Cross in Hand, Horam, Blackboys & Five Ashes

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH: Update on last weekend’s Operation Blitz activity. Friday was relatively quiet during police Blitz patrols, with the exception of a group of youths in Hailsham High Street. However, they soon dispersed when they arrived. On Saturday they had quite a few calls on the Blitz phone, mostly reporting youths causing a nuisance around Uckfield, dropping litter in McDonald’s car park and spitting. Uckfield did receive some extra attention from their Prevention Enforcement Team last week. Officers patrolled on foot around the town and liaised with the local businesses. They gathered further evidence on individuals who are repeatedly coming to our attention, and this is being acted on by the local Prevention Team. They also receive a report of kids smashing up a bus stop in Farmlands Way, Polegate. There was no damage to the bus stop and the kids were given suitable advice about their rowdy behaviour. All other areas in Wealden were patrolled, but no issues were reported. Heathfield did have one incident the mobile phone shop was broken into in the High Street and stock taken. If you do have any further information about the break in please call the police on 101.

TELEPHONE PREFERENCE SERVICE: False Telephone Preference Service Calls. False claims of Telephone Preference Service. Fraudsters are cold-calling victims, falsely stating that they are calling from one of the well-known UK telecommunication service providers. They call victims claiming to provide a Telephone Preference Service, an enhanced call-barring service, which includes barring international call centres. The fraudsters ask victims to confirm/provide their bank account details, informing them that there is a one-off charge for the service. Victims instead see monthly debits deducted from their accounts, which they have not authorised. The fraudsters often target elderly victims. In all instances, direct debits are set up without following proper procedure. The victim is not sent written confirmation of the direct debit instruction, which is supposed to be sent within three days. On occasions when victims attempted to call back, the telephone number provided by the fraudster was either unable to be reached or the victim’s direct debit cancellation request was refused. During 2017, there were 493 Action Fraud Reports relating to this fraud. Protect yourself. There is only one Telephone Preference Service (TPS). The TPS is the only official UK ‘do-not-call’ register for opting out of live telesales calls. It is free to sign-up to the register. TPS never charge for registration. You can register for this service at http://www.tpsonline.org.uk. You will receive postal confirmation of genuine direct debits. If you notice unauthorised payments leaving your account, you should contact your bank promptly. Always be wary of providing personal information, or confirming that personal information the caller already claims to hold is correct. Always be certain that you know who you talking to. If in doubt hang up immediately.

If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visitingwww.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

FARM WATCH: Farm Watch Coordinator’s Update. This week there were 35 reports of loose animals on the public highways all were sheep. Sadly, one sheep was hit by a car and died at the scene. As usual please check your boundary fences and hedges at least once a day; this includes boundaries where railway lines pass. Operation Traverse calls on anglers to be ‘eyes and ears’ to tackle rural crime. Sussex anglers are being encouraged to become eyes and ears for tackling wildlife crime across the county. The Environment Agency, CEFAS (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science) and the Angling Trust have joined forces with the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) and police forces across the country to promote Operation Traverse, highlighting the many problems with criminals operating in rural communities. Sussex Police announced its involvement on Tuesday (March 13), to coincide with the start of the three-month close season for river fishing starting on March 15, encouraging all users of the countryside and particularly anglers to help tackle the problems. Crimes are as diverse as the rural environment itself, ranging from theft of fish to public health issues and destruction of Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Police ‘incredibly frustrated’ by more sheep attacks on Cissbury Ring. Sussex Police’s rural crime lead has described himself as ‘incredibly frustrated’ after yet more dog attacks on sheep at Cissbury Ring on the Downs above Worthing. One of the attacks took place in the field where a farmer-led event highlighting the problems of sheep worrying took place just a week before and a second occurred on the same day on the same farm. The event was attended by dog owners who regularly exercise their pets in the area.

