The following are relevant extracts from two emails to Councillor David Penfold, Chair of Pett Parish Council
Dear Police Neighbourhood Watch,
Parish Councils & Residents of Fairlight and Rother,
On two separate occasions (2nd March and today 29th March) a suspicious individual has stopped at both my property and the local Farm up the road from me, on the Pett Level Road, East Sussex. On both occasions he has taken a keen interest in the machinery, outbuildings and the location of the CCTV Cameras on both properties. Once he has had a good look around the property, he sits in his car for some time playing with his phone (presumably checking Google maps). This was reported by myself to the police when it initially happened at the beginning of the month, but his number plate was not clear, so no action was taken by the police.
Today (29/3/19) he came back to my address at 17.08pm; again visiting the local farm first and having a good look around there) before coming to me immediately afterwards. Initially, he came from the direction of Hastings, heading towards Rye and passed my house, but then turned around and came back. This time he got out of the car and walked around the entirety of the outside of my property, taking closer note of the position of all the CCTV Cameras. He got in and out of his car twice and shuttled back and forth, returning to the front entrance of my property twice and the side entrance at least three times, all the time peering through the knot holes in our gates, pushing at the gates, jumping up to peer over high fences and taking note of the contents of the front garden. At no time did he attempt to ring either door bells or leave a calling card.
He was outside for nearly 10 mins and again could be seen checking his phone for a considerable time, whilst parked up outside. Both the Farm owner and myself felt his behaviour was highly suspicious and not the actions of a normal visitor.
He has tight cropped hair that looks slightly ginger in the sunlight, but is believed to be dark, with a distinctive widow’s peak. He has a deeply furrowed forehead, with sunken cheeks. He’s slight build, wearing mid blue jeans, dark shoes and a dark tan leather jacket. He may have links to the travelling community.
As we have had a succession of intruders/suspicious persons locally in Fairlight in the last month; along with a recent burglary of another
Farm on Battery Hill, we are trying to be extra vigilant.
I’m aware of several attempts to report suspicious behaviour online in the immediate area (Separate Incidents); Including 4 individuals intruding on private property at 4am last week. These have been made to the 101 e-mail contact service, but as yet no responses have been received from the police with regard to these reports. I suspect therefore, that these individual, but clustered events in the immediate area have not been linked together.
We phoned 101 and requested that a local police officer view our CCTV footage ASAP, but no one was available when we reported it, as it is Friday.
This individual’s car is a silver Range Rover, Reg No GX04 MPU, and he left our property at approx 17.18pm heading back toward Hastings.
Please contact the police immediately dialling 999 if you see him in the local area.
IF YOU HAVE A NAME FOR THIS INDIVIDUAL, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH WITH ME ASAP DIRECTLY BY E-MAIL.
I’ve phoned 101 again today to get an officer down to view the video I have but do not hold out much hope. I believe he might be known to the Police.
This person has a distinctive widows peak and sunken cheeks, with a strikingly resemblance to a person who came to our house last year, wanting to clean our roof of moss. That guy insisted he’d been called out to do the job on my house.
This person was also known to the police. He came from the travelling community, but we only discovered this months later when the police called to us on an unrelated matter. They were not aware at the time that he was in the area.
Those at the farm have also said they believe the man in yesterday’s incident came from the same community. He drove to the back of their farm to turn his car around, despite there being an empty car park at the front in which to turn around. He was acting suspiciously on their property too and caught on CCTV Camera.
As I understand it, some of the incidences so far involve people in the area calling at properties, saying they are looking for outbuildings/properties to rent; as happened with Mr Elliot, Battery
Hill. Days later, Often on a Friday or Saturday night, (When Police are most busy) those locations are broken in to. These people are very brazen.
Incidents that have happened locally here (Not exhaustive), in under a year, consist of
* Suspicious man/Bogus caller. Hid face once they realized we had cameras, wanted to clean moss off our roof. Said, he’d been called by us to do the job!. 22/5/18 17.09pm Reported online, no
response, but later identified as known to Police.
* Mr Elliot, Farm robbery Peter James Lane. Date believed 1/3/19. 3.40 am (Under investigation, but no arrests made) Cameras present, but
thieves did not seem to care! (Reported, but status unknown.)* My report Ref 848 2/3/19 Suspicious man parks in the middle of the road and takes note of security cameras on drive and house. 2/3/19. 1.44 PM. Saturday (Went to Farm First) Reported on 101. no response.
* 4 individuals walking through Wakehams Farm at 4am, from rear field Rosemary Lane End (Back field), past the farm shop and over Farm Gate, cross road and then over East Field Gate, into East Field. Picked up by shooters night scope and frightened off as they were looking through the
farm machinery in East Field. (Reported by Farm online, no Response)
* Man caught in East Field with torch. Brow of Stream Hill at Field gate area 16/3/19. 22.48pm Black Mitsabushi Reg GV67 KGN Challenged by Family member, Darren from the farm and friends.
* Man walking with torch in field (No Dog) behind our garage, but in East Field adjacent to Leather Waggon end. Date unknown, but within the last 8 weeks. challenged by son 3.35am Man ran off. Reported next Day, no response
* Man at our house yesterday 17.08pm same as man on the 2/3/19 stayed ten mins.Highly Suspicious behaviour. Reported on 101, still yet to hear from anyone.
Police told Mr Elliot that although these cars come up as taxed and MOT’d on the DVLA website, they are often stolen plates so the car, address etc cannot be traced. He was told Rural crime is epidemic at present and they were unlikely to get to court, despite a name and positive ID being put forward for one of the assailants, who is known topolice and lives in Ore. The vehicle associated with the Elliot break-in has also been linked to a break-in in Brede recently.
As with most rural crime access across fields is often essential to move machinery out undisturbed and unseen by CCTV. The Character at our house
yesterday was very disturbing. We have short video of his behaviour, but it’s too large to upload, we may have to post it to FB when permission is given.
IF THERE ARE OTHER INCIDENTS YOU ARE AWARE OF COULD YOU PLEASE LET ME KNOW, AS I WOULD LIKE TO COLLATE THEM AND SEND THE DETAILS ON. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO PUT THE DETAILS ON PETTNET/ VILLAGE FB ETC I WILL CALL YOU WHEN I HAVE PERMISSION FROM THE POLICE TO SHARE HIS IMAGE AND THAT OF HIS SUSPECTED RELATIVE. IF YOU COULD FORWARD DETAILS THE CLLR BIRD and SAINT AND OTHER COUNCILLORS I’D BE GRATEFUL.
MY NUMBER IS 01424 813884 OR MOB 0784 784 4740