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Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner speaks out after rise in Crawley violence

The commissioner speaks out in response to the police’s silence.

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After a month of increased violence in the town and with the lack of public response from the police, the counties Police and Crime Commissioner has made the decision to speak out.

In response to the local publics reaction to almost daily news of incidents Katy Bourne has said:

“I completely understand the concerns of Crawley residents at the recent spate of crimes including knife attacks, and the presence of armed officers responding to an incident in Furnace Green. I will be coming to see for myself and to talk to local people and business owners about crime and safety in the town.

Although I welcome the fact that Sussex is one of only four force areas in the UK where knife crime has actually we cannot afford to be complacent.

I will be pressing Sussex Police to explain what they are doing to investigate the current series of incidents and what preventative measures they will put in place. I will also want to see that communicated clearly and effectively to residents.”

The statement comes out just as a murder investigation launches in Gossops Green.

More news: Murder investigation launches as woman found dead in Crawley

Crime

Man jailed for making hoax bomb call in order to catch his flight at Gatwick

A man who made a hoax bomb call in an attempt to catch his flight to the USA has been jailed.

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Jacob Meir Abdellak was running late for the Norwegian flight from Gatwick to Los Angeles, so he decided to contact the police to report the threat.

The anonymous call was received at 5.47am on Friday 11 May – just eight minutes before the flight was due to depart – and a full re-screening meant take-off was delayed by 90 minutes.

Further enquiries made by Gatwick Airport Ltd revealed Abdellak was significantly late for the flight and he was denied boarding by airline staff, whom he became abusive towards. He was told to return on another date to rearrange his flight.

It was later confirmed the telephone number used to make the call was the same number linked to his booking.

The 47-year-old librarian, of Amhurst Park, Hackney, London, was arrested at Gatwick Airport on Tuesday 22 May as he attempted to board another flight to the USA.

He was charged with communicating false information regarding a noxious substance likely to create serious risk to human health, however he denied the offence throughout.

Abdellak, a French national, admitted the telephone number was his, but claimed he had lost the SIM card a few days earlier and therefore the call could not have been made by him.

But at Lewes Crown Court on Tuesday (14 August), when the trial was due to begin, the defendant changed his mind and pleaded guilty.

He was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment and required to pay a £140 victim surcharge.

Gatwick Police Chief Inspector Marc Clothier said:

“This was a quite ridiculous decision made by Abdellak, who fabricated an extremely serious allegation purely for his own benefit. He was running late for his flight and thought it would be a good idea to call in a hoax bomb, however this turned out to be the worst decision he could have made.

“His actions caused the flight to be delayed, and also caused a level of fear and distress among a number of staff and passengers on board that flight.

“The consequences of making allegations about bombs, guns or similar at densely populated locations such as airports are well documented, and Abdellak’s sentence serves as a warning to others that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated and offenders will be dealt with robustly.”

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