Sunday 16 February 18:49
The success of our Community Cashback scheme
I have previously written about our grant scheme called “Community Cashback” which involves putting the money we have obtained through the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) back into the Sussex communities.
A few months ago Chris Neilson and myself went and visited some of the local charity and community groups who had received money through our Community Cashback scheme. We wanted to hear what they had been doing with the money and we were not disappointed.
Watch the YouTube clip as we talk to some amazing people doing such important, valuable and fantastic work across Sussex.
This is money seized from the criminals now making such a positive difference across our communities.
I now fancy myself as a roving reporter!!!
Thank you to those who took the time to speak to us, I personally found it a humbling experience listening to all the dedicated people involved.
Thank you to the Sussex Community Foundation for working with us to form such a successful partnership.
Another week and a new Chief Constable, well not that new!!
T/ Chief Constable Giles York is now at our helm. A strong leader with strong values and direction and he loves innovation and cycling! He also embraces social media and is joining us as a new Sussex Police People blogger!
Sunday 9 February 14:46
It was a privilege to hand over a cheque for £4,520 to Chief Superintendent Barry Fryer from the RSPCA’s Specialist Operations Unit so that the RSPCA and animal welfare can benefit from this money, seized from those convicted of illegal cock-fighting in West Sussex. Justice at its best!
Sunday 9 February 14:39
Money made from illegal cock-fighting seized from gang and now handed by us to the RSPCA
It was a pleasure last Friday to hand over a cheque for £4, 520 to Chief Superintendent Barry Fryer from RSPCA’s Specialist Operations Unit.
This money came from a successful cash forfeiture investigation conducted by us as a result of an RSPCA investigation into a gang from West Sussex who were making money from cock-fighting.
Back in October 2012 a father and son, both named Mark Giles from West Sussex were convicted at Brighton Magistrates Court for offences of keeping birds for use in connection with animal fights, causing unnecessary suffering to chickens and failing to take reasonable steps to ensure their needs were met. This was an RSPCA prosecution and we assisted with the arrests and warrants at the time.
We arrested the Giles father and son on behalf of the RSPCA for cock-fighting and keeping birds for the purpose of cock fighting. They were running a profitable outfit, a cock-fighting pit was found and loads of advertising for these events. The RSPCA also managed to save about 200 adult cocks and hens.
A bonus for us was finding £25 800 in cash, believed to be some money they had made from the suffering of these poor birds…so we seized the cash under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Mark and Mark Giles were sentenced to 20 weeks imprisonment suspended for two years and a lifetime ban on keeping birds. However, the biggest punishment to them probably was our cash seizure. Horsham Magistrates granted the cash forfeiture, agreeing that the money was the proceeds of the Gile’s criminal activity.
So there is justice and a fitting conclusion to this horrible and cruel business, that we can give some of the seized cash to the RSPCA to help them in their continual fight against animal cruelty. They do such a great job and we have built up an excellent working relationship with them and we are always keen to assist in their operations.
Last Friday was the last working day of our Chief Constable, Martin Richards. He has retired and will be taking some time out with his family. I wish him all the best and hope we remain in contact.
Mr Richards has instilled values into us all and changed the culture and mindset of us from chasing targets and often-meaningless performance indicators and focused us all on putting our customer, the public first. He has left us with the strong message that it is hard work and Humility in the workplace that makes us better officers.
Sunday 26 January 18:42
Negative media coverage affects our morale.
There has been an avalanche of deliberately negative media reports about policing in the last few months and it is definitely affecting morale.
We have been hit with changes to our pay, conditions and pensions as most public sector workers have and a lot of them have been and continue to ‘strike” and of course we can’t do that.
I can’t defend the so-called ‘plebgate’ or Hilsborough, but this really is the minority.
Corrupt officers let us all down, they let their colleagues down and they let the public down. Integrity is a value at the core of British policing and certainly at the heart of Sussex police.
I know how professionalism and honesty are so important to me and all my team and certainly part of my role is leading and challenging my staff.
It is very frustrating to see how such small numbers of dishonest and corrupt police officers across the country are highlighted and enlarged by the press, and soon the whole issue has got completely out of proportion.
I personally therefore welcome any measures introduced by Theresa May to examine our integrity as it will show that the majority of us are honest, hard working, committed and go that extra mile to serve our communities!
Richard Littlejohn, can you write a ‘nice’ article about us police in the Daily Mail……..
Friday 24 January 12:13
Operation Elk- all about copyright offences
This was a job a bit out of the ordinary for us, we don’t often deal with such sophisticated set ups in relation to copyright offences. This relates to a Keith Tamkin who was sentenced to 18 months in prison when we found him with all this equipment!
According to the British Phonographic Institute this was the largest technical set up that they had ever seen for the illegal downloading of films and music.
