A look back over the last 12 months at local crime figures for the designated area of Rogate, Stedham and Harting

On Bepton Parish Council website we have a crime map section (Under Neighborhood Watch heading tab) which provides police data on all crime across the country. Specifically Bepton comes under police district of Rogate, Stedham and Harting and over the last 12 months Bepton has suffered seven documented crimes. These were two burglary’s, one of criminal damage-arson, one of violence and sexual offence, one theft, one vehicle crime and one public order disturbance. For further information go to the webpage that will provide processing data on each documented crime.

An example of what you will find – Data for November 2022 – Rogate, Stedham and Harting

Proposal to Move Bepton Parish from Chichester to Arundel Parliamentary Constituency

The above map shows the new boundary proposal with the Parishes of Bepton, Elsted, S Harting, Trotton and Stedham changing constituency from Chichester to Arundel.

To Add Your Opinions/Objections to Boundary Commission

Parliamentary Boundary changes  

Although the consultation process has been taking place for nearly two years, many people are only now becoming aware that as a result a major change is proposed hereabouts  -we are likely to become part of an extensive constituency called ‘Arundel and the South Downs’. Whatever the outcome, it will have no impact on the duties of Chichester District Council (eg bin emptying) and West Sussex County Council (highways maintenance).  It will not affect our everyday life.  

Every five years the boundaries of parliamentary constituencies are assessed, noting changes in the population and as necessary changing the area of the constituency to take account of this.  The Boundary Commissioners are also obliged to take into consideration issues such as local ties, local government boundaries and geography in producing constituencies, as a result of this review, with  electorates of between 69,724 and 77,062, 5% either side of the nominal figure.  More than 2/3rds of the constituencies in England will experience some change. 

Our inclusion in Chichester constituency hasn’t changed since 1974, when we were transferred to it from Horsham.   In the past, the boundary change exercise tended to be a bit ‘flexible’ and as a result the electorates of some constituencies are currently well outside the average size.  This tighter review aims to address this flexibility, and the initial proposals were published on 8th June 2021. Whilst it proposed us staying in Chichester constituency, half of the Manhood peninsula was allocated to Bognor constituency. There were howls of outrage from south of Chichester.  This is probably the reason why the the areas of the three constituencies in the western part of West Sussex were then dramatically redrawn. It should be noted that these three constituencies have electorates on the high side, they being 77,985, 76,974 and 76,765.  Only nine voters currently separate Chichester and the Arundel and South Downs constituencies; moving only Harting and Nyewood to Chichester would increase that electorate to over 78,000.   Such an increase and change is unlikely to be given consideration, especially as that change would separate us from neighbouring parishes including those in Harting District Council ward.  As it is we would remain with the parishes to the east of us that we have long had various associations with.

 The Boundary Commission website provides a lot of information, including maps of the proposed constituencies.  Should you wish to comment you only have until 5th December.

Heightened Scams During Cost of Living Crisis

Credit Evie Kim Sing Digital ID Biometrics

Types of scams

Here are some of the scams that you’re likely to hear about – or may even be affected by – as peoples’ purse strings are tightened and increasing financial pressures. The list is by no means exhaustive, as fraudsters are highly adept at keeping abreast of unfortunate situations with very convincing and persuasive messages.

·  Texts purporting to be from ‘Gov.org’ or the ‘DWP’ inviting applications or claims for cost-of-living payments. In fact, payments are made automatically so there’s no need to make such a claim.

·  Bogus emails, texts or calls claiming to be from the local council requesting bank or card details so that the £150 council tax rebate can be paid. Again, this is not necessary to receive the payment.

·  Fake messages about energy payments relief purporting to be from Ofgem, the energy regulator. Payments are actually being overseen not by Ofgem, but the Treasury.

·  Emails, texts, or calls claiming to be sent by energy suppliers offering switching deals, cheaper tariffs, discounts on prepayment meters or rebates.

·  WhatsApp scams where you receive a message from someone on a number you don’t recognise claiming to be a family member or friend, informing you they have changed their phone number. A short while later, they request money to solve ‘a problem which needs payment’ (made more believable by the cost-of-living crisis), also known as the ‘Friend in Need’ or ‘Mum and Dad’ scam.

