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Crime

Horsham Police show they never give up

With a prolific criminal behindbars the local force have shown they will never give up when bringing someone to justice.

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Horsham’s determined officers have yet again shown their resilience in bringing a prolific criminal to justice.

Darion Bates, 49, of South Holmes Road, Horsham, pleaded guilty to six separate offences of vehicle interference, damaging a car in an attempt to steal the contents, throughout February in the town.

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Bates was sentenced at Crawley Magistrates’ Court on Friday 2 March and given a six month community order with curfew conditions.

Prevention Inspector Sarah Leadbeatter said:

“Bates has been a prolific offender for vehicle crime in Horsham for a while and we have been determined to catch him. He has now been convicted for 20 separate offences since October 2017.

“Our diligent and hard work behind the scenes enabled us to hand Bates over to the courts to be brought to justice for his behaviour.

“Local officers have worked incredibly hard to catch and convict Bates and we will continue to ensure vehicle crime remains a priority and those persons responsible are dealt with robustly.”

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Crime

Crawley Council warns of rise of conmen knocking on doors across town

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The message is very clear – Be scam aware!

Crawley Borough Council is warning residents to be scam aware following a rise in reports of conmen knocking on doors.

The council has recently received reports of two different scams, where residents are asked to pay thousands of pounds up front for work that isn’t needed or shouldn’t cost anywhere near that amount.

In the first scam, a group of men were knocking on residents’ doors claiming to be from a boiler company and saying that they had been sent to check on boilers.

This happened to a resident in Bewbush, who was told their boiler needed to be fixed at a cost of £4,000, which he was told to withdraw from his bank without telling anyone. This particular tenant was vulnerable but fortunately the bank staff knew him well and questioned why he was withdrawing such a large amount of money.

His support worker was then notified and the incident was reported to the police. Additional security measures have been put in place for this tenant.

The second scam was reported in Gossops Green, where a resident was scammed for fencing at a cost of £3,500. This was reported to the police and fortunately the cheque was cancelled before the scammers got their money.

Scams come in many different forms and not just on the doorstep. Other scams include emails, phone calls and text messages. We are encouraging tenants to be extra careful when buying products or services online or in person.

Some of the signs to look out for include:

*             You are asked to pay money up front, for example to cover delivery costs or to ‘release funds’

*             You have ‘won a prize’ in a lottery or competition you have never heard of, much less entered

*             You are pressurised or hurried into making a decision – e.g. told to ‘act now’ as the price will go up if you don’t buy immediately

*             You are told to not tell anyone else about it – for example ‘it’s an exclusive deal only for you’

*             Unsolicited emails, phone calls, text messages or letters

*             Emails from sources you don’t recognise that include attached documents or other files

*             Emails that appear to be from your bank, HMRC or another trustworthy source that ask you to reveal personal data, such as your account details.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of Crawley Borough Council, said:

“There will always be a small number of people who seek to take advantage of others, but we can protect ourselves from scams by taking a little extra time to check people are who they claim to be.”

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