We ended up seizing more than 100 computer hard drives, 150 000 CDs and DVDs, computers and 8 multiple burning towers that were being used by Tamkin to produce counterfeit music, films and software. We also found a large catalogue of titles linked to an extensive client base. So that stopped his “little” illegal operation!
Wednesday 22 January 18:16
Why my job is so good!
It all started on Saturday, when some of my team went out to deal with a job involving a suspected possession of a firearm. The job couldn’t wait and my dedicated Detective Sergeant and Detective Inspector ended up working through the night. They got a result though as a 6 shot revolver with 4 rounds of ammunition where found hidden in a house in Crawley. Liam Hussy was arrested at the scene, later interviewed and charged with possession of prohibited weapon and ammunition. He has been remanded in custody…….so another suspected criminal and firearm off the streets.
What next, well, Monday we charged Aaron Davies with possession of prohibited weapons as disguised firearms and importation of prohibited weapons. This was as a result of an operation in the summer when my SOCU team found two powerful Taser stun guns, which had been disguised as torches in a car and a further 13 hidden in the suspended ceiling of an industrial unit at East Preston. Davies is due to appear at Worthing Magistrates Court on 11th February.
Then onto Tuesday, we charged Luke Heasmer at Hastings with an offence of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, and two charges of inciting a person under 18 years to become a prostitute and a theft offence. This case is based on allegations around his Facebook conversations with two young girls. I can’t go into any more detail now, but Heasmer will be at Hastings Magistrates Court on 6th February. Watch this space!
Still on Tuesday and the end of a 5-day trial at Crown Court involving two cousins, Adrian Veshaj and Amadeo Veshaj from Brighton charged with conspiracy to supply cocaine and money laundering. Amadeo had already pleaded guilty so the trial was just for Adrian and he was found guilty on Tuesday. So they have both been convicted and will be sentenced tomorrow afternoon at Hove Crown court. This was another excellent operation by SOCU, more than 2 kilos of cocaine and 7 kilos of cutting agent were seized by us from a garage in Somerhill Road. We also found an industrial printing press and other materials that they were using to package the drugs ready to sell. More on this after they have been sentenced!
And it is still only Wednesday!
Oh yes, and it gets better…we are arranging a SOCU team cycle ride from Newhaven to Paris in June!!!
Sunday 12 January 16:46
Warning- Courier Scams happening in Sussex. Please RT
Please be aware of this latest card scam being used by fraudsters and don’t get caught out.
This is a fraud mainly targeting the elderly and vulnerable in our communities.
The fraudsters call an unsuspecting victim on their landline and pretend to be from the bank or us, the police. They tell the victim that their computer systems have spotted a fraudulent payment on the victim’s card or it is due to expire and needs replacing.
The next part of the scam is they tell the victim to hang up and call the bank or police back straight away so they can be reassured that the call is genuine. This is all part of their scam as they do not disconnect the call from the landline so when the victims make the call thinking it is to the bank, it is not, it goes straight back to these criminals.
Thinking they are now speaking to the back or police, when the fraudster asks for the victim’s PIN number, the victim reads it out over the phone.
Step 3 is that the fraudsters send a courier to collect the bank card from the victim. Once they have the card, they already have the PIN, name, address……and no prizes for guessing what happens next!
Don’t be a victim of Courier Fraud and please make sure your elderly relatives, neighbours etc. are aware of this scam.
Remember- Your bank or police would never send a courier to your home, never collect your bank card and NEVER ask for your PIN.
Never give your bank details out over the phone.
Friday 13 December 11:27
The £13 000 cash found at Clark’s house.
The kilo of pure cocaine found hidden in the car driven by Saunters and Clark.
A safe containing a “production and dealers kit” found at Clark’s house.
The comments should be in same order as the photos. but if not I am sure you can work it out!
Wednesday 11 December 21:13
More successes for High Invisibility policing!
So what have my team of ‘invisible’ to the public officers been up to behind the scenes……..
We prevented a kilo of extremely pure cocaine reach the streets of Sussex last June as part of an operation in which Grant Clark and Tim Saunters from Hastings were arrested.
We were working together with the Metropolitan police on an organized crime group that were supplying cocaine into Sussex from London, and one of their outlets was Clark and Saunters.
A strike was planned….just like ‘by any means’…and the vehicle driven by Saunters in Hastings was seized and searched. A kilo of pure cocaine was found in the car. Then the team went on to search their houses and inside Clark’s house a safe was found containing a “production and dealers kit” and £13000 in cash.
Last month both Clark and Saunters pleaded guilty at Lewes Crown court and were sentenced to 4 years 8 months in prison each. And it doesn’t stop there as we are pursuing them through the Proceeds of Crime Act for potential assets of £130 000. That could well hit them harder than the prison sentences. This will be resulted in February so I will report back then.
And who said crime pays!!!
