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Aquarium sees unexpected breeding boom of pipefish

Baby pipefish at aquarium Credit: Hastings’ Blue Reef Aquarium

Keepers at Hastings’ Blue Reef Aquarium are looking after dozens of baby pipefish following an unexpected breeding boom.

More than 100 tiny five-centimetre-long broadnose pipefish babies have already been born with potentially hundreds more due imminently.

The newborns are being looked after in one of the aquarium’s nursery displays where they all appear to be in excellent condition.

Pipefish are closely related to seahorses and, like them, it is the male that incubates the eggs and gives birth to the young. Rows of eggs are laid by the female onto a special pad on the male’s belly, and here the eggs develop.

The young are born free swimming with relatively little or no yolk sac, and begin feeding immediately. From the time they hatch they are totally independent.

Pipefish feed on small crustaceans such as mysid shrimps and tiny creatures called copepods. An adult greater pipefish needs to eat several hundred tiny shrimps in one day.

Reports of man approaching children

Police are asking the public to help identify a man who has twice been reported for approaching children in Hastings.

"The children did the right thing by reporting their concerns. We don't know the man's intentions and we would like to talk to him. In the first incident on 16 March he approached a 15- year-old girl walking her dog in Montgomery Road, Hastings, and made an inappropriate comment. Local schoolchildren were advised and on 24 March a 12-year-old girl reported a man, fitting the same description, approached her in Rye Road, Hastings. This time it was reported he grabbed her arm and she ran away. He's described as white, about 50, with shoulder-length grey hair, blue jeans and wearing a beanie hat. She said he got into a silver car. I would ask people to be vigilant and those who witnessed these incidents or can identify the man to contact us on 101 or email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk quoting serial 0644 24/3."

– Detective Inspector Rob Morland

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Do you recognise this man?

Police want to speak to this man in connection with a burglary Credit: Sussex Police

Police want to speak to him about a burglary in White Rock, Hastings, in which a burglar entered a family's apartment and stole a Kindle, an iPad and a purse.

At about 4pm on Sunday 1 March the 17-year-old daughter of the owners left her home briefly. When she returned just a few minutes later the front door was slightly open.

She went into her home and saw a man in the corridor who quickly moved past her and out of the door to escape.

Sussex Police launched Operation Magpie to tackle burglary across the county.

Anyone with information should email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk quoting serial 1326 of 01/03, call 101 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

"We need to speak to anyone who may have seen the man in the efit in White Rock or who recognises him. If you know anything at all, please contact us immediately."

– Detective Constable Mark Waughman

'Fake' advert for 100 flats pulled after it was spotted by council worker

An advert for a non-existent 100 unit apartment block in Hastings has been pulled after it was spotted by an eagle-eyed council officer.

He saw the advert for a building he did not recognise and then found out planning permission had not even been granted.

The advert has now been withdrawn.

“I thought it was odd, as I simply didn’t recognise the building shown on their advertising, which also referred to a development of 100 apartments!

"I am obviously pleased that the advert has now been withdrawn.”

– Cllr Lee Clark

“We know that Hastings is becoming really popular, but it is a bit rich to advertise properties which not only haven’t been built yet, but which haven’t even got planning permission!"

– Cllr Peter Chowney

Fake police officer cons hundreds of pounds out of pensioner

A man pretending to be a police officer conned his way into an 86-year-old man's home making off with hundreds of pounds in cash.

The conman asked the man if he had any cash in the house as he suspected that it could be counterfeit as the post office had allegedly issued some in error.

The offender said that he would search the pensioner's home to check any money he had there.

He then made off with £200.

The incident happened yesterday in Mildenhall Drive in Hastings.

Police are appealing for information about conman described as 5ft 8ins, in his late 20s with short cropped brown hair.

He was wearing blue suit style trousers paired with a grey v-neck jumper.

The man who pretended to be a police officer assumed the role of someone in a position of trust and abused pensioner's good nature.

Please tell your friends and family members about this incident as I'd like as many people to be aware of what happened.

I'm also keen to hear from anyone who may have been in the area at the time who may have seen the man matching the description.

Also if you live in the area and had a call at your door, I'd be interested to hear from you too."

– Det Sgt Tony Webb

Anyone with information about this incident should call 101 or email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk quoting serial 480 of 28/1.

You can also call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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Pensioner in Sussex robbed by man posing as police officer

Hastings police are warning residents about a man who posed as a police officer and deceived a pensioner after conning his way inside the home.

The man who pretended to be a plain clothed police officer called at the address of an 86 year old man in the town. The 'officer' asked the man if he had any cash in the house as he suspected that it could be counterfeit. The pensioner handed over £200. The 'officer' took the money and said that he would take it away to check it. He never returned.

The man is described as white, 5'8" tall, in his late twenties, of slim build, with short cropped brown coloured hair. He was wearing blue suit style trousers with a grey v neck jumper.

Detective Sergeant Tony Webb, of Hastings and Rother CID said: "The man who pretended to be a police officer assumed the role of someone in a position of trust and abused a pensioner's good nature. Please tell your friends and family members about this incident as I'd like as many people to be aware of what happened"

Three men and boy arrested after cyclist killed in crash

Three men and a boy have been arrested following a fatal crash between a car and a bike as they were thought to be drink or drug driving.

The crash happened on the A259 in St Leonards and the 23-year-old cyclist died at the scene.

They were arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and on suspicion of aggravated vehicle taking.

The 33-year old from Bexhill, a 24-year old from Hastings, a 24-year old from Bexhill, and a 17-year old from Bexhill were unfit through drink or drugs.

Phil Duffy, Sussex Road Policing Unit, said; Officers undertook detailed collision investigation work and the A259 was closed until lunchtime. We appreciate the patience of drivers whose journeys would have been delayed as a result."

Scuba-diving santa joins sharks in Hastings tank

He's used to flying high in the skies, but this year Santa's gone underwater to deliver some Christmas joy to people in Sussex.

Father Christmas donned his scuba gear and immersed himself in Hastings's Aquarium's tropical ocean display - sharing his swim with sharks, rays and hundreds of bright ray fish.

Santa spreading some Christmas spirit at Hastings Blue Reef Aquarium Credit: Hastings Blue Reef Aquarium

Several metres underwater may not be the first place you’d expect to come face to face with Father Christmas.

It just goes to show there really isn’t anywhere Santa can’t deliver presents – and it’s certainly a lot warmer than the North Pole.

Santa’s unexpected dive was a particularly welcome treat for a youngster who was enjoying a birthday party at the aquarium.

Father Christmas and his elf surprised the birthday party by first going in to the café to say hello and then invited all the children to go and watch them dive – they loved it!"

– Leanna Lawson, Blue Reef Aquarium worker
Fearless Father Christmas surprised visitors to the Hastings attraction Credit: Hastings Blue Reef Aquarium

Owner of untidy front garden fined

Homeowners fed up with the sight of builders rubbish piling up on their street say they felt like they were living next door to the neighbour from hell. Their complaint against Michael Smith was taken up by the council. They used new rules to take him to court and fine him. But Mr Smith said originally the council told him he was doing nothing wrong by storing the rubbish there and that he had every intention of clearing up in due course. John Ryall talks to Michael Smith and Hastings councillor Peter Chowney.

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