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In The Know - Wednesday 9th March 2022

Alert message sent 09/03/2022 10:38:00

Information sent on behalf of Sussex Police


Wednesday, 9th March 2022


News and appeals

Brighton man jailed for stabbing at shared house
A Brighton man who stabbed a resident of a shared house in which he used to live has been jailed.
Mahjoub El Hamri, 52, of no fixed address, visited the shared house in Beaconsfield Road at around midday on October 16, 2021, and let himself in with a key despite no longer living there.
Planning to use the showers and eat lunch in the residents' communal area, he became aggressive towards a resident using the kitchen and began throwing items around and making threats.
He then pulled a large kitchen knife from a drawer and stabbed the victim – a 36-year-old man – in the upper arm, causing a 5cm deep stab wound that required surgery.
El Hamri then fled the scene in his car, which was caught on CCTV leaving the area.
Later that day he was stopped by police as he drove along the A23, arrested and remanded in custody until his trial at Hove Crown Court on Tuesday (March 1).
He pleaded guilty to wounding without intent and was jailed for 14 months.
Investigating officer Rose Horan said: “This was a violent, unprovoked attack in the victim’s own home, after El Hamri had entered uninvited.
“Even though this was a distressing incident for the victim, he expressed a wish at court to forgive the suspect, who was unknown to him. He was fortunate not to have suffered permanent nerve damage to his arm.
“I would like to thank him for his bravery and support in helping bring El Hamri to justice, alongside everybody who helped with the investigation.”

Witness appeal after armed robbery in Brighton
Police are appealing for witnesses to an armed robbery in Brighton last Thursday (February 24) in which a shopworker was injured.
Officers were called to a shop in Carden Avenue, Brighton, shortly after 10.30am after shopworkers in County Oak Post Office reported two males arriving on a red scooter and entering the store holding knives.
They threatened shopworkers and demanded they open the till, but left without taking anything after being confronted and pursued out of the store.
One woman who worked at the store suffered an injury to the hand during a struggle with one of the suspects.
The pair made off on the vehicle northbound along Carden Avenue.
They are both described as wearing all-black jackets, tracksuit bottoms, trainers and helmets.
Anybody who witnessed the incident, or has any information which could help with the investigation, is asked to contact police online here: https://www.sussex.police.uk/ro/report/ or by calling 101, quoting serial 387 of 24/02.

Brighton and Hove shops respond well to underage knife sale checks
Officers in Brighton and Hove cracking down on the sale of knives to underage teenagers have seen a positive response from the city’s retailers.
As part of Operation Safety – Sussex Police’s enforcement and education initiative around knife crime – officers used 16-year-old volunteers to try and buy knives from shops to test their identification procedures.
Alongside Brighton and Hove Trading Standards, officers visited seven shops on January 2 and only one served the underage volunteer.
A community resolution was given and the individual has since faced suitable disciplinary action from the company involved.
On Wednesday, February 16, officers once again visited stores in Brighton and Hove with two 16-year-old volunteers.
Of the nine stores tested, eight had previously failed and one had never been checked before.
All nine passed, by correctly following identification procedures and refusing to sell to the buyer.
PC Kate Hancox, of Brighton and Hove’s Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “The results of these latest Op Safety checks are extremely satisfying and, with all of the stores successfully passing the tests, the message is clearly getting across that the sale of knives to underage people will not be tolerated.
“Selling bladed articles to children fuels violence, poses a serious risk of harm to the public and also to the vendors themselves, who will be prosecuted for repeated failures and could lose their livelihoods.
“It is illegal to sell bladed articles to anybody under 18 and, under the Challenge 25 policy, anybody who looks under 25 must be asked to produce proof of age.
“Through Op Safety, we will continue to work with our partners in the community to educate on the dangers around knives and take enforcement action where necessary.”

