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A23 closure could be completed by Friday 7th Feb

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a23 emergency gas works

SGN has completed a crucial part of the emergency gas work they started on earlier in the week.

As a result it now means that the company can now begin to lay new pipe to replace the old one this weekend.

The new pipework will take a while as they are having to replace a 260 metre section of the pipe that runs along the A23 under Gatwick Airports South Terminal.

While an earlier completion date is welcomed it does mean that for all of next week the road will remain closed.

Dan Brown, spokesperson for gas distribution company SGN said:

Our engineers have identified the leak and have this afternoon completed the abandonment of a 260-metre section of pipe that runs along the A23 under the tunnel below Gatwick Airport’s South Terminal.

We’ve had a continued presence on site monitoring gas readings, carrying out safety checks and working to repair our network since last weekend. We’d like to reassure the local community that we’re working as quickly and safely as possible to complete this essential work and reopen the affected lanes.

We’ll begin inserting new plastic pipe to replace the abandoned section of our network this weekend. The plastic pipe has a minimum lifespan of 80 years, so this will ensure the area has a safe and reliable gas supply for many years to come and minimise future disruption here.

All being well, we’ll be able to finish this work, enabling us to safely reopen the A23 northbound lanes, by Friday 7 February.

Until the road reopens the diversions will remain in place.

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Langley Green, Crawley man who wielded six-inch knife and assaulted police officer jailed

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A man who assaulted a police officer after being found in possession of a knife has been jailed.

Police responded to a report of a man wielding a knife in the vicinity of Gales Drive, Crawley, in the early hours of 10 December.

He was challenged by police and started to run, but was quickly detained by PC Claire Harrison and her dog, PD Polly.

PD Polly is a five-year-old German Shepherd-Malinois cross. She is a general purpose police dog trained in various disciplines including searching open ground or buildings for suspects, tracking suspects or missing people, and searching for discarded property.

After the suspect was detained, a six-inch kitchen knife was found beneath him, which was seized.

He was identified as Ryan Evans, 27, a scaffolder, of Lark Rise, Crawley.

Whilst being transported to a police vehicle, Evans attempted to headbutt officers, before kicking out at one of them, hitting him in the chest. No visible injuries were caused.

He was subsequently arrested and charged with possession of an offensive weapon in public and assaulting an emergency worker.

At Lewes Crown Court on 7 January, Evans was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment.

Chief Constable Jo Shiner said:

“I do not accept that being assaulted is part of any police officer’s job, and any such behaviour will not be tolerated.

“I believe an assault on a police officer or member of my police staff is an exceptional action against the rule of law and has a wider impact on policing as a whole. Violent attacks on our officers and staff can result in long-term injuries and sickness, directly reducing the amount of viable policing which consequently puts greater pressure on colleagues, increasing the risk of crime within communities.

“As Chief Constable, I am committed to providing my officers, staff and the communities of Sussex with the level of protection and safety that they deserve. Such behaviour and assaults on police officers and staff has a direct impact on my ability to do this.

“Every day across Sussex, officers and staff put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public. They do this willingly, knowing the risks involved, because they are brave and dedicated public servants.”

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