Tuesday, 27 June
West Chiltington - Police and Neighbourhood Watch







The threat

Wherever you go, especially in the busier places like cities, stations etc, DO be vigilant. Do not just 'ignore' the lonely backpack or bag. Ask if anyone knows who it belongs to. Suspicious behaviour? Again don't just ignore it and hope 'someone else' will 'do something'. We all need to be aware that Europe - yes, that includes the UK - is potentially a target for extremists. Although terribly 'British', the 'don't want to 'get involved'/'make a fuss' attitude' may kill.

If you have any doubts about the behaviour of anyone, but in particular someone professing to be a 'Muslim', press the button or phone 0800789321 (or 999, of course). Remember - not just stuff you see 'on-line', but ANY behaviour which makes you suspicious.


Operation Crackdown results

Rather surprisingly there have only been 15 reports in the village in 15 months under this scheme, and even more surprisingly 11 of the 15 relate to 'buses'. 8 reports were of careless/inconsiderate driving and NONE for speeding. It is re-assuring to note that of the 15, 9 letters were sent by the police. More about 'Crackdown' here.


Paying more for the 'Police Service'?

5 more a year on Council Tax to pay for the police service of which we see very little in the village. No dedicated PCSO, no Traffic Police visits. 'More officers' promised. Will they appear?


Feeling safe? Where are your police?

Did you know the nearest manned police station for us is Horsham? Other sub-stations like Pulborough and Steyning are there to be 'manned' as necessary in response to incidents, but you will not find a policeman to ask the time from 24/7 unless you go to Horsham. Our 'local' PCSO's are based there as well. This information comes to me in response to an FOI request. There is no money for any traffic police involvement around here either. That is really re-assuring, don't you think?


Pulborough and the government cuts in policing

Pulborough Parish Council has recognised the dire state local communities will be in following cuts in police resources despite the changes announced by the Chancellor. The Parish Council, in conjunction with Horsham Disrtict Council, have deduced that the government's 'Police Review' is unlikely to improve the poor coverage of PCSOs. The contract is for at least 2 years. Billingshurst also appears to be going ahead with its own warden. There is an option to allow them some certain powers including confiscation of alcohol and tobacco from those under age, power to demand names and addresses and to issue certain fixed penalty notices. They are worried - are we?

The Pulborough Wardens are now in place, and are Vanessa Green and Carol Boniface, formerly a PCSO in our area, and are contactable on 07584 337475, 07584 337476 or via e-mail at Pulborough Wardens..


Are we happy with the state of the police?

Trapped by the mantra of 'cutting taxes', HMG have now achieved the following:

Police recorded crime up 7%
Violent crime up 27%
Homicide up 11%
Knife crime up 9%
Sexual crime up 29%
but......... Police numbers DOWN 19,000+

That's good, then..................
Are the Police and Crime Commissioners doing their job? They certainly seem to be 'commissioning' more crime! Is it time to separate the political allegiance of a PCC from the incumbent government so that they will be more willing to challenge Central Government funding?

In my opinion, despite my having been trying to implement the 'Community Speedwatch' scheme here, I have come to the conclusion that it is essentially ineffective. The CS twitter feed is littered with tweets saying "If the driver of the Silver AUDI doing 50mph in a 30 zone had been caught by a Police Officer a court visit and ban could have resulted.". The big question we should be asking is WHY was the driver not 'caught by a Police Officer'? The answer is because the police can no longer provide the services we need due to budget cuts - and it will get worse. The plan now is to recruit large numbers of UNPAID citizens to act as PCSOs and grant them powers of arrest and other powers. There is, of course, huge scope for the wrong sort of people to muscle in here!

Newspaper reports indicate that after the next government police budget cuts, the police will no longer be able to prioritise crimes including burglary, theft, low-level criminal damage, drink-driving, shoplifting, speeding, parking offences and nuisance neighbours.

We are witnessing the destruction of our police service by the government - but at least your tax has not gone up............


