said: “It is essential to maintain a footprint in schools but we recognise that we can’t continue to do it the same way we always have.
“We need to explore new ways of supporting schools and putting resource to those areas that need it the most.”
Posted in Education, News, Police, Sussex Tagged with: crime support, police, schools
Above: Past winners, Forest Row fishmongers Veasey
JUDGES for the Sussex Food and Drink Awards are seeking the very best of the county’s food and drink producers, and the outlets which support them.
Nominations are now open for the 1oth Sussex Food and Drink Awards, so if you know of any producer who deserves to be recognised for the excellence of their local fare, now is the time to let the judges know.
The closing date for nominations in 8 June and you can nominate yourself or someone else. Judges will review the nominations and decide who will go forward to the next stage of the competition, and a shortlist will be announced for public voting in July 2015.
The categories are as follows:
Sussex Street Food Of The Year: Offering great food to be eaten in a mobile situation from an individually styled and attractive unit with a clear message about what’s on offer. Someone who demonstrates responsibility for the environment and food hygiene and sources as many local ingredients as possible. Must attend at least three events in Sussex from April to October 2015. Click here to nominate
Sussex Newcomer of the Year: Our winner will be an innovative business from any part of the food and drink sector, supporting local produce, which has been trading for up to three years by the end of 2015; has the ambition and determination to succeed; and can demonstrate a realistic and sustainable business plan. Click here to nominate
Sussex Farmer of the Year: Our winner will be a farmer who works to enhance the reputation of Sussex as a significant and creative agricultural county. Someone who recognises and accepts the challenge of farming in an economic and environmentally sustainable manner. Click here to nominate
Sussex Farmers Market of the Year: Providing an exciting and varied range of local produce and offering an experience which shoppers, producers and stallholders really enjoy. Click here to nominate
Sussex Eating Experience of the Year: Our winner could be a restaurant, hotel, pub or cafe which uses and promotes mainly Sussex produce and offers consistently high quality food in an enjoyable atmosphere. Click here to nominate
Sussex Young Chef of the Year: Aged 25 or under on 31/12/15, working or studying in Sussex, with a strong appreciation of all things local. Click here to nominate
Sussex Drink Producer of the Year: We are looking for high quality and mouth-watering products from the breweries, vineyards and other drink producers of the county, with a great business behind them. Click here to nominate
Sussex Food Producer of the Year: Someone whose core business is producing a single food ingredient (eg, meat, fish, vegetables, fruit) or a prepared food product (eg, pies, cakes) that are delicious and local to Sussex. Click here to nominate
Sussex Butcher of the Year: A top quality butcher which sells and promotes local meat and offers that little bit extra in terms of quality and service. Click here to nominate
Sussex Food Shop of the Year: Possibly a delicatessen or independent local shop, maybe a farm providing locally grown produce through gate sales, a farm shop or delivering direct to your door. Click here to nominate
Posted in Business, Food and Drink, News, Sussex Tagged with: Food and Drink awards, nominations
MORE than simply a food fair, this is a day of great live music, fun, frolics and food-related activities and games for all the family.
Think quaint Victorian Curiosity Show.
Think picnic in the glorious Sussex countryside.
Think good old-fashioned knees up.
Think all these things – with a large dollop of quintessential Englishness on top…
Early bird tickets: £6 adults, children free. On the gate adults £8, children £2.
Posted in Events, Food and Drink, News, Sussex Tagged with: Ardingly Food and Drink Festival
WEST Sussex County Council is to set up a social work academy to support newly qualified social workers through their first year of practice.
The aim is to provide guidance to new recruits and give social workers a high level of support and supervision during their first 12 months of employment.
It will be able to support and train 20 newly qualified social workers a year. However, in the first year, an extra 12 social workers will receive training (32 in total).
The academy is the result of a major redesign of the children’s social care services at West Sussex – something that has been done with staff, family and children who all use social care services.
The Council has recently launched a national campaign to recruit new and experienced social workers to fill the vacancies that have arisen from the redesign. There are currently 30 vacancies.
Peter Evans, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Children – Start of Life, said: “Recruiting and retaining social workers is a challenge facing councils up and down the country. This means councils are often forced to use agency staff which can be expensive.
