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Police forces are supporting Safer Internet Day - see some useful advice here - 08/02/2016 13:17:43

Investigation continues over A27 Lewes service station incident - did you see the silver Renault Kangoo ? - 08/02/2016 13:15:43

Woman seriously injured in Ifield crash on Sunday - did you see what happened ? 08/02/2016 12:07:25

Happy #ChineseNewYear 祝你 猴年大吉. Wishing you all a lucky and prosperous year of the monkey. 08/02/2016 11:34:17

@Stevie_V2 We're not aware of any prosecutions as of yet but continue to raise awareness. @CdrChishtyMPS do you know of any prosecutions? 08/02/2016 10:23:34

@PcBourne @tara_snow hello. No prosecutions yet. @CdrChishtyMPS leads nationally & may be able to provide more info. 08/02/2016 10:19:16

Be cautious buying tickets for Eastwood Fest nr #Brighton. We & @BrightonHoveCC haven't had contact w/ organisers - 08/02/2016 10:16:56

@Guinevere55 we need to see it happening. We cannot ticket drivers after the incident. Please call us on 101 when you see it. 08/02/2016 09:47:14

@itvmeridian She has indeed, 08/02/2016 09:23:04

@Guinevere55 we will only deal with parking if causing an obstruction/dangerous. If an officer sees it they will take action. 08/02/2016 08:59:25

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Monday February 08

Computers and internet

Computer and Internet related crime is a problem that can affect any one of us.

So many of us are now dependent on computers and the Internet in our working and personal lives be it for using email, reading the news, buying goods or all of these and more.

This new technology and new way of living and working has brought a new breed of crime and a new style of policing. Importantly, the use of a computer to assist in committing an offence does not change the essence of criminal activity.

Sharing intelligence The global nature of the World Wide Web makes policing Internet related crimes more complicated, due mainly to the jurisdictional problems that arise. Each country has its own laws and police officers in the UK have no power to get involved against crimes being committed overseas. They can only pass intelligence to other police forces.

Cracking computer crime

The Sussex Police Hi Tech Crime Unit deals with and assists other departments within Sussex Police with investigating fraud. The Unit deals with such crimes as hacking offences and denial of service attacks, and especially where the computer itself is the victim of unauthorised access.

Internet complaints

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) is an independent body formed to implement proposals agreed between Police, Government and the internet industry to address the problem of illegal material on the Internet. It has a particular reference to Child Pornography - and is contactable 24 hrs to take any reports from members of the public.

The IWF will take reports of what a person believes to be illegal (rather than what that person regards as tasteless or immoral) and will assess the material to see if it is potentially illegal. In such cases the IWF will attempt to trace the origin of the material, forward the information to Police and contact the ISP to have the material removed.

If you discover illegal or offensive material on the internet

Police officers within Sussex can only take direct action where the material happens to fall within the jurisdiction of Sussex Police.

It often happens that people report matters to us that turn out to have the offenders and offence committed in another country. However, you should be mindful if:

  • The persons who created this material are in the UK.
  • The material is downloaded onto computers in the UK.
  • It is possible that it could be evidence of criminal offences committed in the UK.
  • It is possible that it could be evidence of crimes committed by a UK citizen travelling abroad. Then it could be a matter for a police force within the UK, although not necessarily Sussex Police.


If you discover illegal or offensive material on the internet, please do not contact Sussex Police directly. Instead, contact the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF).

The IWF has a specific remit to operate a hotline for members of the public to report incidences of illegal online content defined as:

  • child sexual abuse content hosted anywhere in the world
  • criminally obscene adult content hosted in the UK
  • non-photographic child sexual abuse hosted in the UK

If they decide any action is needed, they will contact the Internet Service Provider (ISP) or the police, who can take appropriate action. It's worth remembering that evidence of illegal or offensive material can be detected even after it has been deleted from a computer.

The IWF are qualified to judge the illegality of material and will report matters to the relevant police force.

Reports from the public help the IWF to remove the images from the internet and to support the investigative processes which could bring those responsible to justice.

Child sexual abuse images record the real abuse of a child and your reports to the IWF might help the authorities to trace and rescue a young victim from further exploitation.


Using the internet - guidance for parents and children

This page offers advice to youngsters AND OTHERS surfing the net who are planning on using chat rooms to make friends and meet people in the on-line community.
"Chat Wise, Street Wise" is a series of pointers which offer a simple formula of precautions for youngsters (and their fast-learning parents). They should help young surfers avoid the unwanted attentions of people who may not appear exactly as they really are when they are on-line.
• DO NOT give out personal details, photographs, or any other information that could be used to identify you, such as your family, where you live or the school you go to.
• DO NOT take other people at face value - they may not be what they seem.
• NEVER arrange to meet someone you've only ever previously met on the Internet without first telling your parents, getting their permission and taking a responsible adult with you. The first meeting should always be in a public place.
• Always stay in the public areas of chat where there are other people around.
• DO NOT open an attachment or downloaded files unless you know and trust the person who has sent it.
• NEVER respond directly to anything you find disturbing - save or print it, log off, and tell an adult.
• Finally, we would recommend that children should only use chat services specifically targeted at their own age range which have adequate levels of care and protection.
For more information for parents on protecting their children from those in chat rooms take a look at There is also a new European Commission web-site that may be useful at


Spam and offensive emails

If you are concerned about SPAM, or general unwanted e-mail, do not automatically assume that it originates from the address given.