Driving under the influence of banned substances

Rather alarming figures from the police following the introduction of the new 'drug-driving' penalties is that over 60% of motorists stopped by the police have registered as driving while 'under the influence'. Amazingly, not only does the village not want any traffic police presence in the village, but even if we did, the government's cuts in police funding mean we could not have them! That, of course, is with extra money you are all going to pay in April on your Council Tax bill to 'fund' the police..........

The police have just published a list of potential 'disqualifying' substances which makes interesting reading and makes it VITAL you check with your GP about driving if you are prescribed any on the list:

Here's the Government's full list of legal medication that can result in a drug-driving charge:


Anti-social behaviour back again?

There are reports reaching me of a group of youths roaming around the 'old' village and intimidating residents, and possibly causing problems with their dogs. It has been suggested that the perpetrators may be the same people who were involved in damage to so many cars recently. The local police say they can do nothing unless they receive reports. This from their email today (7/2) - my highlighting:-
"Thank you regarding your email to Sussex Police regarding Anti Social Behaviour in West Chiltington. We are currently asking all residents to report any anti social behaviour to the police via 101 or the online reporting form specifically asking for the message to be sent to myself.. We are working with Horsham District Council ASB Team and local housing authorities in regards to this matter."
This comes from "PC Darren ALGAR CA127, Wildlife & Heritage Crime Officer, Neighbourhood Policing Team, Pulborough, TEL. 101 Ext 574005." Email the on-line form to on-line report. Don't forget 999 if there is a significant threat to you or property. Please let me know via the contact form here what response you get if you report anything.

The Parish Council apparently have 'ASB Incident logs' available from the Parish Office and residents can collect them.


On-Line security

'Get Safe On-Line'" has launched a long-overdue series of TV adverts to help those who are possibly new to the fascinating and capable world of the internet, be it on a PC or mobile device, to be aware of the potential pitfalls for those who not take care with their on-line security. It is hoped you ALL have a security package of some sort running on your device, and are heeding the advice NOT to open any attachments etc you do not automatically recognise. Even the devices of 'known' friends and family can become 'infected' if they are lax with their security, so be wary! If in doubt, contact them and confirm the 'sending' is genuine.

The whole big bad world is just longing to get your passwords, date of birth, mother's maiden name and all the other bits you need for financial sites' access! 'Chat' sites like Facebook and all the others are great sources of the necessary information. Be careful what you post! It may be educational to read this 'Which' item.


Latest Police Incidents

Sussex Police have re-vamped their website, and for our area it is at Sussex Police. On it you can look at a map showing reported incidents around here. It is of note that West Chiltington does not 'qualify' as a village in terms of police coverage, whereas Thakeham does! We come under "Billingshurst, Shipley, Pulborough and Coldwaltham".


Introduction

This is a new page designed to keep us all informed of any aspects of crime and the like in the area. If anyone has any information they think would usefully be put here please use the contact form

As always it is 999 for emergencies but please use 101 or 01273 470 101 for the non-urgent stuff. Although it is expected to be closed soon by budget cuts, the Pulborough Police Station (not manned 24/7) is on 01903 475 432.

Sussex police have introduced an on-line reporting email address for non-urgent reports. This means that those making the report have a record of it and the reference number that applies for any future use. The address is Police on-line.

AS OF 11 FEBRUARY 2015 WE NO LONGER HAVE A PCSO IN PULBOROUGH - see below

Even more alarming, rumours abound that the Sussex Police will no longer have the resources due to government cut-backs in budgets to attend victims of burglary, which presumably means very little chance of any successful action.

...and moving on, a new 'initiative' from Sussex Police to try and cope with the enormous cuts in manpower coming - a 'Resolution Centre', open from 8am to 10pm seven days a week via 101 - from (the police) horse's mouth:-

"The Resolution Centre is a telephone and online based function that will provide transparent, accurate information and resolution at the earliest opportunity, increasing public confidence and managing expectations. It will replace the need for officers to attend pre-arranged appointments so they can focus on emergency calls.
The Resolution Centre will manage demand "differently" to the way we currently do. At the moment we send officers to many incidents and a very large proportion of these could be resolved without deploying a unit. This is where a considerable decrease in demand on our front line will come from.
This will be a phased roll out so that changes can be tracked and managed appropriately to ensure we get it right. We are now entering the initial phase of implementation for the Resolution Centre where a small team will 'go live' on 26th October.

