Monthly Archives: July 2014

Tackling burglary in Sussex

Tackling burglary in Sussex – register your property today

Operation Magpie is our shared ambition to make Sussex a ‘no go’ area for burglars.

Our officers, staff and volunteers are working with our partners to make it impossible for burglars to operate in the county and now we are asking for your help.

When our officers respond to reports of burglary, they often cannot get enough detailed information about the items which have been stolen – without old boxes for electrical items or photographs of jewellery for example it can be very difficult to accurately identify what has been taken.

Better information not only helps us to get a better picture of where burglaries may be part of a series, it also greatly increases the chances of us being able to reunite stolen property with its rightful owner.

Immobilise.com is a free website where you can register the details of your property. The site isn’t just for mobiles and electrical items with serial numbers; you can register absolutely anything using a photo and description.

It is totally secure and is recommended by police forces around the UK.

Police officers access the system when they deal with lost property or items which are believed to have been stolen.

If property is registered on the site then we can identify who the lawful owner is.

If your house is burgled or if you are a victim of theft, then you will have a greater chance of being reunited with your property. Registering helps us to catch burglars and people who trade in stolen goods – giving us the evidence we need to prove that property is stolen.

25 million people use immobilise and, every week through the site, hundreds of people are reunited with their lost or stolen property.

Please help us to promote Operation Magpie and tackle burglary in Sussex by taking a few minutes to register your property on immobilise today: www.immobilise.com

To see a video about the system and how it works, please click here.

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Anti-social behaviour survey

This week I have launched a public consultation inviting residents to have their say on how people who commit anti-social behaviour (ASB) are dealt with.

A recent poll on my website showed that anti-social behaviour is a big concern for local people, with littering, drug and alcohol misuse, and inconsiderate driving and parking topping the list of issues local people are experiencing most often.

Community remedy, which forms part of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act (2014), is designed to introduce simpler and more effective powers for tackling lower level crimes. It is also designed to provide victims, should they want it, a say in how an offender will make amends for the matter if the crime warrants an out of court settlement.

From October this year victims of crime will be able to choose from a list of options and police officers will be responsible for ensuring the reparation is administered. This may include compensation for damage caused or repairing the damage themselves, such as removing graffiti.

I am seeking your opinions on what these options should be in Sussex, to ensure they reflect the views of our local communities.

The consultation will close at midnight on 30 September. A survey can be completed online at http://www.sussex-pcc.gov.uk/public-consultations/, which gives a list of options to consider as well as space for further suggestions.

Printed copies of the survey are being distributed at a number of events around the county and can also be requested from my office by calling 01273 481561 or in writing to: Office of the Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, Sackville House, Brooks Close, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2FZ.

Thank you for taking the time to tell me what you think.

Best wishes

Katy Bourne

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner

Battle of the bike sheds

From Brighton & Hove Independent

Kieran Barnard and his bicycle shed in Bates Road 

More than 20 families have been told to remove bike sheds from their front gardens, following a crackdown by Brighton and Hove City Council.

Terrace houses in Bates Road, Loder Road, Herbert Road and Balfour Road – all near Preston Park – have been sent letters by the planning department telling them they fall foul of planning laws and must be removed.

Kieran Barnard, who lives in Bates Road, was given 28 days to destroy his shed.

He said: “It is particularly disappointing and rather ironic that the Tour de France has just visited the UK and this would have been a fantastic opportunity for Brighton to take a lead in sustainable transportation.

“Instead, the council is making it more difficult to cycle. Our bike shed has been in place for years, is mostly hidden by a bush and we have had no complaints.

“We are a young family and we are trying to set an example to our children and encourage a healthy lifestyle.”

The move has been described as “hypocrisy” by Clarence Mitchell, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Brighton Pavilion, who says it is at odds with the Green administration’s pro-cycling stance.

He says he has identified 21 households targeted by the council: “Instead of penalising residents in this blatant, politically contradictory way, the city council could be taking the lead in promoting the green policies its current administration so vocally advocates by leaving the bike sheds alone.

“We are therefore demanding that any current bike shed enforcement notices be indefinitely postponed while further talks take place to ensure the bike sheds stay.”

A council spokesperson said: “Generally, any structure or tall fence in a front garden needs planning permission.  These are not locally-decided policies, but national rules. There is no distinction in planning guidelines between a bike shed or any other shed.The reason for these guidelines is to prevent developments in front gardens ruining the general street scene.”