“We’ve redesigned our services to transform both our systems and the way we work. We believe the offer we can make to social workers is better now than it’s ever been before.
“Our social work academy will guide and steer newly qualified social workers through that crucial first year of practice. Only the most promising and passionate advocates of children and young people will be selected to take part in this programme.
“It’s the first of its kind in our part of the world along the south coast and we are really very proud of it.
“We’re confident this is the best way forward to us. We believe this transformation of our service will lead to better results for our children and our young people and, for us, that’s what it’s all about.”
Director of Family Operations, Annie Maciver, added: “Our new recruits will be able to experience a broad range of casework from assessments, child protection, court work, children looked after and leaving care. This will support them to become confident, competent and resilient social workers who are equipped to work across the children’s social care system.”
Find out more about the social work academy and a career in social work at West Sussex County Council by visiting www.withyoueverystep.co.uk
Posted in Council, News, Sussex Tagged with: Social work academy, West Sussex County Council
SIR Howard Davies, who is head of the Commission considering expansion at Gatwick and Heathrow airports, has called for a fresh public consultation into how air quality will be affected by the proposals before he makes a decision later this year.
The move is a bid to avoid a legal challenge to the Commission, which was set up by David Cameron in 2012.
But with Sir Howard due to take up his new role as chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland in September, there are concerns that its report will be subject to further delays.
Posted in Business, Environment, News, Sussex Tagged with: Air quality, Gatwick, public consultation
A car similar to this one was seen in the area
POLICE have urged residents to ensure their homes are secure after a series of 11 break-ins across Crawley.
Detectives believe the burglaries, which took place at homes across the town over the past eight weeks, were committed by the same people who stole quantities of gold jewellery, cash and electrical items.
Detective Inspector Dave Wardley-Wilkins said: “We believe the thieves are specifically looking for gold jewellery that they know they can sell. In some cases they have sorted their way through drawers and discarded pieces they believed were less valuable while taking larger gold items.
“I would urge residents to make sure their homes are secure whenever they leave them, even if they only plan to be away briefly. A few minutes may be all the time the burglars need.
“I also need the public’s help to identify anyone who may have been acting suspiciously near the burgled homes in the minutes, hours or even days before the break-ins. If you have seen anything at all, please contact us.”
Officers are particularly interested to speak to anyone who may have seen people acting suspiciously in high performance cars parked in residential roads.
A white Ford Focus ST, similar to the one pictured, has been seen close to the scene of some of the crimes but the offenders could be using a number of vehicles.
Sussex Police launched Operation Magpie to investigate dozens of burglaries across the Home Counties which they believe may be carried out by linked gangs, including several break-ins in East Grinstead.
If you have any information about burglaries or shops selling stolen goods, call 101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For crime prevention advice visit www.sussex.police.uk.
If you see or hear a burglary taking place call 999 immediately.
Posted in Crime, News, Police, Sussex Tagged with: burglaries, Crawley, Operation Magpie
TWO South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) paramedics have joined the aid effort set up to help the victims of the Nepal earthquake.
Thanet-based Critical Care Paramedics (CCPs) Adam Watts and Jo Griggs are already in Nepal as part of the £5 million support package announced this week by the Government.
The response is providing trauma medics, heavy lifting equipment to move aid, and supplies and humanitarian experts to help co-ordinate rescue efforts.
The two CCPs, who are likely to be in Nepal for up to three weeks, will use their advanced trauma skills to help the victims and are part of a multi-agency voluntary team of experts including firefighters, search and rescue specialists and other medics.
With latest estimates of 5,000 people killed and tens of thousands more injured, people in the affected areas are in real need of the specialist care that CCPs can provide.
Over and above their existing paramedic skills, CCPs receive additional education and training to help them provide specialist care to patients suffering from critical illness or injury.
Posted in News, Sussex Tagged with: Nepal, paramedics, SECAmb
A discount card aimed at families with children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) is to be launched by West Sussex County Council.
The card will provide exclusive offers and money-off deals for families and will help them find local activities which are disability-friendly.
The scheme will enable the County Council to compile a disability register, which will provide a comprehensive picture of the needs and disabilities of children and young people within the county, and help with planning which services are needed.
West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Children – Start of Life, Peter Evans, said: “The card is a win-win situation. Not only will families have more opportunities to access fun activities, it will also give us valuable information about their needs.
