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Gatwick to support summer of community events

Supporting a number of events over summer, Gatwick will also become the Community Parade Sponsor for Brighton Pride again for 2018.

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London Gatwick has announced it’s supporting another busy programme of local community events across the South East this summer.

Some of these events include: St Catherine’s Hospice’s Midnight Walk, Horley Carnival, Crawley High Street Live, Gatton Country Fair, Big Bang Fair South East and Brighton Pride, which attracted over 300,000 people last year.

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As part of the programme, which focuses on projects that bring communities together and have a lasting, positive impact on large numbers of local people across three counties, the airport is supporting this year’s St Catherine’s Hospice Midnight Walk, which takes place on 9 June.

Gatwick is the main sponsor for the second year in a row with the airport’s staff supporting more than 1,000 walkers as they make their way around Horsham by moonlight. This year’s walk is the biggest ever for the local charity and it is hoped the event will raise £125,000 to help care for local terminally ill people and their family and friends.

The airport will also be headline sponsor for Horley Carnival on 16 June and both Crawley High Street live and Gatton Country Fair on 1 July, three events which celebrate some of the best local talent with live music, parades and stalls for all of the family to enjoy.

In addition, Gatwick will be sponsoring the Big Bang Fair South East at the South of England Showground in Ardingly on 27 and 28 June, which is one of the flagship events in the airport’s education programme – ‘Inspire, Inform, Invest’ – highlighting the importance and relevance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects in the world of work.

Rounding off a busy summer, Gatwick will once again be the Community Parade Sponsor for Brighton Pride on 4 August and will be leading the parade with a branded bus and a walking party of 150 airport staff. The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community event has become the UK’s biggest Pride festival with more than 300,000 people participating last year.

The schedule of events follows the airport’s high profile sponsorship of the Brighton Marathon Weekend back in April, for the second year in a row, which saw almost 18,000 runners and more than 150,000 spectators take to the streets of Brighton and over 3,000 young people enter the mini mile for free as a result of Gatwick’s sponsorship.

Gatwick’s Head of Community Engagement, Alison Addy, said:

“We are proud to be supporting our local neighbours across such a variety of community events, not only on the south coast but for the whole of the south east.

“These events play an important role in bringing communities together and we are committed to addressing the social and environmental issues that matter to local people.”

St Catherine’s Hospice Philanthropy Manager, Sophie Peckham, said:

“This years’ Midnight Walk is our biggest to date and we’re thrilled to have Gatwick Airport being part of the event again this year. We’re looking forward to welcoming all our walkers.”

Brighton & Hove Pride Managing Director, Paul Kemp, said:

“We’re thrilled to have Gatwick Airport once again partner with us on the Community Parade. We are thankful to them and all our business partners as their financial contributions helps the sustainability of Pride’s fundraising objectives that directly benefit the people of Sussex.”

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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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