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!
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!
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.
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……..
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!
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!!!
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.
The Twelve Online Frauds of Christmas -
The Twelve Online Frauds of Christmas
Did you know that you are more likely to be a victim of fraud than any other crime?
Christmas is a time when the fraudsters rub their hands with glee as there are such “easy pickings” for them as we all rush onto the computer to do our online Christmas shopping.
Lets face it, why sit in a traffic jam getting to town, another queue to park, extortionate parking fees and then fight our way round those crowded, hot shops. You can never find what you want and never a shop assistant these days!! The alternative is to sit with a nice coffee at home in front of the computer!
So don’t fall for any Internet scam or let these fraudsters ruin your Christmas and read the attached advice from Action Fraud and The City of London Police.
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??!!!!