“Similar cards in other areas have shown that families can save more than £600 if they use the discount card regularly.”
It’s hoped the card will be launched by the end of 2015.
Posted in Council, News, Sussex Tagged with: disabled children, Discount, WSCC
KEW the Movies will be back again this year with a couple of family favourites to be shown in the beautiful garden surroundings at Kew’s second site, Wakehurst.
This year they’ll be showing Grease on Friday 11 September, and the wonderful animated success story Frozen on Saturday 12 September.
Car parking charges are included in the ticket price for Kew the Movies at Wakehurst. The car park will open for event ticket holders from 6pm on the event day, and the open air screenings take place on the croquet lawn overlooking the stunning Mansion: tickets are on sale now.
So go along and enjoy a picnic and a movie in the lush surroundings of Wakehurst Place.
Posted in Events, News, Sussex Tagged with: Frozen Grease, kew, movies, wakehurst
THE Ashdown Forest will be holding Dawn Chorus Walks led by an experienced birdwatcher this Spring.
Aimed at novices, the walks offer the chance to see and hear some unusual birds which are hard to find elsewhere in Sussex.
Limited number of places are available so book early. There is a small charge of £2.50 per head. Binoculars will be helpful though not essential. Wear sturdy boots as there will be some rough walking up and down hills, and country colours – no bright red, yellow or blue.
The walk is weather-dependent, and will be called off it it is raining at the start. Dogs are not allowed. Meet 15 minutes prior to start of walk.
To reserve a place call 01342 823583 or email email@example.com and pay on the day. You will be advised of the meeting point when booking.
The walks will take place on Saturday 25 April, Saturday 9 May and Thursday 14 May.
Photo Karen Colcomb
Posted in Forest Row, News, Sussex Tagged with: Ashdown Forest, Dawn chorus
MID Sussex District Council has agreed to help local residents avoid getting into the spiral of debt that can occur if they rely on illegal or other high interest lenders by supporting a more ethical and affordable alternative.
The Council has agreed to invest £25,000 to become a corporate member of the West Sussex Credit Union, which provides responsible savings and loans options to local residents.
West Sussex Credit Union offers a fast, safe and secure way of borrowing money at a reasonable rate to anyone who lives or works in the county. For those on a low income, with no borrowing record or a poor credit history, the Credit Union offers a realistic alternative to banks or building societies and the affordable rates on offer could be what they need to get their finances on track.
People can also choose to have a secure savings account with the Credit Union, which pays an annual dividend, and because they don’t make a profit, savers know that their money is helping to support their local community.
All savings are 100% guaranteed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Councillor Jonathan Ash-Edwards said: “Too many people who need money in an emergency and can’t get a loan from the bank turn instead to lenders who charge extortionately high interest rates, and this gets people into a spiral of debt they can’t escape from. It can cause families a lot of stress, and can even result in them losing their homes.
“We wanted to show our support for the West Sussex Credit Union in a practical way so that they could help more local residents with affordable loans. They are also encouraging young people to get into a habit of saving, which will stand them in good stead for the future. The investment is just that, an investment, and council tax payers’ money is completely secure.”
* For more information about the West Sussex Credit Union visit www.westsussexcreditunion.co.uk
Posted in Council, News, Sussex Tagged with: Credit Union, Mid sussex District Council, West Sussex
SHEFFIELD Park and Nymans saw their visitor numbers rise significantly over 2014, while those at Wakehurst have slumped badly since the introduction of parking charges at the troubled gardens last April.
According to figures just released by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions Nymans had 21% more visitors over the course of last year, and Sheffield Park 12% extra.
In contrast the whole year figures for Wakehurst – which include the three months before the parking charges were introduced last Spring – showed a slump of 29%.
But according to Wakehurst’s own figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, visitor numbers for the period since the parking charge was imposed have dropped by more than 50%.
And the dispute shows no sign of a thaw.
National Trust members who used to park free as part of their annual membership have boycotted the famous gardens in huge numbers since last April saying that a £10 charge for visits of more than two hours is too expensive, not least when there are plenty of free alternatives locally.
While Kew – which has responsibility for Wakehurst – says that the withdrawal of Government grants has left them with no alternative but to charge for parking to ensure the future of the Wakehurst estate.