·  Advertisements, emails, texts or social media posts offering either non-existent loans or those with incredibly high interest rates, to help you through a period of financial hardship.

·  An invitation to join ‘get rich quick’ schemes or jobs, with seemingly (so probably) impossible returns. These range from supposed high return pension and other investment schemes to being paid for the use of your bank account – the latter almost certainly resulting in money muling, a criminal offence in its own right.

·  A general increase in ‘traditional’ scams offering great deals on tickets, holidays, vehicles, consumer goods, fashion, and other things you purchase online. What you buy is either non-existent or not as advertised.

Protect yourself

·  Do your research: never send money to anyone you don’t know personally or buy anything you’re not entirely sure of.

·  Look out for spelling and grammatical errors in emails and texts, not being addressed by your name and poor layouts.

·  Never reveal personal or financial data including usernames, passwords, PINs, or ID numbers.

·  Don’t open email attachments or click on links in communications from unknown sources.

·  Make sure your antivirus software is up to date and run a scan before opening anything you’re suspicious of. Always update software, apps and operating systems when prompted, or set them to update automatically.

·  Think before you click: if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

·  To check whether a website is likely to be legitimate or fraudulent, enter its address at getsafeonline.org/checkawebsite.

·  Access more local information via www.westsussex.gov.uk/staying-safe-online and national information via www.getsafeonline.org.

Also a reminder of the upcoming scams awareness webinars relevant for both residents and professionals: 

·  Wednesday 23 November 2022 10.00am-11.30am. Reserve a space.

·  Tuesday 7 February 2023 2.00pm-3.30pm. Reserve a space.

Midhurst Vision Exhibition at The Grange Starting 3:30pm on the 5th to 28th of October

SDNP Supporting the Survey

Visiting Details of Exhibition – All Welcome

The exhibition at The Grange starts from Weds 5 Oct – starting at 3.30pm – that afternoon until 7.30pm there will be a couple of people to answer questions. They will remain there for 2 weeks. People can comment on postcards there or all the info will be on our website from 5 Oct and you can comment there too midhurstvision.org until 28 Oct.

Beatrice Potter’s Owlet Box Feeding Time

Beatrice has kindly shared her recordings of feeding time in one of her two her owl boxes

Credit Beatrice Potter

From Beatrice

” I first put up barn owl boxes about 20 years ago. For a number of years both boxes have cameras and I have been able to follow the highs and lows of barn owl live ever since.

Two very low points stand out. The first was when a weasel made a meal of the eggs and left the female owl cowering in a corner. The second was after a disastrous decision by the owls to lay eggs in August. Only one made it near fledging in early November. However late one evening at about 10 p.m. the owlet was screeching for food and an adult flew in and killed it with a single peck to the head. We retrieved the corpse having ascertained that no owl was present as it is illegal to disturb them. The owlet was perfectly formed but would not have survived fledging so late in the year.

Last year five owlets fledged which was a record, however sadly one fell victim to a collision with a car on the Bepton Road. This year the female laid four eggs but only two owlets have made it. Probably a combination of the drought conditions which do not help the voles etc. reproduce. The heat does not do them any good as owls can only pant and it was a close call with the owlets in July. One was lying on its side.

The Barn Owl Trust have told me that reports show the average number of fledging owlets to be two in 2022. Not enough to ensure the replacement of adult Barn Owls. Of the two only one might make it through to 2023….

Birds are in dire straights at the moment due to the continuing decimation of species through bird flu and also habitat loss. The RSPB reports that 70 bird species found in the UK are now on the Red List…..”

Queen Elizabeth II 1926-2022

Credit Dropbox.com

Bepton Parish Council joins with the residents of Bepton in mourning the loss of Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II.

The official Book of Condolence for Bepton will be available at St Mary’s Church, Bepton between the hours of 9am and 5pm. You can also visit https://orlo.uk/royal_uk_Gg838 to sign the online Book of Condolence. The Book of Condolence at St Mary’s Church, Bepton, will close by the morning of Tuesday 20 September, unless we receive any new instructions.

Our thoughts and prayers are with King Charles III and the Royal Family at this difficult time.