Caroline Lucas, the local Green MP, tweeted: “Am on the case – sounds very strange.”

In a statement later, she said: “I have contacted the local planning authority about the situation. On the face of things, the orders seem to me to be unreasonable and don’t sit well with all the positive measures the council is taking to promote cycling.  I hope the authority will delay enforcement so that the decisions can be reviewed.”

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Stronger Neighbourhoods reduce your chances of being burgled‏

From Sussex Police.

The risk of becoming a victim of burglary is low, however during the summer that risk can increase because doors and windows left open make it easier for burglars to gain access.

Being part of the community and being neighbourly has proven to reduce the chance of being burgled, with stronger neighbourhoods helping to reduce crime overall. The Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network (NHWN) for England and Wales states that by simply looking out for neighbours, reporting anything suspicious and adopting a few simple changes, helps to reduce the chance of being burgled. However, the advice from NHWN is that is always more which can be done and without new members and more communities looking out for each other, crime could start to increase.

Jim Maddan, Chairman of the Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network said:

“Studies show that Neighbourhood and Home Watch schemes have a positive impact, typically reducing crime in neighbourhoods by around 16 – 26%, which is why it’s vital society works together to continue to bring crime rates down. As we celebrate 50 years of Neighbourhood Watch, we’ve made the bold decision to rejuvenate our brand, changing our iconic logo for a limited edition logo by enlisting the help of comparethemarket.com’s popular meerkats to widen our appeal and ultimately drive down crime by bringing communities together.”

Meerkats

 

 

 

 

The Network has also been working with the Master Locksmith Association, Secured by Design and their Primary Security Sponsor Avocet Hardware, manufacture of the ABS high security door locks, in raising the awareness of the standards of locks and other security products.

For more information, please visit www.ourwatch.org.uk

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Debate about building on green spaces deferred

From The Latest

A debate about building more than a thousand homes on green spaces around Brighton and Hove has been put back to the autumn.

On Friday 11 July Council leader Jason Kitcat said that it had not been possible to reach a consensus across the parties.

Most of the sites listed as having the potential for new housing are in wards represented by opposition Labour and Conservative councillors.

The Greens, including  Councillor Kitcat, sit for wards nearer the centre of Brighton and Hove and away from what has become known as the urban fringe.

The announcement was made at the start of the Policy and Resources Committee of Brighton and Hove City Council.

Councillor Geoffrey Theobald, leader of the Conservative group, said that he would have voted against the proposal to allocate almost 40 sites for housing.

The proposal was drawn up after a government planning inspector told the council to “look under every stone” in the quest for land for new housing.

Her instruction came in response to a shortfall in homes in the draft City Plan. The council expects to need to provide up to 24,000 private and public sector flats and houses by 2030. It has allocated land for 11,300.

Protesters, including Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth, said that it was a mistake to look at the green open spaces on and near the edge of Brighton and Hove.

They said that more effort should be made to include more homes on brownfield sites nearer shops and services.

One councillor said before the meeting that planners faced a challenge finding sites. He said that because Brighton and Hove was sandwiched between the Downs and the sea, planners were stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Vogue Gyratory work to commence.

From The Argus

The Argus: Improvement work to begin on notorious junction

Improvements to the Vogue Gyratory will begin on Monday 14th July and are expected to last until December.

The proposed works are intended to simplify the junction.

Signals will be replaced to improve traffic flow, a two-metre wide cycle lane added going north and running inside a ‘floating’ bus stop which will be designed to accommodate bendy buses for the first time.

Streets in Bloom – full steam ahead!

The Residents Association sub-group Streets in Bloom met for a second time on Saturday 12 July to progress ideas, having received the marvellous news of a Brighton Council financial grant of £500 toward its aims.

The group considered lots of ideas, but specific projects were agreed as worth pursuing, and these would be ‘worked up’ and recommended to the Committee as a whole. These include a ‘Starter Kit’ for planting around street trees comprising bulbs, compost and a green plastic enclosure girdle, a planter for the London Road Station cul-de-sac (similar to those on the platform on the other side), a bulb exchange and a volunteer network to help people get started.

If a planter can be placed at the station site it will also show information about the group and how to get involved, but in the meantime if you want to be involved and would like to be signed up to a free Starter Kit please call the group chair on 554343, or email on ewhitebrighton@yahoo.co.uk.

Come on; get involved, we are intent on making our public spaces as pretty and welcoming as possible!