We have been advised that more than 20 Patcham residents have within the last few days received telephone calls from callers purporting to be from HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) telling them that they owe tax in the region of £3,000. Their call is aggressive, threatening, urgent and sounds authentic. They suggest meeting at a Brighton location where the tax owed is handed over. Don't be fooled. These calls are from scammers.
If you receive one of these calls, please immediately telephone 101 or report it to the police through their website https://www.sussex.police.uk/contact-us/report-online/Please share this information.
Serious road collision on the A26 from Lewes to Uckfield
Police are looking for the driver of a car who may have been a witness. Please click here to read the details in full.
Car stolen in Ringmer
Police are appealing for witnesses following the theft of a car from Ringmer which was then chased into Surrey. Click here to read the article and see if you can help.
News and appeals
Serious road crash on the A26, near Isfield on Thursday 13 July
Police are appealing for witness to a road collision on the A26 between Lewes and Uckfield yesterday, Thursday 13 July. Click here to read the full details.
Altercation between two drivers on the A27 near Lewes
Police are appealing for witnesses to an incident just outside Lewes on Tuesday 11 July. Click here to read the full details.
Illegal rave broken up by police
An illegal rave near Lewes was broken up by police last weekend. Click here to read the details.
Summer road safety warning
Police issue a summer road safety warning to users of Sussex Roads. Click here to read the full article.
PC Bernadette Lawrie is interviewed on the fight against scams
Click here to read the full interview about PC Lawrie’s work in the fight against scams, particularly focussing on the elderly.
Action Fraud has received the first reports of Tech-Support scammers claiming to be from Microsoft who are taking advantage of the global WannaCry ransomware attack.
One victim fell for the scam after calling a ‘help’ number advertised on a pop up window. The window which wouldn’t close said the victim had been affected by WannaCry Ransomware.
The victim granted the fraudsters remote access to their PC after being convinced there wasn’t sufficient anti-virus protection. The fraudsters then installed Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool, which is actually free and took £320 as payment.
It is important to remember that Microsoft’s error and warning messages on your PC will never include a phone number.
Additionally Microsoft will never proactively reach out to you to provide unsolicited PC or technical support. Any communication they have with you must be initiated by you.
How to protect yourself
- Don't call numbers from pop-up messages.
- Never allow remote access to your computer.
- Always be wary of unsolicited calls. If you’re unsure of a caller’s identity, hang up.
- Never divulge passwords or pin numbers.
- Microsoft or someone on their behalf will never call you.
If you believe you have already been a victim
- Get your computer checked for any additional programmes or software that may have been installed.
- Contact your bank to stop any further payments being taken.
Report fraud and cyber crime to Actionfraud.police.uk
There has been a series of recent incidents reported to Action Fraud where a lone fraudster has approached victims whom they believe to be unfamiliar with the local area. They make an excuse to talk to the victims such as enquiring about directions or offering a recommendation for a good hotel.
After this interaction, several other fraudsters will intervene purporting to be police officers in plain clothes and will sometimes present false identification as proof. The fake officers will then give a reason to examine the victims’ wallet, purse or personal items. They may also examine the first fraudster’s items or try to tell victims that the first fraudster is suspicious in order to gain victim trust and appear more realistic in their guise.
After all the fake police ‘checks’ are finished, victims have then reported being handed back their personal items only to later realise that a quantity of money or valuables were missing.
How to protect yourself:
- If an individual claims to be a police officer ask for their name and rank, force, and examine any identification presented; this is always good practice but especially important if they are not wearing a uniform.
- The Police will never ask for your passwords or PIN details. Do not give this information to anyone.
- The Police will never request that you withdraw/transfer any money to them or to a ‘safe’ account.
- If you have been affected by this, or any other fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk
Police are appealing for witnesses to an incident of criminal damage which occured in Springett Avenue, Ringmer, just after 2pm last Friday afternoon (21 April).
The driver of a delivery lorry, whilst unloading at the rear of the shops, was approached by a male resident who complained to him for parking there. The driver apologised, finished unloading, but then found he was prevented from leaving by the man’s black Jaguar parked across the back of the lorry. A verbal altercation followed but the lorry was eventually able to leave. But just after turning out into Springett Avenue, the same man ran over towards the lorry and threw a bottle at it, smashing the driver’s side window.
The suspect was described as being of Indian Asian appearance and wearing a grey top. Due to the earlier disagreement, it is believed he may be a resident of one of the flats above the Ganges Restaurant in the parade.
Several people were believed to have witnessed the episode and they are urged to come forward if they know who this man is, or with any other information relating to the incident.
Informants are asked to quote reference 782 of 21/4 when contacting either police or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 / online at crimestoppers-uk.org/
Phones at the wheel enforcement week
As many will know, the penalties for using a mobile phone while driving went up on Wednesday 1 March in a heightened effort to deter drivers from this dangerous practice.
Sussex Police joins a nationwide enforcement campaign to crack down on phone use at the wheel, which started Wednesday 1 March and runs till Wednesday 7 March inclusive.
During the period officers will be out and about across the county to spot and impose the new penalties, £200 fine and 6 licence points, on anyone caught. For newer drivers whose licence may be less than two years old, this would mean the complete loss of their licence.
Sussex Safer Roads Partnership launched its campaign awareness messages with the social media hashtag - # It Can Wait. The wording is a reminder that driving requires full concentration and nothing is more important than arriving safely and without incident.
High profile media cases such as that of the lorry driver Tomasz Kroker in October ’16 demonstrate the horrors of distracted attention because of a phone. A woman and her three youngsters were all killed as his lorry ploughed into their stationary car while he scrolled through music on his phone.
The law may seem confusing on matters such as ‘hands-free’ and making emergency calls. The Gov UK site which outlines the law in full, can be accessed by clicking here.
If you spot other road users driving and using their phone, report them to Operation Crackdown here.
Please help to discourage the practice by sharing this message with your friends and family. And possibly, decline getting into a car with someone who uses their phone while driving – difficult thing to do maybe, but safety is at stake and a tough response from you might be enough to stop them from doing it.
If you are driving, put your phone away out of sight so you can't be distracted, and remember - it can wait!