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Police & Crime Commissioner supports drug awareness campaign in Crawley

“It is understandable that residents in Crawley are concerned following recent incidents.” – Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne.

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Sussex PCC Katy Bourne and Sussex Police ACC Steve Barry.

Following the success of the CrimeStoppers County Lines Awareness Campaign in Brighton, Sussex Police in Crawley have requested the ‘Advan’ visits the town centre on Monday and Wednesday to raise awareness of London drug gangs exploiting vulnerable people in the area. 

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, will be joining CrimeStoppers and Sussex Police, at the ‘Advan’ on Wednesday to talk to the public about this type of exploitation and show support for the campaign.

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She hopes this campaign will shed a light on the hidden network that is county lines and make the public feel safer and more confident in spotting the signs and knowing how to anonymously report.

County Lines is a network where drug dealers from London branch out to the coast to set up criminal ‘franchises’, targeting minors to be drug runners and taking over the homes of vulnerable people including those who have children at their base, a process the authorities call cuckooing.

Mrs Bourne said:

“County lines gang activity and the associated violence, drug dealing and exploitation have a devastating impact on young people and vulnerable adults.

“It is understandable that residents in Crawley are concerned following recent incidents. I want to give them reassurance that Sussex Police is working with partners to disrupt the activities of organised crime in the area and encourage the continued help and support of the community. 

“Local crime is often a direct result of major drug distribution via county lines and by standing together to raise awareness of this often hidden crime and taking the appropriate measures to combat, we are sending a clear message to drug gangs that they cannot expect to go undetected in Sussex.

“The police in the Crawley area have already made a number of arrests linked to this issue, but an increase in the collection of intelligence is needed to assist them in their understanding of the drug market and associated violence.”

To know how to spot the signs of county lines and to report anonymously visit: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/forms/give-information-anonymously.

Crime

Langley Green man sent to prison after more than £13k drugs found in his home

A Crawley man found with nearly £13,500 worth of drugs in his home has been given a prison sentence.

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Police conducted a warrant at the address of Matthew Stevens in Dobson Road, Crawley, after reports from members of the public regarding suspicious behaviour in the area was reported.

During the search on 15 July 2016, officers found a quantity of cocaine, spice and drug paraphernalia. Stevens, 44, was then arrested.

He was released under investigation and the Crawley Investigation team began a long and complex analysis of items seized from the address.

Stevens was charged in May 2017 and pleaded not guilty to possession with intent to supply class A (cocaine), possession of a class B and possession with intent to supply a psychoactive substance (spice).

He stood trial at Hove Crown Court and on Friday 2 November Stevens was found guilty by a jury and sentenced to a total of four years.

Detective Constable Mark Buckley said:

“Sussex Police work tirelessly to stop the supply of illegal drugs within our community.
“The presiding Judge recognised the severity of Stevens’ actions and imposed a sentence representing that.

“We are conscientiously robustly tackling drug issues in Crawley and urge anyone who notices any suspicious behaviour to report it to us without delay.

“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 out of place.”

You can read police’s advice on how to report issues of drugs here.

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