November was a good month for locking up organized crime criminals. Ryan Carden from Peacehaven was sentenced to 9 years at Hove Crown Court for aiding and abetting the transfer of a sawn-off shotgun.
Five other ‘criminals’ had previously been convicted during earlier court hearings following the same investigation. 3 had already been sentenced but the other 2 involved in the same crime group were sentenced with Ryan Carden.
Craig Carden, cousin of Ryan was sentenced to 5 years for possession of the same sawn-off shotgun and Stephen Fox from Brighton was sentenced to a total of 12 years in prison for conspiracy to transfer the same shotgun, conspiracy to supply amphetamine and possession of cocaine with intent to supply.
So you could say that this was ‘social justice’ by locking up members of these orgainesd crime groups.
It is important to understand and portray the damage organized crime can do at the local level, in the streets and communities of Sussex. We have a prevention-based approach to tackling orgainsed crime and try and disrupt them as much as possible using many different tactics.
I will finish with a rant: Why on earth is Clare Balding and BTSport interviewing Mike Tyson for their TV show, he was convicted in 1992 for the rape of a teenager and also has convictions for assault, cocaine possession and driving under the influence??!!!!
Monday 28 October 07:50
Making my team’s work more visible
As organised crime is often hidden and my teams often work under cover, the public is often unaware of our activity and the great results we achieve. I am trying to make our achievements more visible as there really is months of investigation to get these high level criminals locked away!
Operation Walrus is one of many successes we have had this year. The team won an award for their great work and I put this in an earlier blog.
We designed this poster to help us demonstrate to the public how we tackle organised crime.
Friday 18 October 20:28
We return criminals cash to local people
A good news story for the end of the week! Not that I need cheering up as my “end of the week” involved a day of mountain biking in the Surrey Hills with Lou Whiteoak!
We have awarded thirteen Sussex charities and community groups with grants from our Sussex Police Community Cashback initiative, launched earlier this year in partnership with Sussex Community Foundation. Using the proceeds of Crime Act, we have secured court orders to confiscate houses, cars, cash and other assets from convicted criminals, making sure they do not profit from their crimes.
We had a tremendous response to our scheme, with over 74 local charities and community groups from across the county, working to reduce crime, the fear of crime and/or antisocial behaviour, making applications for grants of up to £10,000 to support their work.
The applications were wide ranging and well in excess of our expectations.
The fact that this money has been taken from criminals by my team and is going back into our local communities gives me great satisfaction.
It has been a very humbling experience to see the extent of voluntary and community work being carried out across Sussex. My only disappointment is that we could not give money to everyone. However, we are hoping to continue with this scheme in the future, opening up opportunities for more community projects.
These are our first awards:
Chichester Community Development Trust received £4,300 to develop the Cabin Crew project based in Graylingwell Park, that will develop a community resource that will run courses and activities for young people and families, many of whom are social housing tenants with large families who have recently moved to the district.
Stonepillow received £2,500 towards workshops and training for homeless people in Chichester and Arun Districts.
The Crew Club received £2,866 to provide two weekly after-school sessions for 7-11 year-olds in Whitehawk.
Hangleton and Knoll Community Action received £1,000 to help provide a forum for local residents to talk over issues affecting them and to find solutions to problems such as antisocial behaviour, crime and fear of crime.
Moulsecoomb Forest Garden & Wildlife Project received £5,000 towards the cost of eco-building an outdoor classroom.
Safety Net received £2,391 towards its Safety Squads that encourage greater participation and consultation among young people in the prevention and solution of crime and antisocial behaviour.
Hastings Street Pastors received £6,795 help people who are vulnerable because of alcohol;, drugs, homelessness or other issues, on a Friday and Saturday night by listening, providing water and first aid, to help them ‘keep the peace’.
Heathfield Partnership Trust received £5,000 to develop programmes targeting disadvantaged young people aged 16-19 not in education, employment or training.
Here4U from Eastbourne received £2,500 towards running costs. It is a high street based drop-in centre for local people, addressing crisis needs, as well as the root causes of poverty through information, signposting, advice and advocacy.
Newhaven Community Development Association received £5,000 towards its Fast Forward youth project supporting 11-19 years olds at risk of criminal activity.
Snowflake Trust received £5,000 towards its work, supporting homeless and vulnerable people.
Sussex Central YMCA /Windlesham received £4,100 towards a project that will raise awareness of the issue of child sexual exploitation in the night time economy.
Whitehawk Inn received £4,155 to develop community resources to increase access to information and support to those at risk of offending.
Wednesday 24 July 09:31
Is Internet Drug Dealing on the rise?
A recent survey (Global Drug Survey) states that 22% of drug users are saying that they had bought their drugs online. Is the Internet starting to rival the backstreet drug dealers in our communities?
Back in April Terry Sterriker, from Newhaven was sentenced to 16 months in prison after pleading guilty to importing around 14, 000 diazepam tablets from Pakistan.