LAND ROVER DEFENDERS: This year they have noticed an increase in the theft of both Land Rover Defenders and of spare parts for them. Although this applies across both East and West Sussex, it has been noted that so far, in the Chichester Policing Area there have been three instances of Land Rover Defender thefts and five of parts being stolen. These offences took place in Emsworth, Chichester, West Dean, Chidham, Singleton, Hambrook, Stopham and Loxwood.

Sadly, these vehicles can be dismantled in a matter of a very few hours, boxed up and then exported, so please try and park them up where they are boxed in or even better in a very secure building that is well alarmed.

NEWS AND APPEALS: Strap in to save lives, it’s Seatbelt Week. With an estimated two million drivers in the UK still not wearing a seatbelt when they’re driving, Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP) is reminding road users of the dangers of not belting up in their cars. Along with colleagues at Surrey and Sussex Police’s Roads Policing Unit (RPU) and Surrey’s Drive SMART, SSRP want to reach the last 5 percent of drivers who do not see the benefits of seatbelts. There is a week dedicated to this, running from March 12 to 18, which has been implemented by TISPOL, the European Traffic Policing Network. Although this week is still very much business as usual and enforcing this law is a daily occurrence for RPU, it does give an opportunity to raise awareness to a demographic of ignorant drivers. Read more here: https://www.sussex.police.uk/news/strap-in-to-save-lives-its-seatbelt-week/

WITNESSES SOUGHT: After three hurt in hit-and-run car crash near Hailsham. Police are investigating a hit-and-run car crash on the A22 Hailsham by-pass, 100 metres south of the Arlington Eagles roundabout, which occurred at 5.40pm on Saturday (March 10) and left three people injured. A red Nissan Micra being driven north along the A22 and a silver Honda Civic Type-R travelling in the same direction were in collision, causing the Nissan to spin into the central reservation. The Honda is also thought to have spun before driving a short distance the wrong way - north on the southbound dual carriageway and making off along the A295 South Road, Hailsham. 

Police are appealing for the Honda driver to come forward. They also want to hear from anyone who saw what happened, noticed either vehicle being driven shortly before the crash or who may have other information. They are asked to contact police online or phone 101, quoting serial 930 of 10/03.

CRIME SUMMARY: CBurglary crime summary: On Tuesday (March 13), two new build houses were broken into in Isfield, Uckfield. Some fixtures and fittings were taken (ref: 0299 13/03). On Wednesday (March 14), there was an attempted break in to a house in Nutley, Uckfield. A window was smashed but access was not gained to the house (ref: 0298 14/03). On Thursday ( March 15), there was an attempted break into a house on Selsey Road in Broadfield (ref: 0831 15/03). Vehicle crime summary: On Saturday (March 10), a car window was smashed on London Road in Hailsham. Nothing was taken from the vehicle (ref: 0450 12/03). On Tuesday (March 13), a car was keyed on St Johns Road in Crowborough (ref: 0079 15/03). On Wednesday (March 14), a van in Punnets Town, Heathfield was damaged but nothing was taken (ref: 1163 14/03). On Thursday (March 15), a car was broken into via the rear window on Bell Lane in Nutley, Uckfield. A purse was taken (ref: 0287 15/03).

Help us keep Sussex safe. If you saw or heard anything, or have any information about any incident in this message please contact police online, email at 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call 101, quoting the reference number provided.

LOCAL BUSINESSES: Please Support our Local Businesses. It is now a daily occurrence that one of our national retailers and restaurant chains are either issuing profit warnings, closing stores or, even worse, going into administration. Walking around the Tunbridge Wells Victoria Centre and seeing a number of empty units gives a balanced picture of what is happening in our High Streets.

Our local traders do not have the comfort of having shareholders, banks and national institutions to lean on, so it is most important we give all the support we can to our local shops. On a daily basis most of our shopkeepers have to factor in before they open their shop for business rent, business rates, staff costs, utility costs, VAT and other on-costs. I do know as I have been there before retiring. Heathfield and the surrounding villages do have some fabulous shops and wonderful niche traders. So please when doing your weekly shop, consider using a local retailer for your needs. Your local shop needs you.

