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Free training event in West Sussex to help protect local businesses from online fraud

Business owners will be able to attend an informal session over a free breakfast and have a chance to hear the latest cyber security tips and advice straight from the experts.

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The average cost of fraud to a UK business is now nearly £35,000 so it is vital business owners are up to speed with the latest online safety measures.

West Sussex County Council has today announced it has teamed up with police to host a free Stay Safe training session for anyone who owns or runs a business in West Sussex, regardless of its size or turnover.

More news: Sussex Police launch Autumn campaign targeting burglary

For just an hour of their time business owners will be able to attend an informal session over a free breakfast and have a chance to hear the latest cyber security tips from experts at South East Regional Organised Crime Unit along with advice from the Community Safety Team at West Sussex County Council.

This free training session takes place at County Hall, Chichester on 5 November 2018 from 6.45am to 8am. Breakfast rolls and refreshments will be provided and parking is free.

Debbie Kennard, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities, said:

“Police figures show that nearly half of UK firms identified a breach of data in the last 12 months, the majority as a result of phishing emails to staff. Becoming a victim of online fraud can be devastating for any business so it’s vital those in charge know how to spot the threats that exist so they can ready staff to protect against them.”

Places at the event are on a first come first serve basis and places need to be booked in advance.

Tickets can be reserved here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/stay-safe-business-breakfast-event-tickets-50634991623

Or for more information, email: CommunitySafety.Wellbeing@westsussex.gov.uk

West Sussex County Council and partners are also hosting various Stay Safe sessions for West Sussex residents or  professional groups on how to protect children and vulnerable adults when they go online. For full details and to book a place visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/staysafe

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EXCLUSIVE: Post Office WILL CLOSE whatever consultation says

A source within the Post Office has revealed that despite a public consulation coming up, the decision to close the current location has already been made.

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Despite press releases and statements from the head office of the Post Office asking residents to express their views over the ‘proposed’ closure, it now appears that whatever views come through, a decision of whether to close the site has already been determined.

A source says the consultation is nothing more than lip service to residents.

Speaking to CN24, the source said that all the consultation will look at is ‘how’ the change of venue will work, not ‘if’ or ‘should’ it happen.

“it is an utter betrayal” – Leader of Crawley Council

This will come as a shock to many in the area who rely heavily on the services that are currently offered and will put in doubt any faith over public consultations.

In a letter aimed at the management of the Post Office and sent to CN24, one resident,  Mrs Elmer from Tilgate has expressed her views over the proposed closure.

She writes:

“I am extremely concerned about the possible closure of Crawley Post Office.

I find it very worrying that in a town with a population of over 106,000 the management is considering popping it into a shop in the shopping mall.

The fact that one always has to queue to be served because it is so busy, even though it has at least five stations of service as well as several self service positions, a parcel counter, an external parcel collection office plus a fully trained staff, how is all of that going to fit into WH Smith’s in the Mall?

To park in the Mall you have to pay.

It is not an easy shop to get to, you have to walk half the length of the Mall to get there.
It is not a very large shop and it has a quite dismal atmosphere.

Disabled people would not be able to reach it very easily.

To carry out all the functions the current post office does it would have to enlarge the premises half as much again.

Working on the assumption that it would work on the same premise that the local one in Tilgate does, it will take a month of Sundays to carry out the same amount of work the real post office does.

Will all the staff move over to continue the secure work they carry out?

Please have a serious look at the situation before making a huge mistake.

J Elmer”

But it now seems that this will fall on deaf ears.  CN24 contacted the Post Office press team where a member verbally confirmed that the consultation would be about access to the new site.

Crawley Council Leader Peter Lamb said:

“It is clear now that this was only ever a public relations exercise.  For the thousands of people who will be disadvantaged by this it is an utter betrayal.”

Tilgate Councillor Francis Guidera said:

“The planned post office DOWNGRADE which their PR department is marketing as a move, is bad for the staff, bad for the customers and bad for the town in general.

Our main post office will no longer be able to offer Crown Services going forward and nobody I’ve spoken to is ok with it. I would strongly urge the post office not to go ahead with this.”

A Post Office spokesperson said:

“We would really value and welcome any feedback and comments from you, our customers that can help inform our plans to make changes to Crawley Post Office, particularly on issues like accessibility. And are there any wider other local community issues which you believe could be affected by or affect the proposed move? Please do let us know.

However, the element of our plans that we not seeking feedback is the principle of franchising a branch. This is because the change of management at Crawley Post Office to one that is operated by a retail partner rather than Post Office directly is a commercial decision, and we believe it is the right one in order to sustain Post Office services in communities – not just today, but for the long term too.”

Crawley MP Henry Smith said:

“I’ve got accessibility concerns with the Post Office’s proposals to move their current Boulevard counters to WHSmith’s in County mall and have written to its management to raise these.

If it turns our their consultation – officially still open – is a sham then I will be raising the issue in Parliament.”

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