So -it is now 'live'.Good luck, all, and don't get burgled."


Don't forget 'Crimestoppers' on 0800 555 111

Sussex Police have a contact website running here Horsham District.


Play 'Spot the PCSO' - the government's cut to the Sussex police budget is huge, while the police element of Council Tax is going up.

As of 17/6/2015 we have, at last, a nominated PCSO, Carol Boniface (07775 554178) covering Amberley, Parham, Storrington & Sullington, Coldwaltham and West Chiltington!! - that should be ok, then!! (Hope she has a fast bicycle)... For email contact South PCSOs..

Reports are that both our Pulborough and the Steyning Police Stations are to close.


Fly Tipping

A report from a resident of an increase in fly tipping around the village. If you see any, you can report it on-line here.


OPERATION CRACKDOWN

Don't forget - you can report anti-social behaviour, including bad driving, to the police direct at Operation Crackdown.

The 'Crackdown' system has improved significantly since its introduction and action is now taken on your report, so it is worthwhile. This is what the police say:

1. An advisory letter will be sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle making them aware of the report.
2. The report may be passed to a local policing team for their attention and action (such as a visit to the registered keepers address)
3. The report may be passed to a Road Policing base for their attention and action (such as a visit to the registered keepers address , targeted enforcement activity)
4. The report is added to our intelligence database as a live record for for the next twelve months enabling us to build up a case related to the vehicle/driver/road as appropriate.
5. The report may get passed to another agency such as the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) (formerly VOSA) for vehicles in an unroadworthy condition.
Did you know that....
If you have video footage or a photograph of the incident then you can send a link to where it is stored via email. Please do not send the files directly to us as they are usually too large for the system to cope with. Please do not make videos and photographs public - this can affect how we can use them as evidence.
You can check what we have done with the report by going back onto the crackdown site and clicking the "check progress" tab on the anti social driving pages. All you will need to enter is the report ref number and your email address - its normally best to wait seven days before checking, which will give the crackdown team time to process the report.
You can follow Operation Crackdown on facebook and also find us on Twitter.
You can also report specific incidents and crimes directly to the Police online here.

Operation Crackdown, Police Headquarters, Malling House, Church Lane, Lewes, East Sussex. BN7 2DZ. Email.


Immobilise.com is a site where you can log details/pics of your valuables, resulting in easier tracing by the police if they turn up in 'the wrong place'.

There appear to be a number of companies trying to scam folk into 'energy saving' deals, using the words "Green Deal" and "ECO". These are genuine schemes but some of the companies are not! If you are cold-called about this, before you consider going ahead, it is best to check with the Energy Saving Advice Service, an independent body who will be able to advise you on the merits or otherwise of the 'offer'


Neighbourhood Watch - Cracking Crime in West Chiltington

Often, personal and household security are taken for granted - until shattered by criminal activity. Sue Jahan has stepped forward to act as Area Co-ordinator for Neighbourhood Watch in West Chiltington. Sue is already a Street Co-ordinator.

Neighbourhood Watch is seeking to expand in West Chiltington in those streets, closes and lanes presently without a Street Co-ordinator. Most insurance companies offer discounts for those in a recognised Neighbourhood Watch schemes. The task of a Street Co-ordinator is not onerous. Street Co-ordinators are provided, via email, with crime reports and alerts by the police, which they then communicate to local residents, Co-ordinators can, if they wish, liaise with local police, who value their assistance.

If you would like to assist maintaining the quality of life in your street and ensure it is a safer place to live, please contact West Chiltington's Area Co-ordinator, Sue, by emailing the Village co-ordinator or ring 101 and speak to our local PCSO.