There are various ways in which "spammers" can give false details within a given e-mail.

Police can only generally assist in criminal matters and there is little they can do in relation to general "spam", especially when it turns out to have been generated from another country.

Advice Your own ISP should be able to give advice on identifying the origin of the e-mail and may possibly be able to selectively block messages for you.

If someone exploits another's personal information in order to send unwanted e-mail, they may be breaching certain data protection laws. In the UK, the authority responsible for overseeing data protection laws is the Information Commissioner.

Keep originals Information and advice can be found at the Information Commissioner's website or our own data protection page on our website.

If, for any reason, you are in danger as a result of threatening, abusive or offensive e-mails then please contact your local police station where local officers deal with this just as they do offensive or abusive phone calls.

Copies Likewise, if you feel you are the victim of a stalker then be careful not to destroy any evidence that may well be needed by the police with any inquiries they may need to carry out.

Keep the e-mails you receive as originals; for security, if you know how, make a copy of the e-mails onto a CD. You can also print a copy on paper to show police when reporting the matter. Be sure not to delete the originals.


Business computer crime

If you find yourself the victim of crime, any evidence is invaluable to the police. This is equally true in cases of computer-related crime, whether committed in the course of a theft, fraud, or act of sabotage against your organisation.

Computer crime, particularly carried out in the course of fraud, is invariably committed by, or with the assistance of, an employee within the victim organisation.

Carrying out this type of crime generally calls for intimate knowledge of the company.

Advice If you run a business or have responsibility for IT security, it is vitally important to ensure staff receive clear and precise written guidance regarding the extent of their authority to access systems or data. Ideally, this guidance should form part of the terms of employment.

Any breach should be swiftly and effectively investigated, as it is not uncommon for offenders to carry out research for 'dry-runs' in preparation for the actual attempt.

Back-up copies Remember, recent back-up copies are not just important for restoring damaged or lost data. They also provide investigators with an opportunity to identify unauthorised changes carried out since the last back-up was taken. Keep back-up copies in a secure and separate location.


Frequently asked questions

How can I avoid getting a virus?
All computers should have anti-virus software installed. It is not enough just to install this anti-virus software, please make sure that it is updated with the latest computer virus definitions on a regular basis.
Back-up your work regularly so that if a problem occurs you do not lose everything on your computer. Do not go online without virus protection and a firewall in place.
Watch out for e-mails from addresses you don't know, especially if it contains an attachment. If you are unsure, don't open it.

How can I shop safely on the Internet? You should always look out for a padlock symbol located on the bottom bar of your browser before transmitting your card details. Clicking on the icon will indicate the page is secure, preventing your confidential details being seen by anyone else.

Be wary of websites that require your card details up front before you actually place an order and find a mailing address for the company. Ask friends, family and work colleagues what sites they have found to be good and bad. Shop with names you know you can trust, major high street names have a duty to protect the security of their customers.

I have had an email that is advertising child pornography sites. What should I do? Do not attempt to visit the site. Please make a report to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) who will contact the relevant authorities.

How can I prevent people from hacking my computer and email accounts? Install good internet firewall protection on your computer. Make all your passwords as long as possible. Do not use short passwords such as 'cat' or 'dog'.

My children love the Internet but I'm concerned what they might find on it. What can I do? Install 'nanny' type software to control the sites the computer can access. Use the Internet with your children and ask them what they are looking at. For younger children enable password protection so they can only use the Internet when you are there.

Locate the computer in a busy area of the house, like the lounge, so an adult is never far away.

How can I rid my email inbox of all this junk mail? To stop getting junk mail or spam as it is otherwise known be careful to make sure you tick or untick the appropriate boxes when filling out forms. Information and anti-spam software that can be used to stop junk e-mails can be found by searching the Internet.

Common 'unsubscribe' requests are often a ploy to get your e-mail address and then send on more spam. Do not pass the mail on to friends and ignore chain letters.

If you are concerned about "spam", or general unwanted e-mail, do not automatically assume that it originates from the address given.

There are various ways in which "spammers" can give false details within a given e-mail.

Police can only generally assist in criminal matters and there is little they can do in relation to general spam, especially when it turns out to have been generated from another country.


Web-based terrorism

The internet is used by some people to promote terrorism and violent extremism and corrupt individuals who are vulnerable to radicalisation. The government and police are committed to protecting the public from terrorist content online, but we cannot do this alone. Everyone who uses the internet can help make it safer.

Some examples of illegal terrorist or extremist content include:

- speeches or essays calling for racial or religious violence
- videos of violence with messages of 'glorification' or praise for the attackers
- chat forums with postings calling for people to commit acts of terrorism or violent extremism
- messages intended to stir up hatred against any religious or ethnic group
- bomb-making instructions has a dedicated webpage where you can report online terrorist content you think might be illegal or which you find offensive. You can also find out how to report offensive content to the website administrator, service provider or hosting company.