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Police not ruling out Boulevard attack as drug-related while man remains in critical condition

Crawley District Police Commander says keeping the community safe remains their priority.

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Chief Inspector Rosie Ross, Crawley district police commander, (pictured) has said the possibility of the attack in The Boulevard as being drug-related has not been ruled out.

Speaking out to reassure residents the commander commented on last nights event and the recent spate of crimes.

She said:

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

“That’s why I would ask anyone who saw what happened, who noticed anything suspicious or who can assist with information to come forward without delay.”

 

Later, Chief Inspector Ross added:

“Understandably Crawley residents will be concerned about recent violence in the town and I want to reassure them that keeping our communities safe remains a priority. We have an ongoing commitment to target people supplying class A drugs in this area and to reduce the significant community harm which is caused.

“Increased patrols, execution of search warrants, and leaflets giving advice are all part of this drive, and we’re working with our partners, including the council, social services, business groups and other emergency services to safeguard the innocent and to detect and disrupt criminal activity.

“I’d appeal to everyone to work with us to make Crawley safe. No one knows their neighbourhoods better than residents themselves, so please get in touch if something seems suspicious or out of place.”

Police continue to appeal for witnesses after a local man suffered serious multiple stab wounds during an incident at The Boulevard in Crawley town centre.

Emergency services were called to the scene at 11.35pm on Saturday (4 August).

The victim, a 24-year-old local man, was flown by air ambulance to St George’s Hospital in London, with significant injuries. His condition is critical.

Police believe suspects may have left the scene in a white vehicle and officers want to trace this vehicle as a matter of urgency.

They are appealing to anyone who may have seen it or the direction it was travelling in to get in touch immediately.
Police can be contacted in strict confidence either online or by phoning 101, quoting Operation Andes.

Alternatively, please contact Crimestoppers or phone the independent charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.

If a crime is in progress, dial 999. Otherwise details can be forwarded online, via 101 or by contacting Crimestoppers, telephone 0800 555 111.

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.

More news: Crawley’s Community Wardens earn RSPCA award

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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