Sussex Country Watch Covid-19 Advice

Reports have been received from farmers across both East and West Sussex whose important work has been interrupted by a minority of visitors during this time of Government restrictions.

Farms are at a particularly busy time of year, including lambing, calving, planting and tending crop fields, but still welcome responsible visitors who are interested in the countryside.

If you live in a location where your local green space is farmland – with right of way reached on foot from your home address, or bridleways reached on cycle from your home address – then please do bear in mind that these apparently quiet areas are actually very, very busy businesses!

Please do:

  • Stay on the footpath or the bridleway – for social distancing just look ahead for others using the right of way.  You may need to pause in a wider area in order to allow 2 metres between you, and the courtesy is likely to be appreciated.
  • Keep dogs on a lead at all times: Very sadly some lambs have been attacked recently, each owner spoken with has been very shocked by the harm and none ever thought that their dog could attack.
  • Take notice of any signage: Some farm residents are self-isolating and have signage indicating their need for this – please help them achieve this.  Farm residents also have the right to safely socially distance on their private property, so please do abide by any ‘Private’ signs.

Police warn against fraudsters amid coronavirus pandemic

Police are warning against fraudsters claiming to be collecting on-the-spot fines for breaches of the government’s Coronavirus guidelines.

Officers were made aware of a teenage man being approached by three men in Ditchling Road, Brighton, around 11pm on Saturday 11 April. They claimed to be undercover police officers and issuing him with an on-the-spot fine for being out during the coronavirus lockdown. The men also had a device which took the payment on-the-spot.

The suspects are described as white men, all around 6ft and with no facial hair. One was wearing a black hooded jumper and another was wearing a grey hooded jumper with a baseball cap.

Chief Superintendent Nick May said: “It’s incredibly disappointing to see people using these unprecedented times as an opportunity to commit fraud.

“While we have the powers to issue fixed penalty notices to those who are 18 and over, individuals who are given fixed penalty notices will always receive confirmation of this by mail at which stage they will be provided with details on how to make payment.

“Our police officers and police community support officers will always be able to provide identification to verify who they are. If you are approached by anyone claiming to be an officer, please ask to see proof of their identity which genuine officers will be more than happy to show you.”

Any witnesses to the above incident, or anyone with any information, is asked to contact Sussex Police online or by calling 101 quoting serial 208 of 11/04.

For further advice on protecting yourself from fraud, please visit the Action Fraud website: actionfraud.police.uk

Corona Virus Scams Continue To Be Reported Across Sussex

The majority of reports are related to online shopping scams where people have ordered protective face masks, hand sanitiser and other products, which have never arrived.

Some of the tactics being used in phishing emails include:

  • Fraudsters purporting to be from a research group that mimics the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organisation (WHO). They claim to provide the victim with a list of active infections in their area, but to access this information the victim needs to either click on a link which redirects them to a credential-stealing page or make a donation of support in the form of a payment into a Bitcoin account;
  • Fraudsters providing articles about the virus outbreak with a link to a fake company website where victims are encouraged to click to subscribe to a daily newsletter for further updates;
  • Fraudsters sending investment scheme and trading advice encouraging people to take advantage of the Coronavirus downturn;
  • Fraudsters purporting to be from HMRC offering a tax refund and directing victims to a fake website to harvest their personal and financial details. The emails often display the HMRC logo making it look reasonably genuine and convincing;

Stay safe and don’t fall victim to Coronavirus fraudsters – if you have been victim to fraud, or for further advice, you can report fraud to Action Fraud UK

You can protect yourself by:

  • Watching out for scam messages – don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails and never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details;
  • When shopping online, if you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, and ask a friend or family member for advice before completing the purchase. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one as most major credit card providers insure online purchases;
  • Protecting your devices from the latest threats – always install the latest software and app updates to protect your devices from the latest threats. The National Cyber security Centre offers advice on looking after your devices.

Sussex Police’s Operation Signature offers further information on how to keep yourself safe from unwanted callers and other approaches.

If you have information about any crime call 101, email: 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

If you see a crime taking place call 999.

WG Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator – Priscilla Pinkham