Prolific Brighton shoplifter Michael Murray jailed and banned from major shopping areas
A Brighton shoplifter who was caught on CCTV brazenly stealing dozens of items and abusing shopworkers when challenged has been jailed and banned from a significant number of stores in the city.
Michael Murray, 33, of Percival Terrace in Brighton, had previously pleaded guilty to 33 counts of theft and one count of failing to comply with a community protection notice.
Thirty-one of the theft offences took place at a Co-op store in Whitehawk Road during May, June, November and December of last year, while the other two were at the Hollister store in Churchill Square.
In some instances Murray would return to the same store multiple times in a day and made no attempt to hide his crimes from store staff. When confronted, he would often become aggressive and subject them to physical and verbal abuse.
On Thursday, December 16, 2021, Murray was captured on CCTV entering the Whitehawk Road store with an empty carrier bag which he filled with meat products in full view of a shopworker, before leaving the store without paying.
It was a pattern that was repeated over the course of several months and in-keeping with Murray’s criminal record of 36 previous convictions relating to 124 offences – the vast majority of which were thefts.
In November last year, Murray was issued with a Community Protection Order restricting him from entering the Whitehawk Road Co-op following other reports of repeated shoplifting.
He was found to have breached the order a number of times, often returning to steal more products.
At Lewes Crown Court on Friday (February 25), Murray was sentenced to 16 months in jail and issued with a five-year Criminal Behaviour Order, which includes bans from all Co-op stores in Brighton and Hove, the ASDA superstore in Brighton Marina and Churchill Square shopping centre.
Chief Inspector Andy Westwood said: “This conviction came about thanks to some really impressive teamwork between our neighbourhood policing and response officers, Detectives, Business Crime Team and our partners in the business community.
“Business crime such as shoplifting has a financial impact, but what often goes unseen is the difficult, intimidating positions shopworkers are put in, particularly when the thefts are committed as brazenly as Murray’s.
“As a force we carry out a huge amount of work to tackle business crime, introducing measures to make reporting easier, identifying and catching repeat offenders and working with various partner agencies to tackle the root causes of this behaviour.
“I would like to commend everybody involved in bringing Murray to justice, including the victims who have supported this investigation.”
Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “This is a brilliant example of how Sussex Police’s new Business Crime Team is working to identify prolific offenders who repeatedly steal from shops, abuse staff and frighten customers. 
“Brazen criminal behaviour of this kind will not be tolerated in Sussex and should never be regarded as low level or petty.  I’m determined to help local businesses be more confident in the force’s ability to take these people off our streets.
“My Safer Sussex Business Partnership involves officers and local businesses working closely together to improve Sussex Police’s response to shoplifting and abuse of workers. This successful prosecution is a perfect example of how progress is being made and how businesses’ confidence and safety will be improved.”
https://youtu.be/T78hEmYDA6o

Hove man pleads guilty in connection with vehicle thefts worth more than £75,000
A Hove man wanted as part of a long-running investigation into vehicle thefts has pleaded guilty to multiple offences.
Robert Thompson, 35, of Church Road in Hove, admitted to receiving stolen goods, fraudulently using registration marks and possession of a Class A drug (cocaine) after being arrested by officers from the Specialist Enforcement Unit (SEU) on January 13.
On January 6, 2021, Thompson was found behind the wheel of a black Range Rover Velar which was driving under a false registration plate and later revealed to have been stolen from a property in West Drayton in December, 2020.
GPS data on Thompson’s phone showed he was in the West Drayton area on the day of the theft and the false registration plate he was using was linked to a vehicle stolen from Hove in August, 2020.
He was released under investigation while the enquiry continued, but 12 months later, on January 13, 2022, a stolen Citroen Nemo van with false registration plates was found parked in front of Thompson’s home.
A search of his property by a dog unit and Response officers found the keys inside, as well as a quantity of cocaine. Thompson was arrested and charged with receiving stolen goods, fraudulently using registration marks and possession of a Class A drug (cocaine).
DNA and fingerprint evidence also linked him to a BMW stolen from Worthing in June, 2020, and a Range Rover stolen from Lancing the following August.
The stolen vehicles had a total value of more than £75,000.
At Lewes Crown Court on February 14, Thompson pleaded guilty to receiving stolen goods and the registration offence, having admitted possession of a Class A drug on January 15.
He is due to be sentenced at a court to be confirmed on Thursday, March 17.
Investigating officer DS Tom Duffy said: “Robert Thompson has a proven track record of vehicle theft over a number of years, which has had a significant impact on his victims.
“This conviction is the result of some incredible teamwork, from SEU and Response officers who brought him into custody, to the investigators who gathered the evidence that tied Thompson to several offences over more than two years.
“I would like to thank the victims and everybody involved in this case for helping to bring him to justice.”

