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Man detained after Crawley’s County Mall evacuated

Shoppers and staff were evacuated from the centre while emergency services dealt with the incident.

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Crawley’s County Mall shopping centre car park was evacuated on Monday morning (8 July) after emergency services were alerted to a man who had climbed over a barrier and who was threatening to jump from the multi-storey’s level three.

Police were informed shortly after 10am and officers attended to clear the area and negotiate with the man.

He was persuaded to return to safety and at 11.15am was escorted away from the scene.

Customers and staff were evacuated and waited patiently outside while the incident was dealt with.

The car park re-opened at 11.25am.

Police said later a man had been detained under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act.

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Tributes paid after Tilgate Councillor passes away

Councillor Charles Petts passed away yesterday evening (15th July).

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Councillor Charles Petts recently won a council seat for Tilgate in the May elections after serving as a West Sussex County Councillor for Three Bridges.

Posting on his facebook page Tilgate Councillor Francis Guidera said:

“Yesterday evening I lost one of my best friends to cancer.

We’d been friends since 2006, well before either of us got involved in local politics.

Cllr Charles Petts to most and Jeff to his friends, Jeff was a great guy. A really kind, generous man who lived his Christian faith and smiled at life.

Jeff knew my family really well, knew my kids, knew my mum and dad, and loads of my family. He was a big part of my life.

Whenever I met up with him or whenever he came over to my place (which was very, very regularly) I said the usual “how’s it going?” and he would say “ahk you know, I’m alright, can’t complain”.

Jeff had been battling cancer for a couple of years, and was putting up a great fight, even doing a tough mudder last year, but then very recently, it all changed.

I am heartbroken. I haven’t lost a colleague, I’ve lost a brother, a best friend.

Jeff has left behind a young daughter and a son. I am heartbroken for them too, completely.

I look forward to seeing Jeff in the next life, and until then I will miss him greatly.”

Crawley MP Henry Smith said:

“He was well liked and dedicated and will be a great loss to Crawley.”

Mr Smith also tweeted:

Crawley Conservative Leader Duncan Crow tweeted:

Leader of Crawley Council tweeted:

A statement from Crawley Borough Council said:

“Councillor Charles Petts, ward councillor for Tilgate, died peacefully yesterday evening in St Catherine’s Hospice with his son present.

Charles had been a Crawley Borough Councillor since May and a West Sussex County Councillor for Three Bridges since 2017.”

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