“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:
- 19 calls to the Blitz phone
- 55 street interventions
- 5 warning letters
- 11 alcohol seizures
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:
- Our Mobile Police Station will be at St Wilfreds Church, Collier Road, Pevensey, on 12 February between 2pm – 4pm
- On 20 February we will be at the Charles Hunt Centre, Hailsham to undertake a talk about scams and fraud in partnership with NatWest staff.
- On 12th March we will be attending Uckfield Community College for a Careers Day, where our PCSO’s will provide information on how to join the police and the best routes to take
- Also on 12th March our Mobile Police Station will be at Forest Row Community Centre between 2pm and 4pm
- We will be attending Groombridge Village Hall on 23rd March between 10am – 1.30pm. This event includes a showcase of local clubs and societies, a community café, and guest speakers. This year Chief Constable York and Inspector Gross will be in attendance. Our Mobile Police Station will also be present at this event.
- Finally, we will be presenting £500 to Polegate Neighbourhood Watch from the Police Property Act Fund, this donation will be spent on the rental of a room at Polegate Community Centre to be able to open the Centre to residents for one hour every Saturday for ten months of the year so that they can raise any concerns, see copies of Police reports on the area and to receive advice
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 101, quoting the reference number provided.
Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org