Power cuts don’t happen very often these days, but if there’s a power cut, have you ever wondered how some people would cope?
The electricity network is built to be resilient but extreme weather, including storms, heavy summer rain and lightning, can affect overhead power lines. The public should stay well clear from power lines, and anyone spotting a damaged power line needs to report it immediately by calling 105. More information about power cuts and reporting faults can be found at https://www.powercut105.com.
UK Power Networks own and run the electricity cables in most of our region and fix power cuts. They deliver the electricity which you buy through your choice of supplier. They provide a priority service for anyone who might face extra difficulty in the event of a power cut, including households with an elderly person, young children, someone less mobile or someone with a health condition.
By registering with UK Power Networks’ Priority Services Register you will be given a priority 24 hour phone number for communication, receive extra information and regular updates during any power cut. In the event of a longer power cut you could receive hot food, hot drinks and hot water, mobile phone charging and more. Those who rely on power to run medical equipment, such as dialysis or breathing apparatus, would also receive additional help.
More information can be found online at http://www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/priority. It’s quick and free to register by completing a short questionnaire, if you have not already done so. If you have family or friends who meet the criteria you can register on their behalf if they are happy for you to do so.
Please note that the majority of our Neighbourhood Watch members live in the area served by UK Power Networks (London, East and South East). However, a few do not, and it will be made clear to you in the on-line registration process if this is the case, and a link will be given to who your regional network operator is, so you can apply to join their Priority Service Register.
Neighbourhood Watch urges everybody who is eligible, to sign up to UK Power Networks Priority Services Register, to ensure that they receive free extra help in the event of a power cut. The link is below. We know that some people are hesitant to click on links, so if you prefer you can go online and search for UK Power Networks Priority Services Register.
Fraudsters are contacting overseas students and visitors who are in the UK via their mobile phone or social network account and purporting to represent UK or foreign law enforcement.
After fraudsters have claimed to work with their respective embassy or government, they tell the victim that there is evidence in the form of forged documentation or parcels which implicate them in a crime such as money laundering, fraud or immigration offences.
After demanding further personal details from the victim such as their name, current address and copies of personal documentation, they threaten the victim by suggesting a warrant exists for their arrest which will result in their deportation and imprisonment unless they transfer a payment to them in order to cancel the arrest or pay a fine. Once the money is transferred, all contact between the victim and the fraudster is severed.
What You Need To Do:
Police will never ask you to withdraw to transfer money so “it can be checked”, neither would they demand money to in order to cancel an arrest.
Do not be tricked into giving a fraudster access to your personal or financial details no matter who they say they are; protect your information and have the confidence to question and refuse unusual requests.
If you have made a payment to someone claiming to be the police or government department, and you think you might be a victim of fraud, you can report it to Action Fraud any time of the day or night using our online fraud reporting tool. You can also get advice about fraud or cyber-crime by calling 0300 123 2040.
If you are a student you can ask your Student Union or University for advice, help and support.
We are writing to you to seek your help in raising awareness of scam mail in your local community. Royal Mail never knowingly delivers scam mail. We understand the distress that it can cause when received. This type of mail is illegal and targets the most vulnerable in society. We want to put a stop to it.
Typically, scam mail involves professional fraudsters sending convincing letters that are designed to trick people out of money or other valuables. Scam mail can include bogus competitions and fake prize draws. This mail mostly originates from overseas and is hard to detect.
Who receives scam mail? It can be anyone. You, a relative or a friend could receive this type of mail. Even the most alert people can be taken in by these criminals.
We are combating scam mail — Royal Mail is committed to doing all we can to protect our customers from scam mail. In 2016 Royal Mail introduced a series of additional measures to reduce the impact on our customers. This includes the introduction of a new industry—wide code of practice for dealing with scam mail as well as a new clause in Royal Mail's bulk mail contracts. We are working with other postal operators in the UK and around the world to share intelligence and take steps to prevent it entering the UK.
We have to date proactively stopped over 4 million suspected pieces of scam mail at our distribution centres around the UK. before they can be posted through the letterboxes of customers.
We are continuing to work with our postmen and women across the UK who are the eyes and ears in the local community, industry partners and law enforcement agencies including National Trading Standards to tackle this issue more vigorously.
Should you be concerned that someone you know is in receipt of scam mail, please contact us by:
Writing to Royal Mail at FREEPOST SCAM MAIL, enclosing any items that are suspected of being scam mail;
Calling the Royal Mail Scam Mall Helpline on 0800 0113 466; or
I would like to assure you that we are doing everything within our powers to protect customers in your community from Scam Mail.