We had executed a warrant at his house and found the drugs on his bookcase. When we examined his computer it was clear that Sterriker was planning to sell the drugs on the Internet.
What is important to note is that these drugs were not genuine and therefore not subject to the high safety standards of a legitimate manufacturer.
Sunday 21 July 21:43
The heat is on organised criminals in Sussex as my team continues to target and arrest drug dealers and burglars.
During the last couple of weeks the team have been busy executing warrants and arresting the suspects.
On one such warrant in a garage in Hove the team found an industrial press believed to have been used to make kilo amounts of class A drugs, along with kilo amounts of cocaine and mixing agent. Veshaj and Kolovos have been charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs and have both been remanded in custody.
Last week we had another excellent result, recovering antiques from a burglary in West Sussex. We found most of the stolen antiques to the delight of the victims. Ron Holdway has been charged with the burglary and remanded in custody. Other suspects arrested are on police bail.
During subsequent warrants we also found about 14 Kilos of cannabis resin and three men were arrested for drug offences.
Despite the hot weather we have not stopped in our relentless battle against these organized crime groups. The team is really buzzing at the moment; the office is full of exhibits, paper work and the odd celebratory biscuit!
I have a cracking team!
Thursday 27 June 14:04
Operation Walrus Awards
Well done to all the Operation Walrus team who received an award last week at our Force Crime and Justice Awards ceremony.
Operation Walrus was an 18-month investigation into an organized crime group involved in antique burglaries across the county. The head of this crime group was Darryl Aldridge.
Aldridge would target Auction Houses via their websites and note the dates of their sales. He then tasked lower members of the crime group to undertake the burglaries at either the auction premises or private houses. He provided a “shopping list” with the items he had selected from the internet sites.
Aldridge’s criminal activity continued after his arrest and bail involving the Auction Houses and he went on to commit a further 3 high value antique house burglaries in Lancing and Brighton. This time he had identified his victims through an EBay relationship so that he knew what to steal!
Aldridge was charged with the 11 burglaries and perverting the course of justice and was found guilty of all of them after a 6 week trial. The Judge sentenced him to just less than 11 years in prison.
I was delighted with this result and for me particular mention to Nick, Barbara and Rachel from my SOCU team. This was a difficult investigation and certainly not an easy trial, but justice was served.
Barbra and Nick were also given a Court Commendation for their commitment and professionalism throughout.
The awards presented to the Op Walrus Team last week at Slaugham Manor recognized and praised their hard work and the excellent service they provided in locking away a prolific criminal in Aldridge.
Wednesday 12 June 20:24
Sussex communities to benefit from crime cash
Are you involved in a local community project? If so, your project may be eligible to bid for some funding from our Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) scheme.
We have set up a grant scheme called Sussex Police Community Cashback, which will put money raised from the proceeds of crime back into Sussex communities harmed by crime.
Any local charities and community groups working in the community to reduce crime, the fear of crime and/or antisocial behaviour will be able to apply for grants of up to £10,000 to support their work.
This money was seized from criminals and criminal businesses during 2012-13 and we want to ensure it goes back into helping support people making a positive difference in our communities.
My team of Financial Investigators has worked hard on cash forfeitures and confiscation investigations over this last year to strip criminals, particularly organised crime groups, of their assets. It is about taking the profit out of crime and hitting the criminals in the pocket!
It is important to us that these funds are used in our communities for worthwhile projects that will help us make a difference to crime reduction and community safety.
We have joined up with the Sussex Community Foundation and they will administer this new scheme for us. The deadline for your application is Friday 12th July 2013.
The form can be found on our Sussex Police website or Sussex Community Foundation:
Sunday 9 June 20:05
Temporary Banning Order comes into force tomorrow for 2 groups of “legal highs”
On Monday 10th June 2013 an order, which has been laid in Parliament, comes into force, which provides a temporary banning order for two new Psychoactive Substances known as Benzo Fury and NBOMe . These are known as “Legal Highs” but are certainly not safe and the government has decided to make them illegal for 12 months.
Once the order comes into effect, those caught making, supplying or importing the drugs will face up to 14 years in prison and an unlimited fine under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
Police Officers will also be able to search or detain anyone they suspect of having the drugs and seize, keep or dispose of a substance they think is a temporary class drug.
Suppliers such as Head Shops and other manufacturers have a duty to keep up to date with legislation and should therefore be aware of this new order. They need to DISPOSE of their substances before they become illegal tomorrow (10th June 2013). If they continue to sell Benzo Fury and NBOMe after this date they will be committing an offence of supplying a controlled drug and we will come knocking!!
Thursday 23 May 11:17
Found at the back of the book shelf, the ingredients required for the pills!!!
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Wednesday 22 May 14:04
This is the pill-making machine found in the lounge!