Driver who mounted pavement and drove at Brighton pedestrians is jailed
A man from Surrey who mounted the pavement and drove his car at a group of people on Brighton seafront has been jailed.
Alpacino Veii, 25, of Westway in Caterham, Surrey, was one of four men reported to have been involved in a fight at a restaurant in King’s Road, Brighton, at around 5.15am on November 10, 2019.
The altercation continued east along the seafront before one man – later identified as Veii – left towards the Lanes car park.
Shortly after, a Honda Civic being driven by Veii drove down Black Lion Street and mounted the pavement in King’s Road, colliding with one man and narrowly avoiding hitting several members of the public.
The car collided with decking, before Veii drove along pavement and into the central reservation where the car was immobilised.
Despite his attempts to get out and push the vehicle, he was swiftly arrested by officers and found to be in possession of cannabis and to only have a provisional licence.
CCTV from the scene showed the car ploughing through decking furniture on the seafront while pedestrians tried to escape.
At Chichester Crown Court on Wednesday (February 23), Veii was sentenced to three years in prison for attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent and 18 months in prison, to run concurrently, for driving dangerously. He also received a concurrent one-day jail sentence for admitting possession of cannabis and was disqualified from driving for one year.
Detective Inspector Neil Phillips said: “This was a shocking escalation of an argument between a group of people that could easily have had tragic consequences for those involved and innocent members of the public.
“It is satisfying to see Alpacino Veii brought to justice for his reckless, dangerous attack and I would like to thank the victims and everybody involved in the investigation for their help in securing this sentence.”
https://youtu.be/IRtddrs3aSQ

Brighton man sentenced for harassing behaviour towards women
A Brighton man has been given a prison sentence for harassing and nuisance behaviour towards women in the city, following an investigation by local police officers.
Jamie Lee Parsons, 31, unemployed of Stanley Court, Lewes Road, Brighton, pleaded guilty at Hove Crown Court on Tuesday 1 March to causing a public nuisance by making sexual and other offensive and inappropriate comments to female supermarket staff, customers, and females on the street in Lewes Road between May and October 2021.
He was sentenced to eight months imprisonment and was given a restraining order to last indefinitely, prohibiting him from entering the two shops, loitering outside them, and from contacting or following the women involved.
Parsons pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting one of the women involved, but her evidence was included in the conviction and sentencing of public nuisance and the separate charge of sexual assault by touching will lay on the court file.
Parsons was arrested following a report made by one of the shops, and swift action and initial investigation by Brighton Neighbourhood Policing. Initially no suspect had been identified but by taking detailed accounts from female victims, and from CCTV research, officers traced Parsons who lived nearby, and he was arrested.
An investigation began and it became clear that other women had been subject of similar unpleasant approaches but had not reported them. CID officers progressed the investigation by extensive research into reports made over the previous six months of unidentified males behaving in a similar way as reported. Further investigation identified other women targeted by Parsons who had not made reports to police at the time.
The force Identification Unit then played an important role, carrying out ID procedures on 12 occasions to help ensure Parsons was linked to the offences.
Parson’s behaviour had been to harass women unknown to him, making inappropriate comments, asking for their personal details, making sexual comments and even following some of them. This caused the 10 identified victims to feel fear and distress, and some felt unsafe leaving their place of work.
To begin with Parsons denied any inappropriate conduct but when faced with CCTV evidence, and identification of him by the victims, he pleaded guilty at court.
Detective Inspector Simon Morgan said: "We will always seek to take action on reports of inappropriate and offensive behaviour towards women and girls, and will do all we can to prosecute offenders and bring them to justice.
"If you are subject of offensive and inappropriate contact and comments in the street or other public places, we can investigate and take action if there is sufficient evidence. Please contact us either online or by calling 101.”

