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Christmas shoppers warned of theft threat

Christmas shoppers are being warned to keep an eye on their valuables Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Christmas shoppers across Sussex are being warned to keep an eye on their valuables as shopping centres and streets become busier with just over a week to go.

Operation Tinsel aims to reduce incidents of theft, anti-social behaviour and to reduce the fear of crime. Leading up to the festive season there tends to be an increase in retail thefts.

In the Horsham area, Sussex Police are targeting shoplifters in the run up to Christmas. Officers will be conducting high-visibility patrols throughout the festive period to identify and target offenders by various means including uniformed and plain clothes patrols, utilising the Shopwatch radio system and CCTV and working in partnership with shops and licensed premises.

Purse thefts tend to increase around this time of year as the shops get more crowded in the busy pre-Christmas period and there is often an increase in this type of crime.

Sergeant Vicky Tomlinson said: 'If anyone is thinking about visiting our local towns to commit crime then think again. We're sending out a strong message to thieves that shoplifting and theft will not be tolerated. Offenders caught stealing can expect to be dealt with robustly.'

The police force also provided crime prevention advice:

• Keep your bag closed and close to you at all times, held securely under your arm or strapped across your body if possible.

• Never leave bags unattended - e.g. on a trolley, pushchair or wheelchair.

• Be aware of anyone acting suspiciously, such as getting too close to you or trying to distract you by bumping into you - such behaviour should be reported to police, security or shop staff immediately.

• Avoid carrying large amounts of cash around with you and don't let anyone see what's in your purse or wallet as you are paying.

• Never keep your PIN number with your bank cards.

Man left with facial injuries after being robbed in Sussex

A man has been left with nasty facial injuries and bruising to his upper body after a group of youths robbed him of his wallet and phone in Hove street.

Just before 4am on Saturday 22 November, the 42-year old local man who was walking home was attacked and robbed by up to 10 youths who kicked and punched him to the ground outside 'Uncle Sam's' in Queens Parade.

42-year-old victim left with facial injuries. Credit: SussexPolice

All the suspects are described as white and in their late teens.

Detective Sergeant Simon Dunn said: "This was a nasty and cowardly attack and the victim is badly shaken by his ordeal."

Anyone with information should contact Brighton CID via or call 101, quoting serial 233 of 22 November, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


Missing 24-year-old man from Brighton

Police are concerned for the welfare of missing Brighton man Steven Cattell, who was last seen in a distressed state.

The 24-year-old, who was last seen on November 17 in North Street, is described as white and about 5' 8" with brown hair.

Steven Cattell,24, from Brighton has been missing since November 17. Credit: SussexPolice

PC Lee Willis said: "Steven was last seen in a distressed state and we are concerned for his welfare."

Anyone who sees him or hears from him is asked to contact police on 101, quoting serial 0919 of 17/11.

Driver caught using phone three times over drink limit

A driver who was caught using his mobile phone at the wheel while more than three times the legal drink-drive limit is being hunted by police.

Tarik Girgin, 30, was caught while driving his Mercedes Sprinter van on the A259 Bexhill Road.

Girgin, from Bromley, failed to turn up to Hastings Magistrates' Court after he was charged, but was convicted in his absence of drink-driving, driving without a licence, using a mobile phone at the wheel and driving a vehicle without a valid MOT.

A warrant has now been issued for Girgin's arrest.

Girgin was spotted holding his mobile phone to his ear as he drove his Mercedes Sprinter van on the A259 Bexhill Road. Credit: SussexPolice

A month-long campaign was run in June as part of Operation Dragonfly, the force's crackdown on drink and drug drivers.

Of the 119 people to have been charged, 102 have been convicted of offences so far. The remaining 17 are still being dealt with by the courts.

Efit released following sexual assault on 11-year-old boy

Police have released an efit of a man following a sexual assault on an 11-year-old boy in Eastbourne.

The victim had been on the beach at the end of Macquarie Quay on October 22 at around 6.30pm, when he was approached by a man who tried to put his hand down the boy's trousers.

The suspect is described as white, about 30-years-old, with blond hair.

The suspect was wearing a black Nike top, grey joggers and Nike Air trainers when the incident happened. Credit: SussexPolice

DC Claire Linsell said: "Whilst serious, this is an isolated incident and enquiries are continuing. The victim did exactly the right thing by telling his parents what happened."

Anyone with information should contact police on 101, email quoting serial 1605 of 23/10, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Man sentenced to jail over indecent images of children

A Southwick man has been sentenced to two years and five months in jail over indecent images of children.

