Sussex partners working to combat modern slavery are reflecting on a year of progress.
In October 2020, Chief Constable Jo Shiner, Chief Executive of East and West Sussex County Councils, Becky Shaw, and Brighton and Hove City Council Chief Executive Geoff Raw marked Anti-Slavery Day with a UN Sustainable Goals pledge from their respective organisations to become a slavery free community in Sussex.
The pledge outlined how partners would work proactively with national and local government, law enforcement agencies, businesses, the voluntary and community sector, faith bodies and local communities.
On behalf of all Sussex partners, Detective Chief Inspector Kris Ottery of Sussex Police said: "Monday 18 October is Anti-Slavery Day this year, so we reflect on the achievements of the last year and our ongoing collective effort through the Sussex Anti-Slavery Network, which includes a wide range of partners across the county.
"Working with the University of Sussex we have successfully enhanced the work of the Network by introducing an online platform for its activities, included a series of informative webinars and podcasts to engage wider businesses and communities.
"The Network and other modern slavery partnerships across Sussex have adapted to the challenges of the pandemic including how exploiters may evolve to exploit resulting vulnerability, supporting a number of initiatives and intensification periods to respond to local concerns." Read full story here
Have you seen Joanna, missing from Crawley?
Can you help police find Joanna who has been reported missing from Crawley?
Joanna, 43, was last seen at about 5.30pm on Wednesday October 13.
She is described as 5’6”, with blonde hair and average build. She was last seen wearing a pink and blue jumper with blue jeans and black shoes. She also had a black backpack with her.
Joanna is thought to be in the Brighton area.
Anyone who has seen her or has any information is asked to report it online or call 101, quoting serial 1048 of 13/10.
Man arrested after girl approached in Three Bridges
A man has been arrested after a teenage girl was approached by a stranger in the Three Bridges area of Crawley on Wednesday morning, 13 October.
It was just after 8am on Wednesday when a 14-year-old girl, on her way to school, was approached by a man wearing a yellow hi-viz jacket, who took her to an adjacent area off the road and searched her clothing before cycling off.
Following police enquiries and further information, a 32-year-old local man was detained in the town at 11.15am on Thursday 14 October. He was arrested on suspicion of kidnap and of impersonating a police officer and is currently in custody for interview and further enquiries.
Superintendent Marc Clothier said: "We understand that this arrest will impact communities. The girl is safe, not physically harmed and is receiving support from officers, working with her family.
“We want to reassure people we have not received any similar reports at this time and there is no current risk to anyone in the community in relation to this case.
“You will see more uniformed patrols in the area and we encourage you to stop and talk to us if you have any concerns.
“If you have any information that would assist our investigation, please call us on 101, quoting Operation Lonsdale.
"If you do see any behaviour that causes you concern, please always call 999 right away.
“We understand some people may want additional reassurance when interacting with a lone police officer and when you are alone. If this is the case, genuine officers can use their police radio on loudspeaker to talk to the operator in the police control room. The operator can confirm the identity of the officer,that they are on duty and carrying out legitimate policing business. You can also ask a passer-by to observe. Off-duty officers intervening in a crime in action or where someone is vulnerable, and not carrying a radio, will quickly call 999 for back up.”
Prolific shoplifter Ryan Higson given Criminal Behaviour Order
A prolific shoplifter has been given a Criminal Behaviour Order aimed to curb his offending in Crawley.
Sussex Police applied for the five-year order against Ryan Higson, which was granted by Crawley Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 13 October.
At the same time, Higson, 33, of no fixed address – who has 44 previous convictions for 127 offences – was also convicted of a number of thefts committed in the town over the summer.
He stole items including handbags, bedding, and food and drink, worth a combined total of more than £1,000, from a number of premises.
He pleaded guilty to all offences and was given a nine-month community order, requiring him to attend drug dependency sessions. He was also ordered to pay costs and compensation for his crimes.
More notably, he was given a five-year Criminal Behaviour Order which prohibits him from the following:
Entering any commercial retail premises in Crawley or Gatwick, when you have been banned from that premises by the owner/occupier or other person acting on behalf of the owner/occupier, of such premises. This includes all members of the Crawley and Gatwick Business Watch scheme.
Remaining on any commercial/retail premises when you have been asked to leave by any staff member/owner/occupier of such premises.
Loitering around any property to which you have been asked to leave or have been banned from by any staff member/owner/occupier or other person acting on behalf of the owner/occupier, of such premises.
Entering any commercial/retail premises within Crawley without the means/funds to make a purchase or have proof of purchases made.
Entering the County Oak Retail Park, Crawley, or Acorn Retail Park, Crawley.
PCSO Kieran Chappell, of the Crawley and Mid Sussex Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We are delighted to have obtained this Criminal Behaviour Order for Ryan Higson. His behaviour and offending has been causing significant loss to the businesses of Crawley for a considerable period of time.
“This order will further assist Sussex Police in tackling his offending, preventing further loss and safeguarding our business community, as well as allowing him to re-address his behaviour and get the help he needs moving forward.”
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