November 10th, 2020

Operation Sceptre - campaign against knife crime launches

Sussex Police is highlighting its ongoing activities in tackling knife crime and violence as part of the national week-long campaign launching today (9 November).
Operation Sceptre bolsters the work undertaken by Sussex police all year round to help keep residents safe from knife-related harm in their local communities.
Sussex is a safe place to live, although in line with national trends Sussex has seen an increase in knife crime. The vast majority of young people (99 per cent of 10-29-year-olds) do not carry a knife. However, bringing violence and knife crime down is a top priority and Sussex Police is determined to get knives off the streets for good.
Operation Sceptre is a campaign that aims to tackle the danger that knife crime poses by educating those most at risk and carrying out proactive work that takes knives off our streets. It is a misconception that carrying a knife makes you safer. Carrying a knife for protection is not a defence in law and even being caught with someone carrying can result in a sentence if you are caught.

Superintendent Stu Hale said: "Knives and dangerous weapons have no place on the streets of Sussex. We are determined to reduce the risk of knife-related harm by working together and making our message on knife possession crystal clear.

"Operation Sceptre is an opportunity to discuss knife crime in an open and honest way. We want to send the message to young people that carrying a knife is dangerous and can have serious consequences. Carrying a knife does not make you safer, in fact it puts you at more risk of being a victim.
"Addressing the root causes of knife crime is essential in tackling it. This is why we’re combining educational activities and amnesty with targeted, intelligence-led operations to both raise awareness among at-risk groups and disrupt crime in action.
"We have year-round operations to address knife crime including engaging with young people in schools, the launch of our knife crime engagement van and work with partners to ensure people are signposted to help at an early opportunity.
"We also work hard to target disrupt prolific offenders, through the Tactical Enforcement Unit and are intensifying our activities through days of action - which means individuals carrying knives are increasingly likely to be caught and prosecuted.
"This anti-knife week is also a crucial reminder that there is help out there for those who do not feel safe."
Tactics will include targeted high visibility and plain-clothes patrols across the county. Other prioritised activity includes target stop and search against habitual knife carriers and previous offenders as and weapon sweeps by police officers.
As always, knife amnesty bins where people can safely dispose of dangerous or unwanted knives and blades at police stations across Sussex, no questions asked.
The week is being supported by Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne. She said: "Sussex Police remain steadfast in their commitment to taking prolific offenders off our streets, preventing knife crime and tackling serious violence.
"Operation Sceptre is a great opportunity to take the time to educate our young people of the dangers and life changing consequences of carrying a knife before it’s too late.
"Please remember that all knives can kill and maim and just by carrying one you are putting yourself and others in grave danger. The message is clear – lose the knife not a life.”
National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Knife Crime, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty, said: “Police forces up and down the country work tirelessly in bringing violent offenders involved in knife crime to justice.
“While the causes and drivers of knife crime are complex, early intervention and putting in place measures to tackle the root causes are absolutely essential.
“Policing plays the pivotal role in enforcement activity, but also has a role in supporting communities and local agencies to come together to prevent knife crime. By working together with our partners, we know that we can be more effective, responsive and ultimately improve people's lives.
“Operation Sceptre builds on the work we already do with partners like Border Force and Trading Standards to stop the flow of illegal and dangerous knives that end up in the hands of our young people.
“This activity forms part of our wider, ongoing work with the Government, schools, health and social services and charities to explore what more we can do as a whole society to tackle knife crime.”
To tell Sussex Police about knife crime please report online or call 101, we will treat information you give us sensitively. In an emergency always dial 999.
To report knife crime anonymously, go to

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November 10th, 2020

Chief Constable launches postcard competition for children and young people

Sussex Police Chief Constable Jo Shiner is looking for new postcard designs to use when writing to children and young people, and is inviting Sussex’s under 18s to come up with the designs.
As well as having their design printed on a postcard, the three winners will be invited to join Sussex Police teams for a range of experiences including meeting a police dog, seeing an equipment demonstration and even tea and cakes with the Chief.
Across three age categories – up to 10, 11–14 and 15–18 – entrants have until Monday 30 November are invited to use their creative skills, from painting to photography, drawing to collage, to come up with a winning design, which can be inspired by the Sussex Police priorities:
Protecting our Communities (keeping you safe)
Catching Criminals
Delivering an outstanding service.
Jo Shiner said: “It gives me great pleasure to launch this competition for children and young people across Sussex. It has been a challenging year for everyone and this is a chance to have some fun and be creative. I am really excited to see your ideas and designs. I hope it will be a welcome activity that you can safely do at home and I look forward to meeting the winners. “
Winners will be chosen by a panel of young people and independent judges. Their prize will be organised in line with timescales permitted under Covid-19 restrictions for safety reasons. Runners up will also have their work displayed in police stations across Sussex in early 2021.
Enter the competition here:

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October 7th, 2020

What’s the best way to fund your care fees?

