New team to tackle rural crime.

New team launched to tackle countryside crime in Sussex.

Sussex Police has launched a new rural crime team, whose overall aim is to crack down on unlawful behaviour in isolated communities.

This team, launched on Monday (June 1), has been made possible with the precept increase, as acquired by Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Katy Bourne at the start of this financial year. The new funding will allow for more enforcement and greater local policing presence, part of which is rural crime.

The team will have a specialist focus on agricultural, equine, wildlife and heritage issues, and it has been brought together to serve the rural community, to increase confidence and encourage reporting through preventing crime and carrying out more proactive investigations.
Made up of two sergeants, eight constables and six police community support officers (PCSOs), the team will be operating out of bases at Midhurst and Heathfield.

The impact of rural crime has become more apparent in recent years, and this is reflected with the implementation of the national Rural Affairs Strategy in 2018, from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).

Sussex Police’s own Rural Crime Strategy aims to make rural communities feel safer by building long-lasting partnerships, responding to the community’s needs, and provide an effective policing service. In turn, this work aims to increase confidence in the police in our more isolated areas.

With 62% of Sussex’s area dedicated to farming, and a significant proportion being in the South Downs National Park, Sussex is defined as ‘significantly rural’ by DEFRA (2011).

Recently, Sussex Police have arrested a trio near High Hurstwood, Wealden, on suspicion of burglary and going equipped for burglary. This is just one example of the force’s approach to disrupting rural crime in the county.

Chief Inspector Steve Biglands, Sussex Police’s Rural Crime lead, said:
“We are keenly aware of the significant impact that these types of crimes have on our remote communities, and the implementation of this new team is designed to provide a direct link between those more isolated and the police. We want to encourage reporting of rural crimes, because with this insight, we are able to deploy the team to where they are most needed in order to protect the most vulnerable. We have a substantial number of rural residents and businesses in Sussex and they deserve our protection.”

Deputy Chief Constable for Sussex Police Jo Shiner said:
“It is so important to have a dedicated team for this area of policing, which quite often can go unnoticed. We want to reassure the residents of Sussex that we are here to disrupt rural crime, to catch those who think they can get away with it, and to ensure our more isolated communities feel safe in their own homes.

“There have been cases recently of animal thefts, quad bike thefts and numerous other countryside offences. We understand how destructive these are to people’s livelihoods, and how damaging they can be emotionally to the victim. We want perpetrators of these crimes to know we are here to catch them: do not consider committing the crime because we will bring you to justice.

“Working closely with partners, we can draw on expertise and resources from all over the county: together, we can provide the service needed to prevent rural crime.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said:
“Through my ongoing consultations with local residents and organisations, including the National Farmers’ Union, I know that our rural and village communities in Sussex can sometimes feel ‘abandoned’ and ‘forgotten about’.

“Rural crime is particularly worrying and, since the Covid lockdown, there have been many disturbing reports of fly-tipping and expensive equipment theft.  I want to reassure our rural residents that these crimes will not be ignored and are being taken extremely seriously.

“This expanded team will have the specialist knowledge, skills and training that is vital to police our rural communities, successfully investigate and prosecute crimes made against them and keep people feeling safe where they live and work.

“I know that this will be welcome news to many residents and organisations across Sussex”.

Message Sent By
Sussex Police (Police, Force-wide message, Sussex)

Parish Magazine – June/July online version

June/July edition of Etchingham Parish Magazine available online;

The Etchingham Parish Magazine is published every two months, it is delivered to regular subscribers and is available to purchase (70p for each issue) in the village shops and the Church.

With the number of cancelled events and everyone stuck at home, it was decided to make the June/July edition a “FREE”  ‘Lockdown edition’  copies were delivered to homes in the main village area and copies are available to pick up from the shops and the Church porch.

For those people who have not received a copy or are unable to pick up a copy from the shops, and to enable people outside of the village to read some interesting article by Etchingham residents the magazine can be accessed online.

Download the magazine HERE. 


Next Parish Council meeting

Parish Council meeting, Thursday 28th May.

