Rye’s Own Hidden Treasure Revealed

It has been reported that Rye only has one Police Community Support Officer when in fact there are five in total all working together as part of a team alongside the local Police Officers.

PCSO Dan Bevan chooses to use a special police mountain bike and covers Rye, Rye Harbour and Playden. The responsibility for the vast rural areas surrounding Rye falls upon his four colleagues, leaving Dan covering the high-visibility patrolling of Rye as well as attending high profile meetings within the town.

Dan has made a tremendous impact in the town with a lot of positive action resulting in reduced criminal activity, some of which involved input from his perhaps lesser known colleagues.

Left to Right. Richard Perchard Westfield / Udimore / Brede : Chrissy Locke Guestling / Fairlight / Pett : Debbie Heneke Winchelsea / Icklesham : Dione Powell East Guldeford / Camber / Iden : Dan Bevan Rye Town and Estates / Rye Harbour / Playden.
Left to Right. Richard Perchard Westfield / Udimore / Brede : Chrissy Locke Guestling /
Fairlight / Pett : Debbie Heneke Winchelsea / Icklesham : Dione Powell East Guldeford /
Camber / Iden : Dan Bevan Rye Town and Estates / Rye Harbour / Playden.

PCSO’s Dione Powell and Debbie Heneke spent a lot of time tackling anti-social behaviour on The Tilling Green Estate, when it was a big problem, by visiting several homes with ASBO forms and talking with the youths, they also took a group to Lewes Prison where the youths had an insight into prison life and a talk from Officers and inmates which had quite a hard hitting impact. PCSO Dione Powell and PCSO Debbie Heneke have in fact been responsible for a great deal of the change for the better in and around Rye with their frequent patrols in the town. Last month they caught up with a prolific car thief at Gibbetts Marsh car park which resulted in an arrest, and last week were involved in the arrest of three drunken males causing a disturbance and criminal damage late at night in Rye.

The list is numerous and all five Dione Powell, Debbie Heneke, Daniel Bevan, Chrissie Lock and Richard Perchard spent a vast amount of time throughout the summer period patrolling Rye at night on weekends tacking anti-social behaviour and giving reassurance, this was known as OPERATION GINGER and was supported by both Police Officers and Community Support Officers as well as Specials.

As Rye Police Station covers such a large rural area it has been necessary for the Police Community Support Officers that can drive to take up the responsibility for the surrounding villages, PCSO Powell and PCSO Heneke are responsible for Icklesham, Winchelsea Town, Winchelsea Beach, Iden Camber and East Guldford all of which receives regular foot patrols, which quite often the residents are unaware of unless they happen to be in their gardens or looking out of windows.

Just to touch on a few of their achievements PCSO Dione Powell and PCSO Debbie Heneke have prevented a suicidal male from taking his own life along Winchelsea Beach, helped a distressed female locked out of her property in the freezing cold at Icklesham, by gaining access to her house, they have deterred drug taking and vandalism in the area of the Iden Rec. car park through regular patrols and completion of stop forms, the capture and prosecution of two disqualified drivers at Winchelsea Beach and a thief making a getaway from Pett. They also managed to chase and stop eight illegal immigrants who emerged from a lorry near to the Winchelsea Lodge Motel and made a run for the fields, once stopped they were collected by a Hastings prison van.

But the area that has probably received the largest impact from the duo is Camber where Dione and Debbie successfully gained funding to provide transport for 7-11 yr olds to take them to a kids club in Hastings as well as hitting anti-social behaviour from local youths hard, the once regular reports of racing mini-motorbikes and petrol scooters are now non existent thanks to the warnings and seizures by this pair. One of the main youth offenders in Camber has recently signed a good behaviour agreement provided by the community officers and also successfully attended the LIFE Project course run by The Fire Brigade which was also organised by PCSO’s Heneke and Powell. Two weeks ago they tracked down a youth that had assaulted a local resident who was walking his dog, the youth was later arrested, and previous to this they had identified another for shoplifting in the village, who has since been prosecuted for the offence.The list could go on but there is just too much to mention and all of this is on top of the support that they give to the regular Police Officers which includes attending Road Traffic Crashes for traffic control duties, providing scene guard at incidents of crime/disaster/accident, carrying our house to house enquiries and many more, all of which free up resources and precious Police Officer time allowing them to tackle the more serious incidents with their knowledge and expertise.

They really have been half of Rye’s best kept secret, the other half being PCSO’s Richard Perchard and Chrissie Lock. This pair are responsible for Fairlight, Pett, Guestling, Three Oaks, Udimore, Westfield, Broadoak and Brede and again have had a lot of positive input into the town itself as well as giving the same support to Police Officers.

Their achievements include recovering seven stolen motor vehicles, one of which was found on their way to work! They helped in the arrest of two illegal immigrants, and most recently in Rye Town they tracked down and were responsible for the arrest of a male who was wanted for a number of serious offences. They also found themselves next to an address where a mentally disordered male was causing the occupier problems. The pair observed the male whilst updating the control room until Police arrived.

The other success was gaining access to a locked car with its engine running to release two young children who were asleep inside.

Two teenage girls approached the pair whilst they were on high visibility patrol, to report that a male had been following them, the girls were taken home and a description of the male circulated to mobile police officers in an effort to identify the male.

Many intelligence reports have been submitted and helped in the effective arrest of offenders. As well as the above they also regularly visit the schools within their area to get to know the children and monitor any parking problems that may arise due to the heavy volume of traffic and if they do not have transport then they will be either on foot patrol in Rye and surrounding areas or using public transport to engage into the community.

But more importantly is that it is recognised that there is a significant improvement in Rye and that is not due to one one individual but the whole Policing TEAM as well as essential input from the local communities.

This report was compiled by the Rye Police Police Community Support Officer Team and comes as a result of statements I made in “Rye’s Own” and of reports in the weekly press mentioning the fine work done by PCSO Dan Bevan.

Dione, Debbie, Richard and Chrissie have obviously been just as important a part of the team and have worked tremendously hard in their successful efforts to reduce crime in Rye & District.

“The Fear of Crime” by the honest citizen in Rye has now been replaced by “The fear of Policing” in the minds of many would be local criminals and vandals. Much of this is due to the high profile work of the P.C.S.O’s.

As the Rye co-ordinator of the e-mail Neighbourhood Watch I can endorse the claim of reduced crime in Rye and the surrounding area, some weeks there are very few crime reports coming in for Rye Town and members are very rarely reporting vandalism or graphite.

Well done all concerned. It just goes to prove that what the columns of “Rye’s Own” have been advocating for five years is right. The Bobby on the beat prevents crime happening, if there is no crime there are no papers to fill in or time wasting investigations.

Prevention is far better than Detection!


From “Rye’s Own “ December 2005

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