Sussex Police officers lead operation to tackle serious violence and knife crime
More than 100 officers from the force worked to proactively tackle serious violence and knife crime during a day of action across Sussex on Saturday (5 March).
A range of teams including the Specialist Enforcement Unit, Roads Policing Unit, Tactical Firearms Unit, the Tactical Enforcement Units, police dog unit, neighbourhood policing, new police recruits from our Divisional Coaching Units as well as new recruits from our volunteer Special Constables were involved. They worked collaboratively with officers from British Transport Police (BTP) and their Violent Task Force and Rail Enforcement Officers who supported the whole entire operation around the rail network and surrounding areas.
The high visibility activity part of Operation Safety – the force’s response to tackling knife crime and serious violence took place in Littlehampton, Worthing, Brighton, Eastbourne, Hastings and Hailsham and saw officers offering reassurance to the public and responding to spontaneous incidents.
They made 14 arrests for various offences including possession of an offensive weapon, attempted grievous bodily harm (GBH), possession with intent to supply drugs, possession of drugs, drink and drug driving and breach of court bails, seized 14 weapons, carried out numerous stop and searches  and issued six community resolutions.
ome of the operational highlights were:
A youth was safeguarded and detained in custody following a vehicle stop where he was found in the passenger seat of a vehicle linked to drug dealing and a stabbing. He was found to had hidden a lock knife on his person.
The BTP Violent Task Force officers were working at Worthing railway station in plain clothes when they along with the Rail Enforcement Officers saw a group of youths attacking a man with a knife before they attempted to discard it in a bush. BTP along with Sussex officers detained a large number of youths at the station and arrested one suspect for an attempted GBH. They also located another outstanding suspect who was also arrested for attempted GBH.
Officers searched a man in Eastbourne who was found to have a large kitchen knife tucked in his waistband with the handle wrapped with tape. He was arrested for possession of a bladed article. Later on there was another man wearing a balaclava walking through the shopping centre in the town. Despite the face, covering the staff recognised him as being a suspect for carrying a knife. He was intercepted, searched and arrested for being in breach of court bail conditions.
Detective Superintendent Stuart Hale said: "Sussex is a safe place to live, with knife incidents falling below the national average. However, knife crime can have devastating consequences and we are determined to take proactive action to prevent further lives being affected. 
"Carrying a knife can change your life. Although some people may choose to carry one to feel safer, they are actually at far more risk of harm and face serious consequences if caught.
"As well as targeting offenders and disrupting criminal activity, our focus is raising awareness of the dangers of knife possession to prevent lives being impacted by knife crime. We work with partners including the local authorities, schools, public health and charities to engage with children and young people and divert them away from knife crime.  
"We all have a part to play in tackling knife crime and we encourage anyone with information or concerns to report it to us so we can take action."
As well as days of action, Sussex Police carries out proactive patrols, carries out educational outreach in schools and among local communities, works with Border Force to prevent knives from being imported, ensures local businesses are aware of Challenge 25 policies, and works to target prolific offenders. 
What should I do if I’m worried about knife crime?
If you are under 18, you feel threatened, unsafe or scared about becoming a victim of knife crime you should try to talk with your parent or carer, or alternatively talk to Childline for help on 0800 1111 or go online at childline.org.uk
 
Crime summary
Burglaries – Dwelling
Reference: 0009  5 – 6th March 2022
Location: Leopold Road, Brighton
Date and time: 5 – 6th March 2022 11:30-00:05
Details: Informant returned home from being out all day ad has found that the basement flat had been broken into. The point of entry was a smashed window. Laptop was taken.

Reference: 0606 5th March 2022
Location: Cambridge Road, Hove
Date: 5th March 2022
Details: Informant advised that their phone had been stolen from the room when they left it unattended.

Reference: 0270 5- 6th March 2022
Location: Buckingham Road, Brighton
Date and time: 5 – 6th March 2022 11:00-04:00
Details: Victim has returned home and found sash window wide open and numerous items missing.

Burglaries – Non Dwelling
Reference: 0603 5th March 2022
Location: Kings Road, Brighton
Date and time: 5th March 2022 18:30-19:35
Details: Two unknown males have entered room that they hadn’t booked. Untidy search occurred.

Reference: 1066 1st March 2022
Location: Queens Road, Brighton
Date and time: 1st March 2022 16:30-17:00
Details: Suspect has entered building and was able to take a laptop with a smartpen attached. CCTV available potentially.

Other
Fraud
Fraud newsletter - March 2022

"Each month we see many incidents of fraudsters targeting our residents in an attempt to defraud them. We’re working hard to prevent this and support vulnerable victims of fraud or scams. By following our tips and encouraging family, friends and colleagues to do so too, you can reduce the risk of becoming a victim." T/Detective Chief Inspector Rob Walker, Surrey Police & Sussex Police Economic Crime Unit

Online safety
What is phishing?

