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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
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!!
Found at the back of the book shelf, the ingredients required for the pills!!!
This is the pill-making machine found in the lounge!