But with visitor numbers down, the income from the on-site shop and restaurant have slumped accordingly leaving Kew with some tough decisions to make as as the 2015 tourist season starts to get underway.
Posted in News, Sussex Tagged with: Nymans, Sheffield Park, wakehurst
Ref: Campaign to stop West Sussex Fire and Rescue reducing its emergency vehicles and firefighters
I am writing to as many organisations as possible to highlight the dangers of planned fire service cuts in West Sussex.
Signing the Stop fire engine and firefighter cuts in West Sussex petition will save lives. This can be found on the West Sussex Epetitions website and will demonstrate to the County Council that their cuts are a step too far.
These cuts will result in longer response times, more deaths, more injuries and more property damage across the County. For example, the removal of second fire engines from Midhurst, Petworth and Storrington will, according to WSCC’s own figures, cost an extra loss of life every 3 years and £67,000 extra damage. Yet it will only save £63,000. Other cuts mean an extra death every other year, £80,000 extra property damage and longer waits when people need help.
Things are already bad with the availability of retained (part time) crewed fire engines 16% below standard last year. Some stations are actually not available more than they are available. This and previous cuts have seen response times increase with average times 30% longer than in East Sussex. Latest figures show that West Sussex had the most fire deaths and injuries, per head of population, of any area in the south east, including London, for the second year running.
If we get at least 3,000 signatures the Council will have to debate the petition at a public meeting. Please note that that the Council say only signatures from people living, working or studying in West Sussex and showing a valid West Sussex post code will be counted. People who live outside the county should use their West Sussex work or study address and postcode instead.
Please sign the petition
More information available at West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service Stop the Cuts
Posted in Council, Letters to the Editor, News, Sussex Tagged with: cuts, Fire Service, Letters, Tony Morris, WSCC
THERE will a training exercise for sniffer dogs on the Ashdown Forest this Sunday when members of the Association of Lowland Search and Rescue squad will take their pets through their paces.
ALSAR is a volunteer group of dog owners who work with the police to trace missing people. It began in 2003 and is made up of ordinary people with ordinary jobs who are dedicated to helping vulnerable people in an emergency.
Sussex is home to approximately 1.4 million people living in an area of nearly 1 million acres and when someone who is identified as vulnerable or at risk goes missing, ALSAR members can be called on to support the police effort to locate them and take them to safety.
“We provide an emergency on call service 24 hours a day 365 days a year,” said a spokesman for the group. “Call outs are exclusively via the police through a call out coordinator who is contacted by the police and other Lowland Search teams who require additional dog teams any time of the day and night.”
Most of the dogs within the team are air scenting dogs taught to find any human scent within an area. Due to the way air-scenting dogs work the team works predominately in rural areas but are also able to work in some urban environments such as parks, and private grounds.
But the team also has a small number of scent specific trailing dogs under training to work in more urban environments.
Dogs and their owners are trained to national standards and have regular meetings and training sessions with the police like the one which will take place on the Forest this Sunday.
“We combine our enjoyment of training dogs and being outdoors with being able to provide a valuable service to local police forces to assist them in locating vulnerable missing people.
“We are a relatively small team that aims to have around 12 dogs and handlers plus a similar number of operational support personnel (Search Technicians) at any one time. We also have a number of non operational members who support the team at training sessions by acting as missing people, or by fund raising.”
* To find out more about ALSAR see their website at http://www.lowlandrescue.org/
Posted in Forest Row, News, Sussex Tagged with: Ashdown Forest, Sniffer dogs
POLICE suspect 11 burglaries which have taken place in and near East Grinstead this month are linked.
Between 6 and 12 February a total of 12 properties were broken into and jewellery or cash were stolen: and between 12 and 19 February, nine more properties were burgled.
On 12 February between noon and 4.45pm a house in Maple Drive, East Grinstead had its front door forced and jewellery and cash was taken. On the same day in Wychperry Road, Haywards Heath an attempt was made to force a door but the intruders were unsuccessful.
On 9 February there was an attempted break-in at Sunnywood Drive, Haywards Heath. And in Finches Park Road in Lindfield, between 4pm and 5.10pm, a house was broken into and jewellery, a briefcase and cash were stolen.
