New police warning about 'courier fraud' phone callers
Residents are being urged to stay alert following cases of courier fraud being reported in Sussex.
The warning comes as a new national social media campaign is launched by Action Fraud with victims nationwide reporting a total loss of over £10 million so far this year. See the Action Fraud website Courier or impersonator fraud is when a fraudster calls the victim pretending to be from the police or a bank and asks for money under false pretences of many kinds. They will arrange for someone to pick up the money from the victim’s home, leaving the victim out of pocket. Many recent cases have involved the suspect taking the victim’s bank card and withdrawing money from their account.
This year so far, Sussex Police have seen 392 reports of this type of fraud against vulnerable victims, with a total loss of £1.54 million - an average of more than £12,000 per victim.
57% of the victims lived alone and 78% of victims were aged 60 or over.
The majority of victims used bank transfer, had their bank cards collected and handed over cash sums to the fraudsters.
198 reports came from West Sussex, 127 from East Sussex and 67 reports from Brighton and Hove. Read the full article here
Witnesses sought to serious collision in Haywards Heath
Police are appealing for witnesses to a serious collision in Haywards Heath.
Officers were called to Mill Green Road, at its junction with Queens Road, just before 9am on Wednesday (September 22) to reports of a collision involving a car and a motorcycle.
The rider of the motorcycle has been taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton in a critical condition.
Officers investigating the collision are keen to speak to anyone who saw what happened, or who may have captured any relevant dash cam footage.
Anyone with information is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 101 quoting Operation Cactus.
Teacher sentenced for sexual offences against student at West Sussex independent school
A teacher who committed sexual offences against a female student while both were at a West Sussex independent school has been given a two-year prison sentence.
Aaron Gardner, 32, now of Ashdown Close, Malvern, Worcs, was sentenced at Hove Crown Court on Friday 17 September, having previously pleaded guilty to six counts of abusing his role of being in a position of trust, to incite the girl, then aged under 18, to engage in sexual activity with him more than seven years ago. Both were at Hurstpierpoint College at the time.
Gardner will be a registered sex offender for ten years, and was given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, also to last for ten years, severely restricting his access to children. He is also banned from working withchildren indefinitely.
Detective Constable Kirstie Prentice of the West Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit said; "The victim reported the offending to us two years ago when she became aware that Gardner was still teaching, although by then he was at another school outside Sussex. "We found that he had abused his position over a period of time when she was vulnerable, and took advantage of this for his own gratification until she left the College.
"We had full co-operation from the College management throughout the investigation and there is no evidence that any other students were at risk from Gardner, who had left the College some years ago and no longer works in teaching.
"We always encourage victims of sexual offending to contact us, whatever the circumstances, so that we can investigate and can also give access to sources of specialist advice and support."
For further information on reporting sexual offences, see the Sussex Police website. Sussex Police launches latest officer recruitment drive
Sussex Police has opened applications for new police officers as part of its commitment to bolster officer numbers across the county.
The force’s latest recruitment window opened on Monday (September 27), welcoming applications over the following two weeks and encouraging members of the community to consider a career in policing.
The campaign urges potential applicants to ‘Change your life. Change lives’, highlighting the incredible impact police officers have in their communities, alongside the wealth of career opportunities on offer.
This financial year, Sussex Police will grow by 117 officers, building on the additional 129 constables welcomed to the force in 2020/21. The growth in workforce comes as a result of the government’s Police Uplift Campaign, strengthened through a rise in the local council tax precept.*
Now, applications are sought for recruits to join the force from June 2022 onwards as part of the three-year Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship programme, during which they will study for a degree in professional policing practice while undertaking their training.
Applicants need two A levels comprising of one A level grade A* - C or Level 3 equivalent and one A Level Grade A*-E, or AS Level in a different subject, or Level 3 equivalent. You must have a minimum overall of 48 UCAS points.
With opportunities to specialise in a wide range of policing specialisms, a career as a police officer opens doors to roles in areas such as safeguarding, community engagement, investigations and anti-terrorism.
With this vast range of career opportunities to explore and diverse demands each day, police leaders are urging people from communities across Sussex and further afield to consider a career dedicated to making a difference.
Deputy Chief Constable Julia Chapman said: “This is a really exciting time for us as we open our officer recruitment once again, welcoming applications from people who are keen to join the fascinating world of policing, supporting us in our mission to catch criminals, protect communities and deliver an outstanding service.
“Policing offers a unique chance to make a major change to your own life, there are a huge number of opportunities to give something back to society and make a difference. Put simply – you can change lives.
“The pandemic has highlighted this in the most impactive way. Day after day we have seen countless images and stories of police officers doing everything they can to support those who need them and to keep people safe.
“We are always looking to improve our service to the public, going above and beyond for those we serve and we need the right people to make this happen. We will ask a lot of you – there’s no doubt about that – policing offers many challenges, but the personal satisfaction and reward is incredible.
“No two days are the same, every incident is different and the opportunities to specialise and progress are limitless. We need different insights, experiences and dedication from every part of our diverse communities and I would encourage anyone that has even a slight interest to get in touch and find out more.”
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “I know Sussex residents will be really pleased to see that the force is continuing to recruit additional police officers, in spite of the challenges posed during this pandemic.
“There are so many pressures on 21st century policing requiring a range of skills and attributes which is why a career in policing can be an exciting opportunity for people from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences.
“If you want to make a difference and think you’ve got what it takes to be part of a great police force in a beautiful county, do get your application in now.”
If you have the judgment to make quick decisions, are confident to be the first person in, have the compassion and empathy to help those in need and the resilience to serve the community every single day; then being a police officer could be the career you've always dreamed of.
Recruitment will close on Monday 11 October and it is expected there will be a high volume of applications. Therefore apply now and help make a real difference to your
community. Recruitment Event:
Our recruitment team will be attending The 2021 Jobs and Skills Fair on Saturday 2 October from 10am to 3pm at the Drill Hall in Denne Road, Horsham. Come along to learn more about our Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship which is now open for recruitment as well as all other roles and entry routes.
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