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Concern for missing teenage girl from Sussex

Police are concerned for a teenage girl who has gone missing from Sussex.

Gemma Black, 16, has been missing from her home in Portslade since Monday evening. She said she was going to the Co-op near Maplehurst Road but has not been seen since.

She is described as 5' 3" with black shoulder-length hair. She was wearing leggings, a black or green sweatshirt and furry Timberland boots.

'We are concerned for Gemma's welfare due to her age. If anyone has seen her or knows of her whereabouts, please let police know.'

– Vicky Morris, Missing Persons Co-ordinator


Police patrols increased after series of attacks on women

Sussex Police have stepped up patrols after a series of attacks on women in the Goring-by-Sea area. Police believe the incidents may be linked.

Most recently a 15-year-old girl was shoved in the back while walking home from the train station. The attacker tried to take her bag but she resisted and her lone attacker ran off down an alleyway.

On Thursday a 19-year-old woman was grabbed as she left public toilets at Ferring village hall. She managed to break free and run to a nearby shop for help.

Only 10 minutes later a 36-year-old woman, accompanied by a man who made sexual remarks and tried to accost her.

None of the victims were seriously hurt. In each case the attacker was said to be a young man wearing a light grey or khaki waterproof jacket.

"Crime of this nature is extremely rare in these communities and we are carrying out a thorough investigation into all three attacks. Meanwhile police patrols in the area have been reinforced, both to deter further offending and to try to identify the person responsible as swiftly as possible."

– Detective Constable Natalie Freeman, West Sussex CID

WATCH: Man so drunk he's unable to stand after car crash

Police footage shows how a man who crashed his car could not even stand when he was arrested.

Robert Hutchinson was spotted by a member of the public driving his Nissan Almera erratically on the A281 heading towards Horsham at 5.45pm on Friday 30 January.

Hutchinson veered off the road crashed head on into a Ford Ka heading south on the road at Mannings Heath.

He was so drunk that an officer had to help him to his feet and hold him up to stop him falling down again. Hutchinson was found to have 169 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millitres of his breath - almost five times the legal limit of 35 microgrammes

Sussex Police to axe 1,000 jobs including 500 officers

Sussex Police forced to make £56m savings by 2020 Credit: ITV News Meridian

Sussex Police is to cut 1,000 staff members as it attempts to make £56m worth of savings over the next five years.

That number includes five hundred frontline officers.

Chief Constable Giles York unveiled the force’s plans for policing Sussex in 2020. The jobs will be phased out over the next five years.

The force, which employs 4,865 police officers and staff - 2,477 of whom are involved in local policing - currently spends 80 per cent of its budget on pay.

Ch Con York said the significant changes will ensure local police services are directed to where they are most needed.

But he said there will be fewer officers on the street and less ability to react to anything but the highest priority policing.

"It's absolutely paramount that we respond when people face significant risk and harm," Ch Con York said.

"I am starkly aware that there will be a lot of public interest in how this will affect them and I am also aware that some will experience a reduction in some parts of policing that are very dear to them."

Ch Con York said the force would continue to prioritise crimes such as harmful antisocial behaviour but that a "radical change" would not be introduced until he could be confident that the skills and technology were in place.

He continued that Sussex Police will collaborate with partners, including Surrey Police, to gain maximum benefits in terms of financial saving and maintaining good quality policing.

The losses come after £50 million worth of cuts to the force since 2010.

Sussex Police officers remember colleagues who have died in the line of duty

Remembering colleagues Credit: Police Unity Tour

Eleven cyclists from the Sussex Police will take part in a charity ride to remember officers who have died in the line of duty. In July this year the team will take part in the third UK Police Unity Tour from London to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire where a service of remembrance is held.

Started in America in 1997 the Unity Tour remembers officers who died while on service. Police in the UK started one of their own in 2013 in aid of Care of Police Survivors and the tour has grown in those two years.

Rider Sgt Pete Verney said: "Each person rides in memory of a fallen colleague and wears a metal band of honour which is presented at the remembrance service to surviving family members; a list of people which unfortunately continues to grow in number. Those riding pledge to raise at least £400 each for the charity Care Of Police Survivors. As such, our team's target is £4,400. We have already secured donations from the Police Property Act Fund (PPAF), the Sussex Police Sports Association and Sussex Police Federation for which we are very grateful."


Police investigating human bones find in Sussex

Sussex Police are investigating the discovery of what are believed to be two large human bones near a pond in Pease Pottage, just south of Crawley.

The find was reported to officers on Wednesday 28 January. The bones had been found by a member of an angling club who had been fishing at the pond in Parish Lane on Monday 26 January.

Police officers have searched the area and surrounding woodland, but no further remains have been found. The discovery is being treated as an 'unexplained' mystery, however, an investigation continues.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Sussex Police via an email to or a telephone call to 101, quoting 'Operation Carlisle'. Alternatively anyone wishing to remain anonymous can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Husband tips off police about his wife drink-driving on the school run

A court has heard how a late night row led a husband to report his wife for drink-driving on the school run the next morning.

33 year old Emily Colbourne from Henfield pleaded guilty at Worthing Magistrates Court today and was banned from driving for three years.

Sussex Police have defended their policy of "naming and shaming" drink-drivers. Malcolm Shaw spoke to Chief Inspector Phil Nicholas.

Hackers steal personal details of police and public

Sussex Police is investigating security breaches of its external website.

Three breaches 'have been identified within a contained area of the website and could possibly be linked'.

A full investigation is underway to identify the source of the breaches and their impact.

Those responsible have obtained email addresses of a number of officers and personal email addresses of some members of the public who have used the services of our website.

Communications staff have contacted around 270 people who may have been affected, in particular to give them security advice in relation to their passwords for our community messaging service.

Our website is entirely separate to those systems used to investigate crime. The activity has not impacted on any other force IT, web or telephony systems and operational response is unaffected. There has been no impact on our service to the public. Measures are being put in place to ensure that the security of the website is not compromised further.

Work is being carried out to ensure that all our IT systems remain resilient and secure and an investigation is underway to find those responsible.

– Amaraghosha Carter, Joint Head of IT for Surrey and Sussex

Major works begins at Newhaven Swing Bridge

The Newhaven Swing Bridge will be refurbished Credit: East Sussex County Council

Work has begun on a £1 million project to refurbish a bridge which forms part of a key coastal route through East Sussex.

The project will see a complete revamp of the original mechanical and electrical components on Newhaven Swing Bridge, which carries the A259 over the River Ouse.

The East Sussex County Council scheme is expected to last until May but the authority says the work will have little effect on motorists or marine traffic.

A small number of night time closures may have to be imposed on the bridge later in the project but these will be advertised well in advance.

Cllr Carl Maynard, county council lead member for transport and environment, said: 'The reliability of the swing bridge is of paramount importance, both to allow traffic to flow along the main coastal route and for the smooth operation of Newhaven Port.

'The bridge is 40 years old and while it is rigorously maintained, the electrical and mechanical systems are outdated and need replacing.

'This project, which will have a minimal impact on road and river traffic, will bring the bridge into the 21st century and ensure it continues to operate reliably for many years to come.'

The swing bridge opens around 20 times a month at high tide, when its deck swings open 90 degrees for about 20 minutes to allow marine traffic to pass up and down the river.

The present bridge was constructed in 1974, replacing a manually-operated structure which was coming to the end of its natural life.

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