The next meeting of Etchingham Parish Council is to be held ‘virtually’ at 7.30pm 28th May 2020. The agenda will be circulated next week but we can say that there are NO planning applications for the Council to consider at that meeting.
The draft minutes of the February meeting have already been posted on the Parish Council Website and will be re-circulated with the agenda when ready.
The virtual meeting will be open to the press and public but in order to maintain security if you wish to be ‘invited’ to view/attend please apply via email to the Parish Clerk for details, email or .

Have your say on life under lockdown.

Health Watch Survey: Have your say on life under lockdown.

Healthwatch East Sussex (HWES), the local independent health and care watchdog, has launched a COVID-19 Survey to ask residents of East Sussex about their experiences of health, care and wellbeing services during lockdown.

Findings from the survey will be published on their website and will identify public views on wellbeing and where services are working well or need improvement. Health and social care service providers will be informed of the survey results and Healthwatch will publish what changes they will make in response to what you say.

The survey is open until the 31st May and all responses will be in confidence.

Members of the public can complete the survey in the following ways:
By phone: 0333 101 4007 (lines open Mon-Fri 10am-2pm)
By Post: Freepost RTTT-BYBX-KCEY, Healthwatch East Sussex, Greencoat House, 32 St Leonards Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 3UT

A paper version of our survey can be downloaded from the Healthwatch website.

Queen’s Garden trees.

Trees in Queen’s Garden.

Some of you will have seen that tree work was going on in Queen’s Garden on Monday May 4th. It is with much sadness that Parish Council has had to proceed with felling trees that might appear healthy and beautiful but using modern technology that can, effectively x-ray , the trees were found not safe to remain in such a public and well used place. Remedial work is taking place on other trees to make sure that we can keep them for the next generations.
Looking forward: – because we have to lose a couple of trees in Queen’s Garden for safety reasons the Parish Council is going to replace them as soon as it can with native deciduous species – we will take expert advice on the best choices for our soil, location and aspect.
It has been the custom in the Garden to commemorate special events with the planting of a tree and this will be no exception. One of these trees will be dedicated to the recognition of the amazing work the NHS and all the other front line services are performing and continue to perform to keep up safe and well at this time. So this doesn’t get forgotten some sort of suitable plaque will be installed so future generations might be reminded about the sacrifices being made around us right now.
In view of this, and Council has been considering this for some time, it would seem a good idea to ‘label’ the other commemorative trees in the garden as well. We are not aware of any definitive map so if we can gather the information now from the collective village memory we’ll be able to put everything in place without any further delay later in the year. Every tree that the Parish Council is responsible for in the Parish was tagged with its allocated number when the in-depth tree survey was carried out last year so hopefully there won’t be any confusion identifying the individual trees. To help you, help us, the attached map shows the trees and their numbers clearly indicated.
Answers, comments, questions to the Clerk please, best to use the email address  as this is easiest for the Clerk to access while  having to work from home most of the time.

Queen’s Garden Playground


In response to new Government guidelines we are changing the notices on Queen’s Garden to say that the open area is available for your enjoyment but the playground area is most definitely not. We cannot fence it off. We cannot take adequate safety measures to disinfect the equipment.
The Covid-19 virus is believed to remain viable on metal for up to 72-hours so this measure is for the safety of you and your children not for anyone’s convenience.
We know that these are challenging times for everyone and I can only guess at how difficult is must be to find ways for children to let off steam but please respect the guidelines and stay safe.
The new notices will go up as soon as possible.
The Viper play area remains closed for the time being.

Village facilities closed

Village facilities closed:

Following Government instruction, several of the village facilities and amenities are now closed until further notice, details of the closures are in the documents below.

Parish Office open – halls closed – loan sharks information

Village Halls CLOSED

Queens Gardens CLOSED


Updates on these closures will be posted on the Parish Council website, social media and village notice boards as and when the advice changes.

Fairfield Surgery update (24th March)

Fairfield Surgery Update;

We have made the decision to restrict reception opening hours for the rest of this week to the following times 8.30am to 12pm and 2pm to 5pm.  The telephones will still be opened for support of patients who are unwell. The need for those at high risk and over 70yrs to self-isolate means  we have a very restricted team of staff. We are looking at drafting in some extra help and will review the situation at the end of the week.

Julie Watson
Practice Manager
Fairifield Surgery

Telephone 01435 882306