In West Sussex care home fees could cost around £1500 a week or more, depending on the provider and your needs. Getting independent and expert financial advice could make all the difference.
The Carewise care funding scheme was established by West Sussex County Council and partners to offer information and advice on the most cost-effective ways of paying for long-term care. The scheme provides you with a panel of independent care fees specialists and access to the free money advice service from Age UK West Sussex, Brighton and Hove.
All the Carewise care fees specialists are accredited members of the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA), checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and trained in safeguarding adults.
You can have peace of mind that you will be talking to highly-qualified and trusted professionals. Your first consultation with a Carewise care fees specialist is free of charge, with no pressure to go any further unless you choose to.
For more information and to arrange your free consultation visit
You can also phone 01243 642121 or email to ask for a Carewise referral.

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October 1st, 2020

Enhanced NHS111 service launches for Kent, Medway & Sussex

From today the NHS 111 service in Kent, Medway and Sussex is being enhanced and it can now offer access to a wider range of health care professionals.

GPs, paramedics, nurses, mental health professionals, dental nurses and pharmacists are all part of the new NHS111 clinical assessment service which launched today (1 October 2020).

People who call 111 – free from mobiles or landlines 24/7 - or access the service via will speak to call handlers and/or healthcare professionals who will be able to assess symptoms over the phone, issue prescriptions and directly book people into onward care appointments if they need one.

It is the start of a number of improvements to the NHS 111 service for people living in Sussex.

Over the coming months, NHS111 will integrate more closely with SECAmb’s 999 service and existing out-of-hours care, which means that people who call or visit 111 online will be able to be access evening and weekend GP appointments, home visiting services, and appointments at minor injury units, urgent treatment centres and A&E departments. This is known as direct booking and NHS 111 First and we will share more on this in coming weeks as it prepares to launch in Sussex.

The new clinical assessment service is a result of a new contract for NHS 111 in Kent, Medway and Sussex.

The new five year contract was awarded to South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) as the lead provider, and they are working in conjunction with not-for-profit social enterprise Integrated Care 24 (IC24).

SECAmb and IC24 already provided NHS111 to parts of the south east separately but will now work together to deliver a more joined up service.

NHS111 Clinical Lead for Sussex, Dr Victoria Beattie said: “NHS111 will be pivotal in ensuring patients get access to the right care, at the right time and place for their symptoms. The new clinical assessment service will mean patients can talk to a doctor or healthcare professional sooner, giving patients real confidence in the care they will receive.”

• Is this NHS 111 First?
The launch of the clinical assessment service and NHS 111 First are separate but they are both set to further improve what is on offer to local people by calling 111 or visiting 111 online.

NHS 111 First allows people who have contacted 1111 to receive booked appointments in urgent care services such as the minor injury units, urgent treatment centres and A&E/ED if they need this level of support. This will be going live across Sussex by the start of December, in line with all regions across the country.

By launching the clinical assessment service before this, people who contact 111 will have access to a wider range of health care professionals at this point of contact, who can assess their needs, and advise the best next steps for them. Before NHS 111 First is available, this will be to direct people to the most appropriate service, but when NHS 111 First launches this will mean the person will be directed to the most appropriate service with a booked appointment.

• How much is the contract?
The indicative value of the contract for 60 months from April 2020 is £90.5 million with the option for a further 24-month extension.

• Why did it not launch sooner?
The original go-live date of 1 April 2020 was postponed due to heightened demand brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, and SECAmb’s interim contract was extended to bridge the spring/summer season allowing the team to focus on the immediate response. At the peak of the pandemic, 111 health advisors were handling almost four times the usual daily call numbers. NHS111 continues to play an integral role during the pandemic, helping patients access essential NHS services and receive the care they need from the most appropriate place.

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