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Finally, Crawley Police take robust action following serious violence in town

After a lack of public engagement from senior police officers in Crawley, Police Chief Inspector Rosie Ross has finally spoken out.

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Sussex Police say Crawley Police Chief Inspector Rosie Ross is ‘taking proactive and robust action to tackle serious violence in the town.’

A statement from Sussex Police says, “Warrants are being executed, arrests made and drugs seized as officers increase patrols in hotspot areas and target drug dealers’ cars.”

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In her long-awaited statement, Chief Inspector Ross said:

“The violence is obviously distressing but I can assure local people that we are doing all we can, taking targeted action to help keep them safe.

“Criminality that puts people’s lives at risk is never acceptable and it’s vital that the community pulls together to help us deal with those responsible.

“I understand that residents will be concerned by violence taking place in the town but I want to reassure everyone that their safety is our priority.

“We are committed to targeting people supplying class A drugs in this area, making sure they are held to account for their actions, and reducing the significant community harm which is caused.

“We will continue our partnership work with Crawley Borough Council, community wardens, community safety teams and local MPs to disrupt them.”

Chief Inspector Rosie Ross has recently been more vocal than usual on social media. She tweeted twice in June, and only once in July. Over the last three days, she has posted four times, all about what police are doing to tackle crime in Crawley:

Throughout July, the Crawley Prevention Team have undertaken 13 house warrants in relation to drugs, and police say the vast majority of these have yielded success.

Chief Inspector Ross added:

“We have listened to the concerns of the community around issues with drugs and violence in Crawley and have put a number of resources in place as a deterrent.

“We have been conducting house warrants on a regular basis where a number of arrests have been made and large quantities of drugs seized.

“Last month, Daniel Lindsey was given a 40-month prison sentence after he was found in the possession of £16,000 worth of cocaine.

“In July we arrested 33 peoples for drug related offences. Where those have been released under investigation to allow enquiries to continue, we will push for charges where possible.

“The Prevention Teams have also been targeting vehicles that we believe are involved with drug issues and conducting stop searches. A total of 45 of these were conducted in the last month.

“Last month we also dedicated an extra 180 hours of high visibility patrols to hotspot areas and this is on top of the regular patrols that are conducted.

“These patrols are in place to identify those involved with these crimes and arrest when possible. These people involved with these crimes would be well-known within the community and my appeal to you is to help us with information about criminal activity.

“Let’s work together to make Crawley a safe place. No one knows their neighbourhoods better than residents themselves, so please get in touch if something seems suspicious or out of place.

“If you see a crime happening please dial 999 or if you have any information, please go online, call 101 or report through Crimestoppers.”

Crime

Two jailed after attempt to smuggle 8.5kgs of cocaine through Gatwick

“This was a deliberate, if unsophisticated attempt to smuggle dangerous Class A drugs into the UK”, says Chris Capel, Assistant Director of Border Force South.

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The drugs, which had been wrapped in plastic and hidden inside boxes marked ‘rum’, weighed approximately 8.5kgs.

Two men from Barbados are facing a total of 13 years in jail after pleading guilty to attempting to smuggle an estimated 8.5kgs of cocaine into the UK.

On 1 September, Border Force officers stopped 62-year-old Grantley Herbert Thompson, and 30-year-old Jamal Ricardo Walcott, in the customs channels at Gatwick Airport’s North Terminal. Both had arrived on a flight from Barbados.

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During a search of their baggage officers discovered a white powder, wrapped in green plastic, and hidden inside boxes marked rum. The powder was subsequently tested and gave a positive reaction to the field test for cocaine. The cocaine had an estimated street value of £535,000.

Chris Capel, Assistant Director of Border Force South said:

“This was a deliberate, if unsophisticated attempt to smuggle dangerous Class A drugs into the UK and I commend the Border Force officers whose work ensured that Thompson and Walcott are now behind bars.

“Illegal drugs have a significant impact on our society, being the root cause behind countless burglaries, thefts and robberies. They are also used as a commodity by organised criminals linked to violence and exploitation of the vulnerable.

“We continue to work with our colleagues from the National Crime Agency (NCA) to do all we can to stamp out this despicable trade and bring those responsible to justice.”

The case was referred to the NCA and Thompson and Walcott were charged with importation of a class A drug.

62-year-old Grantley Thompson.

On Thursday, 11 October the pair appeared at Croydon Crown Court where they admitted the smuggling attempt. Both were sentenced to six years and six months imprisonment immediately.

30-year-old Jamal Walcott.

The Government’s Serious Violence Strategy, which was launched in April, aims to combat the devastating impact drugs have on levels of serious violence.

It also highlights a strong link between drugs and serious violence and the related harm and exploitation from county lines. The Government has set out the action it will take to tackle this violent and exploitative criminal activity. The action of Border Force to stop drugs before they get into the country forms a key part of this work.

Border Force officers use hi-tech search equipment to combat immigration crime and detect banned and restricted goods that smugglers attempt to bring into the country.

Nationally, they use an array of search techniques including sniffer dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors and scanners – as well as visual searches – to find well-hidden stowaways, illegal drugs, firearms and tobacco which would otherwise end up causing harm to local people, businesses and communities.

Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or go to https://www.gov.uk/report-smuggling

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