Safe in East Sussex Winter Newsletter 2021

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Safe in East Sussex

Winter Edition 2021

Coronavirus Vaccine Scams Warning

Cyber criminals are using the roll out of the NHS Covid-19 vaccine to target victims with convincing looking text messages.

  • The texts appear to be from the NHS and state the recipient has the opportunity to sign up for the vaccine.
  • The texts ask the recipient to click on a link which takes them to an online form where they are prompted to input personal and financial details.
  • In some cases the online form has looked very similar to the real NHS website.
  • Remember, the NHS will NEVER ask for your payment details.

If you have received one of these scam text messages:

  • Do not respond or click on the link
  • You can report spam texts directly to your mobile phone provider. All operators now use 7726 – with the exception of Vodafone who uses 87726 – as the short code to report spam texts which is free of charge. It’s easy to remember as the number spells out SPAM on a mobile phone keypad. Once reported you should get an automated response thanking you for the report and giving you further instructions.
  • If you have clicked and supplied your details, report it immediately to Action Fraud

Keeping Young People Safe Online


Our Prevent Project Officer; Dave Law, continues to deliver the Relation SHOPs programme to year 6 across Primary Schools in East Sussex.

The programme promotes personal safety and resilience before transition to secondary school.  Workshop 4 focuses on Cyber Safety.

Whilst emphasising the positive benefits of the internet Dave covers some of the pitfalls of sharing too much personal information, avoiding internet scams and creating a negative digital footprint. The responsible use of social media and gaming is also covered as well as learning about the laws that could be broken.

This messaging is highlighted on Safer Internet Day which takes place on 9th February (further details in useful links at the bottom). 

Our national partnership agency the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command (CEOP) has provided excellent resources for parents and young people of all ages. These resources can be accessed via their website and are highly recommended at this difficult time when schools are not able to fully open.

Looking Closer at Public Spaces


Research published in November 2020 has found that County Lines drug supply networks ( where drugs are transported from one area to another usually by children or vulnerable people who are coerced and controlled by criminals ) have adapted to the restrictions of lockdown.

Some areas saw increased calls by parents to helplines because of home-working arrangements which enabled them to spot behaviour that would, under normal circumstances, go unnoticed. To avoid detection, criminals  have also shifted to delivering drugs in busy public areas, such as supermarket carparks, rather than from residential addresses.

The Children's Society #LookCloser campaign works with the National County Lines Coordination Centre and British Transport Police to encourage members of the public to learn the signs of child exploitation and understand how to report it if worried, with a particular focus on public spaces.

What can we do? Read the #LookCloser resources to understand the signs of exploitation and ways to report it. Share with friends, family and colleagues to help spread awareness.

National Support Scheme for Victims of Domestic Abuse


Ask for ANI (Action Needed Immediately) is a codeword scheme developed by the Home Office to provide a discreet way for victims of domestic abuse to signal that they need emergency help from the safety of their local pharmacy.

The scheme is to offer additional support to victims of domestic abuse who may be more isolated and finding it more difficult to access help and support as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Victims of domestic abuse will be able to use the codeword ANI in participating pharmacies (including all Boots stores and participating independent pharmacies) to let staff know that they require an emergency police response or help contacting a helpline or specialist support service.

  • Participating pharmacies will display posters in their window and around the pharmacy to let customers know that they can approach their staff to seek help. Any information shared will be treated confidentially.
  • When a victim uses the codeword or asks for help, the member of staff will ask the victim to accompany them to the consultation room. They will then check whether the victim is in danger and wants the police to be called. If so, the staff member will offer the use of a phone to dial 999 or make the call on the victim’s behalf.
  • If the victim is not in an emergency situation, the staff member will support the victim to contact a national domestic abuse helpline or local support service. They may also contact the police via 101. In East Sussex, we have worked closely with local partners including the Police and health to ensure that our local domestic abuse services are promoted to ensure victims gets the right support at the right time.