There were also attempted break-ins in The Beacon, West Hoathly between 9 and 12 February: in Sandringham Close, East Grinstead between December and 11 February: and in Hammerwood Road, East Grinstead between 4 and 11 February.
In Broadfield in West Hoathly on 10 February a door was forced and jewellery, cash and a camera bag were stolen.
Jewellery was also taken from three more properties in Horstead Keynes and Lindfield on 11 February.
On 12 February properties in Blackwell Road and Ashdown View in East Grinstead, and in Borers Arms Road, Copthorne were broken into.
Two properties in Lowdells Drive, one on Lingfield Road in East Grinstead, and two more homes in Lindfield were burgled, and cash and jewellery were taken on 18 February.
In Pine Grove, East Grinstead on 16 February a house was broken into and a number of high value watches were stolen.
If you see or hear a burglary taking place call 999 immediately.
Residents can also being encouraged to register their items on the world’s largest property database so that if they are stolen, they can be reunited with the owners – and so the offenders can be prosecuted.
Posted in Crime, News, Police, Sussex Tagged with: burglars, burglary, links
POLICE & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne has allocated over £100,000 to support Sussex Police in safe-guarding against domestic abuse.
The funding will extend the force’s use of dedicated Operation Ribbon patrol cars until the end of April and will enable the purchase of 200 specialist smart phones with enhanced technology to support high-risk victims of domestic abuse.
Mrs Bourne said “Continued investment in the right technology to support victims of domestic abuse is crucial.
“Sussex Police’s Operation Ribbon campaign, which launched in December, provided enhanced support for victims over the festive period. The extra patrol cars act as a deterrent with officers taking a pro-active approach and visiting people known to be at risk. I am pleased that the benefits of this operation will continue to be delivered to victims with no break in service.
“The specialist smart phones will provide an extra layer of reassurance to domestic abuse victims as they will allow them to have a direct 24-hour line to the police. Victims will be able to activate the phone whenever they feel threatened, intimidated or at risk. They will also support victims of associated crimes such as stalking and harassment.”
Although the Christmas and New Year holidays were once again a peak period for reports of domestic abuse in Sussex, the police did welcome a slight decrease in the number of incidents compared with previous years: 823 down from 940 the previous year.
However 305 of the incidents were recorded as specific crimes, an increase of 100 over the previous year, and arrests so far for the period have doubled, from 141 to 262.
Mrs Bourne said: “The fight against domestic abuse and the devastating effect it has on families from all walks of life must remain a priority for everyone. It is a serious issue, with one in four women experiencing it in their lifetime and, on average, two women a week killed by a former or current male partner. It often happens behind closed doors, where coercive and controlling behaviour is harder to recognise but can have an equally devastating impact on its victims.
“I would encourage anyone who is suffering abuse by a partner or family member to please report it, if not to police, at least to a professional person or one of the agencies who specialise in providing expert support and advice.”
* For advice and support in Sussex visit www.sussex.police.uk or call 101 or 01273 470101.
If you don’t want to talk to the police, talk to someone. These organisations can also help;
The 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 – www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk
Posted in Crime, News, Police, Sussex Tagged with: domestic abuse, Funding, Katy Bourne
UKIP has unveiled the candidates who will be fighting West Sussex seats in May’s General Election. The line up includes Toby Brothers (third from the left, front) who will be standing in Mid Sussex against Conservative incumbent Sir Nicholas Soames.
County leader Cllr Mike Glennon, who is standing for the East Worthing and Shoreham constituency, said, “A couple of years ago UKIP became the main opposition party in West Sussex with a 30% vote share, just 8% short of an overall lead, and since then we have taken more and more seats on district, borough and parish councils.
“Now we are taking the next step forward in our underlying quest to secure UK independence from the EU super-state.”
The UKIP line-up of candidates includes an engineer, a solicitor, a retired soldier, a teacher, a telecommunications manager, an ex-submariner, an entrepreneur and a rugby referee.
“What you will notice across the team,” continued Glennon, “is that there is not a career politician among us. We are a people’s party – all ordinary citizens with masses of real world experience and that’s why we identify so closely with residents, unlike the established political elites.
“If people are not willing to take politics into their own hands, we are forever destined to be controlled by career MPs, who are far more concerned with their own party whips than with the interests of their communities.”
