Wealden District Police – Community Update

News, advice and appeals Tools stolen from a van parked in Palesgate Lane, Crowborough

A Ford Transit Connect van was parked in a layby near houses in Palesgate Lane yesterday evening, Thursday 6 July. It was locked but at some point between about 8pm and before 7am this morning, Friday 7 July, one or more suspects got inside and helped themselves to nearly £4000 worth of tools. This is a considerable loss to the owner and an impact to livelihood. If you were in Palesgate Lane yesterday evening, did you see anything out of place or suspicious in any way?  Please take note of this reminder to owner of works vans, or anyone you know who has one, not to leave expensive tools or equipment inside as they are not safe even when the van is locked !!   To contact us with any information about this incident, please do so quoting reference 249 of 07/07.

Crime prevention – don’t help burglars help themselves This hot weather we all fling open the doors and windows to try and keep cool. But if you go out, even just into the back garden, remember that leaving them open could be just the chance an opportunist burglar is waiting for –

  • If you’re out in the back garden, lock the front door
  • Close the windows at the front too, in fact any out of your line of sight
  • Keep car keys and valuables away from the front door, preferably out of sight altogether. Fishing through the letterbox is a very real threat
  • Before going to bed, shut downstairs windows or install window restraints to prevent them opening wide enough to climb through

If you’re going away on holiday –

  • Cancel regular deliveries and take care not to order anything just before you leave. A delivery left on the doorstep for any length of time is an advertisement that nobody is home
  • Ask neighbours to keep an eye on things, like making sure that post isn’t stuck halfway through the letterbox for days
  • Install a periodic timer for indoor lights. There are some effective devices on the market that turn on and off at intervals creating more realistic doubt that someone might be at home

Op Blitz Update from Friday 30 June and Saturday 1 July

Crowborough occupied a large amount of time on both evenings last weekend due to reports received. A sizeable group tried to make off when the team arrived at Goldsmiths recreation ground, leaving behind 18 cans of lager which police seized. Many of the group did get stopped by officers however, and their details were taken. A report was made about one of the business premises in the town who it is believed has been selling alcohol to under aged youngsters and this is being investigated further.  In Heathfield a group of youngsters ran right out in front of a police car travelling with blue lights on, making a rude gesture to the officers.  The Blitz team came across them shortly afterwards at which point, a young man was stopped and provided with words of advice. All other hot spots were visited but with nobody present at the time officers arrived.

Witnesses sought to fatal road crash near Crowborough Please click here to read the full details

Mobile phones at the wheel – week of action A crackdown on anyone caught driving while using their phones starts Monday 10 July. Click here to read about the upcoming week of action.

Sussex Police response to reports of stalking Please click here to read this article.

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and Action Fraud have recently noticed a rise in the reporting of pets, and in particular puppies and kittens, being advertised for sale via popular online auction websites. The fraudsters will place an advert of the pet for sale, often claiming that the pet is currently held somewhere less accessible or overseas. Upon agreement of a sale, the suspect will usually request an advance payment by money transfer or bank transfer. However, the pet does not materialise and the fraudster will subsequently ask for further advanced payments for courier charges, shipping fees and additional transportation costs. Even if further payments are made, the pet will still not materialise as it is likely to not exist.

Tips to staying safe when purchasing pets:

  • Stay within auction guidelines.
  • Be cautious if the seller initially requests payment via one method, but later claims that due to ‘issues with their account’ they will need to take the payment via an alternative method such as a bank transfer.
  • Consider conducting research on other information provided by the seller, for example a mobile phone number or email address used by the seller could alert you to any negative information associated with the number/email address online. 
  • Request details of the courier company being used and consider researching it.
  • Agree a suitable time to meet face-to-face to agree the purchase and to collect the pet. If the seller is reluctant to meet then it could be an indication that the pet does not exist.
  • A genuine seller should be keen to ensure that the pet is going to a caring and loving new home. If the seller does not express any interest in you and the pet’s new home, be wary.
  • If you think the purchase price is too good to be true then it probably is, especially if the pet is advertised as a pure-breed.
  • Do not be afraid to request copies of the pet’s inoculation history, breed paperwork and certification prior to agreeing a sale. If the seller is reluctant or unable to provide this information it could be an indication that either the pet does not exist or the pet has been illegally bred e.g. it originates from a ‘puppy farm’. A ‘puppy farm’ is a commercial dog breeding enterprise where the sole aim is to maximise profit for the least investment. Commercial dog breeders must be registered with their local authority and undergo regular inspections to ensure that the puppies are bred responsibly and are in turn fit and healthy. Illegally farmed puppies will often be kept in inadequate conditions and are more likely to suffer from ailments and illnesses associated with irresponsible breeding.
  • When thinking of buying a pet, consider buying them in person from rescue centres or from reputable breeders.
  • If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting  www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
Posted in Featured Stories