Phishing is when online attackers attempt to trick users into doing 'the wrong thing', such as clicking a bad link that will download malware or direct them to an unsafe website.
Phishing can be conducted via a text message, social media, or by phone, but the term 'phishing' is mainly used to describe attacks that arrive by email. Phishing emails can reach millions of users directly and hide amongst the huge number of benign emails that busy users receive. Attacks can install malware (such as ransomware), sabotage systems, or steal intellectual property and money.
In one case, a 41-year-old woman from West Surrey reported receiving a suspicious text message claiming to be from Royal Mail. The text asked the victim to pay a small fee for redelivery of a parcel, the victim clicked the link provided and filled out her personal information. The victim was then asked to enter her bank details which made her suspicious and she left the website without providing this information. The victim realising it was a scam alerted her bank immediately.
In another case, a 49-year-old man from West Sussex reported receiving a suspicious email which suggested his computer had been hacked and that he had been recorded whilst using pornography sites. The email then went on to demand that the victim send £500 in Bitcoin or images of him would be shared online. Thankfully the victim recognised this as a scam and did not send any money and reported the email immediately.

What do you need to do?
Please ensure that any email you receive is checked for its legitimacy; look for the following:
  • Is the email addressed to a generic recipient, for example "dear valued customer"?
  • Does the email ask you to click on a link?
  • Is there a sense of urgency to respond?
  • Are there spelling mistakes?
  • Does the wording used make sense?
  • Is the sender address the same as the display name?
Phishing messages can be difficult to spot but if you think you have received one then mark it as junk and delete it and do not follow links unless you are 100% sure they are genuine.

You can report Phishing emails to: report@phishing.gov.uk 
You can report phishing texts to phone providers by forwarding to this number: 7726
You can read the full newsletter here: https://www.sussex.police.uk/police-forces/sussex-police/areas/campaigns/campaigns/fraud/ 

Rural Crime Team Monthly Update
March 2022
Seasonal overview

As we approach spring, many farmers are already in lambing season.
We have been reminding dog owners about their responsibility to keep their dogs under close control when walking through or near to fields of livestock, in particular sheep and to stick to public rights of way.
Livestock worrying is a criminal offence and we are encouraging farmers to report every instance to police.
The need for this reminder was sadly highlighted when at the end of February, the Rural Crime Team in West Sussex attended a livestock worrying incident in Chichester. Five lambs died having sustained severe dog bite injuries and a further 12 had injuries requiring vet treatment. The Rural Crime Team attended as an emergency as the dog was still attacking the flock at the time of reporting. Officers were supported at scene by two divisional dog handlers who located the dog and the person responsible for it. The investigation is ongoing.
Read the full update here: Rural Crime Team Monthly Update | Sussex Police

HAVE YOUR SAY
We want to hear from you and your impressions on our efforts to combat knife crime and serious violence in the city.
Please follow the link and let us know your thoughts: https://orlo.uk/K3kDH
The survey is running for the next week.

Save the Date: 14/05/2022
“Drop In” with your boards and see us at The Level for our Skateboarding Emergency Services Family Day.
Further details to follow soon!

Save the Date 19/03/2022
Patcham and Hollingbury! Join us for a community meeting on Saturday 19th March 2022 at 13:00.
More details to follow!

PCSO Patrols

Foot patrols have been taking place across the city as always, including The Level, Queens Park and the Pavillion Gardens.
The quick actions of PCSOs led to the arrest of a Brighton man for shoplifting after catching him in the act at a store in St James’s Street. On Thursday (February 24), PCSOs visited a Co-op store after reports of repeated shoplifting and racial abuse. While at the scene the officers spotted the suspect enter the store and steal some items, so pursued him out onto St James’s Street. A 40-year-old man from Brighton was arrested on suspicion of theft, assault, and racially aggravated public order offences.
He has been released on conditional bail until Monday, March 14.
PCSOs joined the community Speedwatch team on Preston Drove.
Two of our PCSOs met with the Network of International Women to celebrate International Women’s Day on 8th March. There were arts and crafts, a film screening and exhibitions to enjoy.
Please remember to always dial 999 if you have an emergency.
Where would you like to see us next?
 

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 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk 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

 

Links and attachments: Sussex Police will only ever link you to secure Websites we trust. We will only send you attachments where we believe it is absolutely necessary.
 
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Brighton & Hove (Police, District Engagement Officer, Brighton & Hove)

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