Adam Clements, 26, pleaded guilty to 12 offences, seven relating to distributing indecent images and videos of children and five relating to making indecent images of children.

He also pleaded guilty to further offences of making and distributing indecent images of children, all committed whilst he was on bail on suspicion of the other offences.

Clements was also served with a Sexual Offences Prevention Order lasting indefinitely and severely restricting his access to computers, and was ordered to sign the sexual offences register on his release.

He was arrested in December 2013 following an inteligence-led investigation by the Paedophile On-Line Investigation Team of Sussex Police.

Adam Clements, 26. Credit: SussexPolice

Clements had denied his offending throughout, until Monday's hearing, and his eventual guilty pleas and conviction are testament to the extensive enquiries undertaken by our team.

He had over 2000 indecent images of children on his computer, and had distributed over 100 of them. The images depicted children aged as young as four and some were in the most serious category of images. It is important remember that every one of these images depicts a child being abused.

– Detective Sergeant Martin Harmer


CCTV footage of Bognor Regis burglary suspect released

Detectives have released CCTV footage to help a trace a man they want to speak to following a burglary in Den Avenue, Bognor Regis, on September 2.

Between 1pm and 4pm the house was broken into while the owners were out and a large amount of jewellery was taken.

CCTV recorded at the address shows a man leaving the house during that time. He appears to be aged 30 to 40, is about 5' 10" and was carrying a grey shoulder bag and a JD Sports carrier bag.

A £1,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the offender.

Anyone with information should email quoting serial 1045 of 02/09, call 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Missing 15-year-old girl from Worthing

Police are becoming increasingly concerned for the welfare of a missing 15-year-old from Worthing.

Chloe is white, 5' 5" and slim. She has shoulder length curly brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen on November 5 wearing a blue Superdry hooded top and blue skinny jeans.

Have you seen missing teenager Chloe Newman? Credit: SussexPolice

Chloe has been missing since 5 November and although there have been possible sightings of her in London and Newhaven, we do not know where she is. We urgently need to track her down so we can make sure she is ok.

– PC Alex Leeson

Anyone with information should email quoting serial 586 of 05/11, call 101 and should dial 999 if you see her and believe she could be in danger.

Police urge public to surrender firearms and ammunition

Surrey and Sussex Police are encouraging members of the public to surrender unwanted firearms and ammunition so they can be disposed of safely and avoid risks of becoming involved in criminality.

New legislation that came into effect on July 14 increased the maximum jail term for illegal gun possession from 10 years to life. This now includes anyone who is storing a weapon for someone else. It also includes antique firearms due to the fact that obsolete weapons can be made viable by criminals with ballistics knowledge.

Chief Superintendent Paul Morrison, the head of operations command across Surrey and Sussex Police, said:

Gun crime in the UK has continued to fall year on year for the last ten years but we are not complacent. We must do all we can to ensure that firearms do not fall into the hands of criminals and the public can help us.

People may have firearms or ammunition that belong to other people, who have inherited them or who might have items they have overlooked or forgotten.

We would encourage people to check their attics, sheds and cupboards and hand weapons in. A firearm might not be a danger in your hands but if it was stolen by a burglar and passed to other criminals it could put people's lives in danger.

– Paul Morrison

The nationwide operation is being co-ordinated by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service, which analyses guns and ballistic material for police forces across the UK, and starts from Monday, November 10, until Friday, November 21 November.

Anyone with information about the possession of an illegal firearm or criminal activity related to weapons, can report online at or call 101.

Reports of man approaching boys in Horsham

Police have been made aware of two reports of a man either following boys or asking them to enter a vehicle in the last few weeks in the south of the Horsham district.

Sussex Police are investigating the incidents, which occurred in Link Lane, Pulborough, and in Church Street, West Chiltington, to establish whether they are linked and whether or not criminal offences have been committed.

Of particular interest is the description of a vehicle that has been given - an older, Land Rover-style green 4x4.

Chief Inspector Howard Hodges, Sussex Police's Horsham district commander, said:

At this stage I would like to provide reassurance to the wider public of Horsham that we are taking these matters seriously and working with partners - including local schools - to understand them fully. There have been no further reports for more than two weeks but we will not be complacent.

There is no cause for alarm at this stage and I would like to ask the public to be vigilant and to report any concerns that they may have - or previously unreported incidents.

– Howard Hodges

People can contact Sussex Police either via 101, 999 in an emergency, online, or confidentially via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 quoting Operation Block.

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