NAT WEST CLOSURE: Heathfield. Message from Huw Merriman. As constituents may know, Nat West are closing their branch in Heathfield. Over the coming weeks Nat West are providing support and training for customers to engage with them through online and telephone banking. The dates for Heathfield are : March 20th April 5th and 6th April. For further details call in at the Heathfield branch.

MAYFIELD AND FIVE ASHES: Keep Active, Keep Healthy. Wealden District Council has a new Healthy Wealden website. It has information about activities, support and advice to help you stay healthy and happy at: www.healthy wealden.co.uk/. It includes a range of targeted health and fitness programmes which are available at the Freedom Leisure Centres and Fun and Safety Days which focus on personal and community safety and Walking for Health that encourages more people to become physically active in their local communities.

WEALDEN DO SUSSEX: This is a new tourist website from Wealden District Council which includes places to stay, things to do and local events at: www.wealdendo- sussex.co.uk

MAYFIELD FESTIVAL: Of Music and Arts, Saturday April 28 to Sunday May 1. The programme includes varied events bound to appeal to all ages and tastes. These include Poems of Home and Exile by Jonty Driver and Isobel Dixon, a showing of the ground breaking 1952 film Tales of Hoffman, a Bank Holiday Ceilidh with Tinkers Bubble and an Art Trail in and around the village in which 30 local artists are opening their studios. There will also be an interactive talk about site specific theatre by Stephen Israel, Director of the Mayfield Community Players. The music which lies at the heart of the Festival offers an eclectic mix performed by a wide variety of musicians and singers including current stars such as Stephen Kovacevich, one of the finest concert pianists alive, and James O’Donnell, one of the country’s leading organists, Oz Clarke and Armonico who will be performing with the help of wine, Robert Habermann will be bringing the songs of Frank Sinatra to life and Chamber Music performed by Levon Chilingirian and Ian Fountain both professors at the Royal Academy of Music. We are also lucky to have the Onyx Noir a brass ensemble who will be playing a fusion of jazz and classical music. The Oxford Camerata, The Mayfield Festival Choir, St Dunstan’s Parish Choir, The Mayfield Consort and music and choral scholars from Mayfield School will be performing some sublime choral works in St Dunstan’s Parish Church, St Thomas of Canterbury Church and Mayfield School Chapel. Young people have not been forgotten and Kidenza, a full 14-piece orchestra, will be putting on concerts and running a workshop for children aged 6 and above. The festival is also hosting the Tunbridge Wells International Music Competition which features outstanding young concert artists. Brochures with the full programme and ticket information are now available at local shops and venues.

ST DUNSTAN’S CHURCH: Sunday, 10.10am Blessing of Palms and Palm Sunday Procession. Everyone to meet at Mayfield School Gates (Convent) opposite Mace to process down the High Street singing as we go to St Dunstans for Dramatic reading of the Passion and Parish Eucharist. Procession followed by children’s Sunday Club.

CROSS IN HAND: Isenhurst Junction. No reported incidents last week.

AMENITIES SOCIETY: I must say the photograph posted on Facebook showing the huge amount of work carried out around the pond looks very impressive. Well done to all the volunteers who gave up their time to carry out the work.

FLOWER CLUB: Horam and Heathfield Flower Club presents a floral evening, a demonstration by Christine Brazier entitled Shaken Not Stirred at the Heathfield Community Centre, Sheepsetting Lane on Thursday May 10. Visitors welcome £5. Sales table, raffle and refreshments. Tel. 01435 408605. The club is non profit making.

HORAM: Horam and Vines Cross Village Diary. To promote all Charity and fund raising events are free of charge in the Horam and Vines Cross Diary. For further details please email: horam vinescrossdiary @gmail.com

BOOK SWAP: April 2. Don’t know what to do with your old books? Horam Centre are held on the first Monday in every month ( if it is a Bank Holiday second Monday) 10.30am to noon. Bring your books along and swap them for something different to read.

HIDDEN SPRING VINEYARD: Are now open for wine tastings most weekends from 1pm to 5pm. For further details call 01435 813078.