Director of Public Affairs and Policy
The Community Safety & Wellbeing Team at West Sussex County Council has launched two surveys in order to gather feedback about people’s perceptions and experiences of cybercrime/online safety over the last 12 months. Responses to this survey will influence how the County Council shapes their cybercrime/online safety support work for residents and local businesses in the future.
Personal Use Survey:
WSCC are looking for any West Sussex resident, aged 18 or above, to complete their Personal Use Cybercrime/Online Safety Survey. Survey link - https://haveyoursay.westsussex.gov.uk/communities-public-protection/cybercrime/
WSCC are seeking views and information from business owners/managers to help support them. Survey link - https://haveyoursay.westsussex.gov.uk/communities-public-protection/cybercrimebusiness/
We appreciate that some people are rightly cautious about clicking on links in E-mails. If you prefer, you can search online for West Sussex Cybercrime Survey and follow the links to the Personal and/or Business surveys.
The surveys will be open for 5 weeks, and will close at midnight on Monday 19th November 2018.
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 email@example.com 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
Amongst the items covered are (i) number spoofing, (ii) signs of scam calls and (iii) fake calls from 'Virgin Media'. There is also some general advice and guidance on what to do if you suspect someone may be vulnerable to fraud.
Cyber-criminals use weaknesses in software and apps to attack your devices and steal your identity. Software updates are designed to fix these weaknesses and installing them as soon as possible will keep your devices & data secure.
Software updates don’t have to get in the way of what you’re doing. You can choose to install them at night, when your device is plugged in and connected to wi-fi. You can also configure most devices to automatically install software and app updates.
For more information on how to stay secure online, visit http://www.cyberaware.gov.uk or follow @Cyberprotectuk on Twitter.
Cyber criminals are attempting to blackmail unsuspecting victims by claiming to have used the victims' password to install spying malware on the victims' computer. The criminals claim they’ve recorded videos of the victim watching adult material by activating their webcam when they visit these websites. What makes this scam so convincing is that the email usually includes a genuine password the victim has used for one of their online accounts. We believe criminals obtain the passwords from data breaches.
What to do if you get one of these emails?
Don’t reply to the email, or be pressured into paying. The police advise that you do not pay criminals. Try flagging the email as spam/junk if you receive it multiple times. Perform a password reset as soon as possible on any accounts where you’ve used the password mentioned in the email. Always use a strong, separate password for important accounts, such as your email. Where available, enable two-factor authentication (2FA). Always install the latest software and app updates. Install, or enable, anti-virus software on your laptops and computers and keep it updated.
If you receive one of these emails, report it to Action Fraud’s phishing reporting tool. If you have received one of these emails and paid the ransom, report it to your local police force.
Armed robber sentenced for attacking an officer after Horsham robbery
An armed robber has been sent to prison for 14 years after a string of offences earlier this year.
Owen Smith, 29, unemployed of no fixed address pleaded guilty on August 30 at Hove Crown Court to assault by beating a police constable, possession of an offensive weapon, namely a baseball bat, robbery and taking a police vehicle without consent.
He was sentenced at Hove Crown Court on Tuesday (October 30).
The offence was captioned on CCTV at the shop and petrol station.
To see the full story, a photo and the video, please click on the link or go to our website.
Autumn burglary campaign begins after clock change
A focus on burglary begins this Autumn after the clocks changed last weekend.
From October 29 to November 4, Sussex Police ran Operation Magpie, the autumn burglary prevention and awareness campaign.
There were 644 burglaries across the force in September 2017, but this fell to 518 in September 2018. The autumn campaign was to maintain this decrease, as well as raising awareness about how you can protect your own home.
During the week there was prevention advice to specific communities as well as social media posts, in an effort to prevent burglaries from happening in the first place.
Detective Chief Inspector Alasdair Henry, Sussex Police burglary lead said: “Operation Magpie acted as a reminder for residents and business owners to keep their property safe and reduce the chance of being burgled.
“Despite Sussex being one of the least likely areas of the country to be a victim of burglary, we still need to work together to ensure our dwellings and work premises are secure from intruders. At this time of year I would encourage people to remind themselves of our crime prevention advice, advertised through our flyers and social media messaging sent out. Please also help us by recording details of your valuable property on the free to use “Immobilise” website.
“Tackling burglary is business as usual for our teams, and we will be focusing our resources across Sussex to undertake high visibility patrols and to provide crime prevention advice in selected areas. We’ll also aim to keep you up to date on our efforts to prosecute criminals linked to this type of crime via our local district social media accounts.”
