As the nights draw in and Halloween and Bonfire season begins, we typically see large crowds gathering to celebrate.
The good news is reports of anti-social behaviour has reduced by 9.3 per cent compared to this time last year. However, Sussex Police are asking those who are out on Halloween night to consider those who aren’t taking part in Halloween, and particularly the vulnerable such as the elderly, who may feel anxious and intimidated by strangers knocking at their door.
Force lead on ASB, Detective Chief Inspector Kris Ottery, said: “We are here to make sure that everyone can enjoy the festivities and stay safe by focussing our resources in the right places and working closely with our partners and communities.
“It is important to stress that the majority of people behave safely and responsibly, however, we will take action where persons are intent on committing crime and anti-social behaviour.”
To make it easy to see who’s welcoming of trick and treaters and who doesn’t wish to be disturbed, Sussex Police have produced some posters. You can find the posters here.
If you see someone displaying a no trick or treat poster, please be considerate and do not call at those homes.
Tips for a safer Halloween:
Young children should be accompanied by an adult.
Stay in well-lit areas.
Consider calling only at houses where you know the occupants, rather than strangers.
Respect the privacy and wishes of people who do not want to take part in trick or treat – observe the 'No Trick or Treaters please' posters people may display in doors or windows.
Residents are advised to continue to be vigilant when opening the door to strangers or unexpected callers.
Read more here.
New police team supporting sexual assault victims
A new team of Sussex Police officers and staff, the Sexual Offences Investigation Team (SOIT), has already supported 1500 victims of rape and other serious sexual assaults in just one year since it’s inception.
The SOIT team has been the first such unit in the country to include police staff, including newcomers to the force, as well as police officers. The police staff have a diverse background – including in domestic abuse casework, victim support services, crime scene investigation or broader investigation experience. All have brought valuable experience to this new role.
Previously Sussex Police had a group of Sexual Offence Liaison Officers who provided this support to victims, but in addition to their regular police duties. Officers and staff across the force had already been able to provide this type of support service but the 22 SOITs are the first full-time dedicated team to do so, working alongside specially trained investigators in Sussex Police’s Specialist Investigation Units (SIUs). The SIUs and SOITs are based alongside each other in Littlehampton, Crawley, Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings. Read more here.
Sussex Police remind residents to keep a light on
As the nights draw in, Sussex Police is reminding people to keep a light on and take steps to protect their homes from burglars.
From today (Monday 28 October) to Sunday 3 November, the force is running Operation Magpie, its bi-annual burglary prevention and awareness campaign, providing timely advice to people on securing their property.
Of 43 UK police forces, Sussex enjoys one of the lowest burglary rates, placing it seventh highest among counties where break-ins are least likely. There were 7700 reported burglaries throughout Sussex from October 2018-September 2019.
During the week prevention advice and tips will be shared on social media. This year’s campaign will also focus on preventing break-ins in rural areas which can be more vulnerable to burglary.
Following the introduction of dedicated rural crime Police and Community Support Officers (PCSOs) they will be patrolling potential hot-spots in the countryside, aiming to engage with residents and offer advice and reassurance while providing a high-visibility deterrent to criminals.
Sussex Police takes reports of burglary seriously and keeps unsolved cases under constant review. In August, a Hastings householder awoke to the sound of footsteps and his bedroom door opening, only for the intruder to flee when he realised someone was there. A kitchen door had been damaged and valuables were missing. Police were called and the suspect was later arrested and charged with burglary and theft. An earlier break-in by the same offender came to light and he is currently awaiting sentence for both. Read more here.
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
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Anna Habdas (Police, Prevention Support and Engagement Officer, Sussex)