Domestic abuse and sexual violence services continue to support victims and survivors over the phone and virtually and are offering face to face support where needed and risk assessed. Restrictions do not apply if you are not safe at home and need to flee domestic abuse. Access to support continues to be available via the portal

Substance Misuse Grassroots Fund for Recovery

substance misuse

The second window of the Substance Misuse Grassroots Fund for Recovery will be open on 5th March with a deadline for submissions of the 2nd April.

The grassroots pot allows projects to bid for a maximum of £5k and includes support with development and growth for grassroots organisations along a project plan of three months.

Any application can be repeated again for the third window which will be in the autumn.

Grassroots organisations are organisations which begin with people of lived experience and a passion for recovery, we hope to see some innovative ideas raising the opportunities and profile of recovery for East Sussex.

Further details will be available on the ESCC funding pages and will sent out via the Partners in Recovery distribution list after 5th March. If you would like to be added to this list please contact our Community Development Officer, Victoria Walters at

£4.35 Million to Cut Drug Crime in Hastings

The Home Secretary and Health Secretary have announced a £148 million new investment to cut crime and protect people from the scourge of illegal drugs. The £148 million package takes a system-wide approach to the problem of illegal drugs. It gives extra resources to law enforcement to dismantle organised criminal gangs and tackle the supply of drugs. At the same time, it delivers more money for drug treatment and recovery to help cut drug-related crime and the cycle of misuse and reoffending. It represents the largest increase in drug treatment funding for 15 years

Five areas are to receive funding and  £4.35 million will be invested into Hastings, East Sussex to cut drug crime.

Project ADDER (which stands for Addiction, Diversion, Disruption, Enforcement and Recovery) will bring together partners in the local area including the police, councils and health services and run for three financial years. 

Money in Hastings will be used to build on the work of their Violence Reduction Unit, which brings together different partners to tackle serious violence, while also focusing on tackling problematic areas where heroin and crack use is prevalent.

Further information on ‘Project ADDER’ can be found here.

Improving Road Safety

road safety

Safety on the County’s roads is of importance to many people and communities.  This is understandably so when the number of people killed or seriously injured each year on East Sussex’s roads remains stubbornly high.  Anti-social driving and motorcycle riding is also a source of complaint for some people, whether it is speeding vehicles, inconsiderate parking or noise.

The principal partnership involved with road safety in this area is the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP), the wealth of knowledge and experience within the SSRP aims to provide advice and support to all road users across Sussex.  There are also Road Safety Action Groups across East Sussex which report to their respective community safety partnerships and their work supports the SSRP and local road safety priorities.

Research points to the fact that many road users will modify their behaviour due to the fear of being caught and there is no doubt that changing road user behaviour will be key if we want to reduce the number of crashes on the roads – crashes do not just happen.  Approaches based upon using insights from the behavioural sciences offer a new lens through which to look at an old problem and we are likely to see more projects coming forward which utilise this developing science to reduce casualties on the County’s roads.

Dr Jeremy Leach, Principal Policy Advisor, Wealden District Council

Useful links

Safer Internet Day 2021  - Is taking place on the 9th of February with the theme: An internet we trust: exploring reliability in the online worldThis years campaign focuses on how we can decide what to trust online, supporting young people to question, challenge and change the online world for the better. It will explore how influence, persuasion and manipulation can impact young people’s decisions, opinions and what they share online.

The Route Guard App  - This app gives parents or carers peace of mind if their children are travelling to and from school on their own or with friends. It sends them their location details. The app is free to all schools in Sussex. Ask your school for the code to use it.

LGBT logo

LGBT + History month takes place in the UK every February and the theme for this February is ‘Body, Mind, Spirit’. You can find a range of free resources on their website. (useful for parents currently supporting their children at home).The whole point of LGBT+ History Month is to celebrate LGBT+ people in all their diversity, and in doing so, educate out prejudice.