Of the 43 UK police forces, Sussex is rated as fifth highest in the national league table as one of the least likely places to live and be burgled.
You can also be kept up to date by joining Sussex Police’s Community Message service, In the Know which will keep you up to date on the latest news in your police district.
Communities can work together to prevent crime. By joining an existing Neighbourhood Watch scheme or becoming a NHW coordinator your community can be stronger together.
£10,000 reward issued over West Sussex farm arson
Police investigating a case of arson at a West Sussex farm confirm that the owners are offering a £10,000 reward for information, subject to arrests and conviction of the person or persons responsible.
In the early hours of Friday 27 July a barn and seating area at Loxwood Meadow, home of the Loxwood Joust, off the B2133 north of Billingshurst were set alight, causing an estimated £35,000 of damage.
The barn was unoccupied and nobody was hurt, although people were on the site at the time.
PC John Blight of the Chichester Investigations team said; "Our enquiries have so far not identified the motive or those responsible for this offence, but the offer of the reward by land owners Bacon Empire Publishing, subject to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible, may well produce information."
Anyone with information can contact the police online or by calling 101, quoting serial 212 of 27/07.
You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111
Don't fall for online romance fraud - new police video warning
Sussex Police is supporting a new Youtube video warning people of the dangers of falling victim to romance fraudsters.
This video has been produced by the Metropolitan Police;
Romance fraud typically involves the fraudster contacting someone on a dating site and gaining their trust. They tell their victim they need money for a family emergency, flights over to see them, or various other pretexts.
In nearly 90% of cases the approach is made by Facebook or email.
In Sussex over just one year, to 30 September, 149 victims lost a total of £2,280,000, with an average loss of £18,700 - sadly four out of five attempts succeeded.
For the full story please click on the link or see our website.
No burglaries to report this week.
Other than Dwelling
Reference: 0373 3rd November
Location: The Street, Cowfold
Date and time: During night time hours
Details: Garage door was forced open and power tools were stolen.
Reference: 1351 1st November
Date and time: Between 23rd and 29th October
Details: 2 Motocross bikes were stolen from a workshop.
Elderly woman targeted in Peacehaven distraction burglary
Police are investigating a distraction burglary whereby a man stole more than £700 from an elderly woman.
The unknown man called at an address in Arundel Road, Peacehaven, claiming to be from the water board. He requested to check the taps at the property, and was allowed in to do so.
While the 85-year-old victim was distracted, he stole £735 in cash, along with cards and other paperwork.
The incident occurred around 2.45pm on Tuesday (30 October).
The man then left on foot and remains outstanding at this stage. He is described as white, about 5’6”, wearing a jumper with a logo and trousers.
Anyone with any information is asked to report it online or call 101 quoting serial 681 of 30/10.
Alternatively, you can visit the Crimestoppers website or contact the independent charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.
For advice on how to protect yourself, your home and your belongings from burglary or distraction burglary, see our website here.
Whilst the above incident didn’t happen in the Horsham district, there have been a few reports of distraction burglary across the county therefore, bearing in mind the victims may not be on social media please can you advise any elderly relatives and neighbours that if they’re not expecting anyone, don’t let them in but to take their ID and check with the service provider.
Please click on the link to read more about distraction burglary or see our website.
Following a spate of daytime break-ins to properties yesterday (Friday 9th) in Southwater (Nutham Lane, Cedar Drive near Pevensey Road, Millfield) and Horsham (Blackbridge Lane, Dutchells Copse, Spencers Place) Sussex Police and Horsham District Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) would like to remind everyone to fully secure their house, garage, garden shed, garden gate, other outbuildings etc. whenever you are away from home - even for a few minutes. If you have alarms, activate them when you are away.
The offender(s) gained entry to the rear of the properties between 7am and 6pm (when occupants were at work); the targeted items were mostly jewellery. If you see anything out of the ordinary or anyone acting suspiciously, report it to Sussex Police by telephoning 101 or 999 or 01273 483435, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete an online report form.
Thursday 08 November, a lady in Ashington received a phone call from a man with a foreign-sounding accent from telephone number 01217900280; the caller knew the lady's name and address and that her credit or debit card would expire in 2019; he then asked the lady to check the long card number, at which point the lady ended the phone call.
This was clearly a scam call in an attempt to find out more details about the lady's credit card or debit card. The matter will be reported to the police.
Please be aware of this scam and under no circumstances engage in any sort of conversation with callers of this type, or confirm/divulge any personal information, card details etc. unless you are 100% sure of the caller's identity and credentials.