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21-year-old man kicked and punched police dog during arrest after causing damage to 19 cars in Northgate, Crawley

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A swift police response to night time calls about damage to cars in Crawley resulted in an arrest just over 30 minutes later.

Just before 4am on Saturday (30 May), calls began to come in about a man damaging the wing mirrors and wipers of cars parked in the Northgate area, including Turnpike Place, Honeysuckle Lane, Hazel Close, Briar Close and Five Acres. Altogether 19 cars were damaged.

Officers responded, carrying out a thorough search of the area, and the suspect was spotted 20 minutes later on a cycle.

At 4.30am he was found and arrested in Ifield Avenue after a brief struggle in which police dog Finn, who had helped track the suspect down and took hold of him, was kicked and punched.

Hero PD Finn

A 21-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage, theft of the cycle and causing unnecessary suffering to the dog. After being interviewed he was released under investigation while enquiries continue.

The police dog did not sustain physical injury.

Chief Inspector Shane Baker, District Commander for Crawley and Mid-Sussex said;

“This was a really good combined effort by officers on duty, with the assistance of Finn, which resulted in a swift arrest.”

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Gas leak repaired as 700 Crawley residents evacuated after major incident declared

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A gas leak that caused the immediate evacuation of 700 Crawley residents in flats in Milton Mount Avenue, Crawley has finally been repaired sources have revealed to CN24.

The emergency services responded to a major incident at a large block of flats in Milton Mount Avenue, Crawley at around 12.21am this morning (Wed 6th Jan).

The nature of the leak was so severe that it was declared a ‘major incident’.

A multi-agency response was implemented and Sussex Police worked collaboratively with partners including West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, South East Coast Ambulance Service, West Sussex County Council, Crawley Borough Council and Southern Gas to resolve the incident as quickly and safely as possible.

Approximately 700 residents were evacuated and placed in temporary accommodation including hotels.

A source within the emergency services said:

“I have never seen the evacuation of that number of people done so quickly!”

While sources say the gas leak has now been repaired, they added that it will be some time before residents can return due to the need to allow the gas to dissipate.

This has meant that hundreds of residents are now split up across the town in various hotels and shelters awaiting a return to their homes which could take many hours to resolve.

Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Rayland said:

“This is an ongoing incident which has caused huge disruption to hundreds of people on a cold January morning, and I’d like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding as we continue to work with our partners to minimise the ongoing disruption.

“We are working hard to ensure this is dealt with as soon as possible to enable everyone to return home, however this may take several hours yet. In the meantime, we are urging everyone to stay away from the area to allow the responding agencies to focus on resolving the incident to allow residents to return home.

“The exact cause of the gas leak is yet to be determined but not believed to be criminal, and we will provide more information as soon as we are able to.”

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of Crawley Borough Council, said:

“The council declared a local authority major incident, supported by all partners, in the early hours of this morning.

“Staff worked together to manage the safe evacuation of residents and to transport them into the temporary accommodation, which was arranged around the town.

“This is an unsettling time for Milton Mount residents and their families. They will be able to return to their homes as soon as it safe for them to do so.”

Milton Mount residents should call 01293 438758 with any questions. Any non-residents with any concerns should call our Contact Centre on 01293 438000

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