Having won the European elections in 2014 with a decisive margin, the party is now looking to consolidate the existing Westminster bridgehead established after their by-election victories in Clacton and Rochester at the end of last year.
“Politics has changed enormously in the last decade.” commented Glennon. “The future will bring a much more diverse range of party components in the House of Commons and quite frankly that has to be a good thing. Consumers have always known that choice brings better value and that applies to government too. Offering electors a broader and more viable choice of representation will surely reflect the demographic realities we now see across the country and also create leadership, which is much more likely to heed what the people are saying. There has never been a more interesting time to be participating in the political arena.
“Roll on May!”
* We will be carrying interviews, profiles and photographs of all the candidates standing in Parliamentary and Council elections this May.
Posted in Election, News, Politics, Sussex Tagged with: candidates, General Election, ukip
EAST Grinstead police have warned that thieves in Mid Sussex are targeting power tools left in vans or on site across the District.
Yesterday we carried an appeal from the town police after tools were stolen from a builders in Rowfant, but the problem is District wide said East Grinstead police, echoing a call by colleagues in Brighton for more vigilance.
Brighton’s Inspector Nicholas Dias warned tradesmen, contractors and site managers yesterday to ensure that all tools are removed from vehicles and locked safely and securely away at night and at other times when they are unattended.
“Tool thefts have a huge impact on local traders,” he said. “Officers and staff from across the division are working closely to target the offenders and to pursue those who handle and sell stolen goods.
“We strongly advise that all tools are removed from vehicles overnight. If items are being stored on site, ensure it is left secure and any tools are locked away out of sight, or ideally removed from the location. Contractors are also advised to consider CCTV, using alarms at their storage facilities and on-site security.”
He also asked the public to be alert, and to be wary of buying second hand tools like the Makita drill pictured above which was stolen with other power tools recently in Mid Sussex.
* If you suspect a theft is taking place call 999; otherwise email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 101 to report your suspicions. Alternatively, you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Posted in Business, News, Police, Sussex Tagged with: building equipment, power tools, theft, thieves
PROPERTY confiscated by the courts and subsequently sold has raised money for the county’s blood transport service.
Sussex Police has donated £500 to SERV Sussex to fund the purchase of hi vis jackets and other important safety equipment.
SERV Sussex treasurer Dave Romaine said: “We are so grateful for the kind donation to the running of our free-of-charge, overnight urgent blood transport service to our local hospitals.
“SERV Sussex is staffed entirely by volunteers who give their time and fuel costs free of charge. All donations go towards the running of our service.”
Danny Goodridge, a supervisor in Sussex Police’s communications department and a SERV volunteer, said: “It’s through donations such as these that the volunteers at SERV are able to carry on providing such a valuable service.”
* The photograph shows Dave Romaine (left) receiving the cheque from Danny Goodridge (right).
Posted in Health, News, Police, Sussex Tagged with: Blood transport service, crime, donation, police
POLICE and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne’s meeting with Chief Constable Giles York will be broadcast live on Friday 20 February at 1pm.
You can watch the session live at http://www.sussex-pcc.public-i.tv/ and a recording will be available to view online shortly afterwards.
Road safety, squatters and complaints against the police are just three of the topics on the agenda, which also includes the Force’s Shop Watch scheme and Business Crime strategy; female genital mutilation; unauthorised drone usage; and a progress update on the Force’s investments in operational policing following a rise in the police precept in 2014/15.
Commenting ahead of the meeting Mrs Bourne said: “Last year Sussex police carried out an internal review into the management of ‘unlicensed events’. I want to find out how the learning from this review is assisting the police now in their response to squatters in commercial premises staging these types of events.
“I have previously voiced my support for the use of drones by Sussex Police to tackle crime, particularly in high risk areas like Gatwick Airport. However, I am very aware that the use of drones does raise safety, security and privacy concerns for some people. I will be asking Mr York to explain the law around drone usage and what powers Sussex Police has to deal with unauthorised usage.”
“The questions I ask the Chief Constable during these meetings are based around the issues and concerns that members of the public tell me they have. I hope people will take the time to tune in.”
Posted in News, Police, Sussex Tagged with: Giles York, Katy Bourne, police