Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday at St Peter’s Church, 10.15am Sunday School in the church hall, 10.30am Family Communion followed by coffee in the hall.

HEAVY TRAFFIC: Over the last week the traffic along the B2116 has increased daily with the start of a new term for Plumpton College. Towards the end of last week there have been several hold-ups with traffic piling up in both directions and impatient motorists overtaking or turning round in our main far gateway, only to find the road blocked in both directions. With several large coaches from the college some motorists take so many chances as they try to make dangerous manoeuvres in and out of the traffic, especially on the sharp bends along this road. In the end it does not speed up their journeys as all it does is cause a gridlock for everyone or worse still, an accident.

GOOD ADVICE: Having written recently about my son having an allergic reaction to wasp stings and a hornet where he landed up in the Princess Royal Hospital, I read the following letter from someone in my Country Life which I found amusing: It is headed Let Sleeping Wasps Lie and goes on to say that the writer can confirm that the prolonged period of hot weather this summer has been good for the Vespidae family. As he had inadvertently mowed over an evil wasps’ lair this week and received four stings, resulting in a severe allergic reaction. The writer says he now follows al aspects of advice attributed to Chanakaya, the ancient Indian Statesman and philosopher. ‘The serpent, the king, the tiger, the stinging wasp, the small child, the dog owned by other people and the fool: these seven ought not be awakened from sleep’.

FUND FOR FARMERS: Which I rote about last week. I think the gremlins must have been at work as the Sussex Flow Initiative (SFI) turned into the Sussex Flower Initiative instead of what I had written. Sorry, not guilty.

HIS WAY: I was so please to see the picture on page 7 in the Sussex Express last week of Kevin Moore holding his newly published book, My Way. It stirred up a lot of memories of my time as Chairman of the then Lewes and District Crime Prevention Panel which, according to the diary I kept, goes back to 1988 until 2000. What a lot of water has gone under the bridge since then. It was a the Annual General Meeting of West Street Police Station on March 18 that I first met Detective Inspector Kevin Moore CID. In those days we always had Sussex Police in attendance. In those days there were many members of Sussex Police such as village Bobbies, Crime Prevention Officers, Chief Constables, Superintendents, Inspectors. I have many signatures in my diary and also some lovely photographs of some of the events that we covered. In amongst my treasures is possibly one of a younger Kevin Moore. I first represented LDC on the Crime Panel and then as I had started Neighbourhood Watch here in 1982, the then chairman of LDC, the late Cmdr Alfred Deats, persuaded me to take his place on the panel as he was involved in a lot of other commitments. We always had the greatest respect for all of our Sussex Police at that time, but sadly as time has gone by, life has changed so much. Now everyone keeps saying we would be lucky to even catch sight of a policeman in our rural areas these days. I have already purchased my copy of Kevin’s book and the fact that Kevin is donating his profits to the charity, Care for Police Survivors (COPS), dedicated to helping the families of police officers who have lost their lives on duty. I have asked all my friends to get the book as it is well worth reading, especially now in our troubled world. Apart from being a very much respected police officer, Kevin was also one of the nicest people that you could wish to meet.

BRITISH FARMER AND GROWER: I have just received my copy and one article does not make good reading. It is entitled Rural Areas Are Living ‘In Fear’. It reports that countryside communities feel isolated, vulnerable and lie in fear of crime, a survey of 20,000 people has shown. The National Rural Crime Network’s (NRCN) annual probe of 30 Police and Crime Commissioners found just 27 percent of respondents felt their local police were doing a good job. Almost seven in 10 farmers and rural-specific business owners had been a victim of crime in the past 12 months, and 60 percent said they were very or fairly worried about future crime. The number of incidents going unreported to police was up by a third for residents of rural communities and two-thirds for businesses. The NFU, which sits on the executive board of the NRCN as its only farming representative, said the results underlined the urgent need for a dedicated rural police team in each force and a fairer funding formula. The Deputy President of the NFU said: These new figures reinforce what farmers and rural businesses have known for many years, rural crime is on the rise and dedicated rural police resource is needed to tackle the problem. There are some great examples of police forces getting on the front foot with their rural policing and it is now time to see others follow suit. The NCRN Chairman said: These results are stark. Crime is up, anger is up, frustration is up, trust is down. With 10.3 million people living in rural areas, these are trends we can no longer ignore. The cost of rural crime is only getting higher. At its highest since 2013, the devastating cost of rural crime is rising according to NFU Mutual. They claim statistics suggest that £44.5 million is paid out to cover the loss caused by rural crime. NFU Deputy president addressed the issue saying: These figures emphasise the seriousness of this issue. The impacts are far-reaching. Farms are not only places of business, but they are also homes. With many farmers experiencing intimidation, violence and crime acts on their doorstep, the need of measures to curb this activity has never been greater. To provide details of a crime in your area you can use the following number anonymously 0800 783 0137.