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“Law and order is turning into a joke”, says Leader of Council as travellers invade playing fields

At least 20 caravans have descended on Three Bridges Playing Field.

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UPDATE: A section 61 notice has been authorised by Sussex Police and will be delivered for them to leave the playing fields by 9am tomorrow.

A deluge of caravans has descended on Three Bridges Playing Field, causing concern for local residents.

The group of travellers reportedly parked up in the fields yesterday evening (19 August). Police were allegedly on scene at the time when dozens of vehicles, including over 20 caravans, arrived at the area and blocked Three Bridges Road.

At least 20 caravans, plus other vehicles, can be seen parked up at Three Bridges Playing Field.

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It would appear that the travellers gained access via Three Bridges Cricket Club, where a significant number of tyre tracks lead onto the fields.

Today, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Peter Lamb has fired back at the town’s MP saying, he ‘could probably do with a refresher on local government powers’. Henry Smith MP took to Twitter after hearing of the travellers’ arrival.

He said: “I sincerely hope that #Crawley Borough Council will swiftly act to move on travellers who’ve occupied Jubliee Fields in Three Bridges at understandable concern to neighbourhood households. That’s what I’m calling for and is the local authority’s responsibility to local residents.”

But Peter Lamb hit back hard saying: “Hi Henry. Could you ask your mate @KatyBourne why @sussex_police are no longer willing to issue the s62 notices we need to move encampments on quickly? You could probably do with a refresher on local government powers too. Regards, Peter”

But some residents are concerned that the council are not acting quick enough. Richard replied to Henry’s Tweet, saying:

“Unlikely that @crawleybc [Crawley Borough Council] will do anything as THE COUNCIL LET THEM IN according to @sussex_police , and “it depends how long they want to stay”.”

The council’s leader was again quick to respond, stating his belief that ‘Law and order is turning into a joke’. He said:

“Actually, they cut through the security barrier and @sussex_police said they weren’t willing to hang around. The council’s view is they’ve broken and entered the property and aren’t welcome. Law and order is turning into a joke around here.”

Police arrive this morning to assess the situation.

A spokesperson from West Sussex County Council said:

“Travellers arrived on Jubilee Fields last night. We are currently liaising with Sussex Police and carrying out initial enquiries.”

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Crawley Down man pleads ‘not guilty’ to double murder as date set for trial

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Daniel Gary Appleton, 37, an engineer, of Hazel Way, Crawley Down, is to face trial over the deaths of both his wife Amy Appleton, 32, and another woman, Sandy Seagrave, 76, of Kiln Road, Crawley Down, outside his property on Sunday, 22 December, 2019.

Appleton appeared by video-link at a plea and trial preparation hearing (PTPH) at Lewes Crown Court on Tuesday (25 February) where he entered not guilty pleas to both murders.

His defence barrister, speaking on Appleton’s behalf, admitted his responsibility for both killings.

The trial is set for 6 July.

At the opening of inquests into the two women’s deaths at Centenary House, Crawley, on Tuesday 7 January West Sussex coroner Penelope Schofield heard that post-mortem examinations had shown both women had died from head injuries.

Those hearings were adjourned until Tuesday 28 April.

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