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G4S fined for after failing to stop detainees smoking at Gatwick Immigration centre

Crawley Borough Council has successfully prosecuted G4S Care and Justice Services (UK) Ltd for breaching anti-smoking legislation inside an immigration centre it runs.

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The company, which runs Brook House Immigration Removal Centre near Gatwick Airport, pleaded guilty at Crawley Magistrates’ Court on 6 March to four counts of failing to stop a person smoking between 27 June and 1 July 2018.

Magistrates fined the company £1,666 for each count, ordered the company to pay the council’s costs of £5,809.50 and a victim surcharge of £170. The total to pay was £12,646.50. The court said that it felt the appropriate fine was the maximum available but with a reduction to take into account the company’s early guilty plea.

The prosecution was brought after the council received complaints that detainees were smoking in areas that must remain smoke-free by law and that staff and detainees were being exposed to second-hand smoke and the health issues it causes.

An Environmental Health Officer visited the premises on a couple of occasions in 2018 and his investigations included obtaining CCTV of the areas relating to the complaints.

In the four days relating to the charges, 37 separate incidents of smoking were observed. The company’s staff intervened on only two of those occasions and only once did this stop the person smoking.

Councillor Geraint Thomas, Cabinet member for Environmental Services and Sustainability, said:

“This is a highly unusual prosecution because there have been very few, if any, similar cases.

“The smoking ban was brought in to protect people from breathing in second-hand smoke. The strong message from the magistrates is that this won’t be tolerated.

“This is a great result for the council as well as detainees and staff at Brook House. I’d like to thank the sterling work of our Environmental Health and Legal teams in bringing forward this prosecution.”

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‘Blood all over the road’ Stabbing in Broadfield last night only 150 yards from Primary School closes road

The cordon is not expected to be lifted till the afternoon.

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Police have cordoned off part of Seymour Road in Broadfield as they investigate a stabbing.

It occurred last night only 150 yards from a Primary School.

Officers were informed by ambulance a man had been injured in Seymour Road, Broadfield around 1.25am on Friday (May 24).

The victim, a local man in his 40s, was walking home when he was approached by another man, who had his face covered, and assaulted. He was taken to hospital where he remains in a serious but stable condition.

A scene guard currently remains in place.

Chief Inspector Rosie Ross said:

We would like to speak to anyone who witnessed the assault or thinks they saw the victim either before or after the incident.

“We are relying on witnesses to provide first-hand accounts of the assault which is vital to aid our investigation.

“Serious violent crime in Crawley, which is not associated with other types of criminality, is rare.

“Communities will see an increase in high visibility patrols and we are encouraging witnesses to speak to those officers with any information they have.”

One resident said:

“I live yards from this and didn’t hear a thing last night. There’s blood all over the road!”

Anyone who witnessed the assault or has information on the incident is asked to report online or call 101 quoting Operation Gull.

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