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‘Nothing to see here’ Police activity across Crawley criticised & compared to Naked Gun scene

It would almost be comical if it wasn’t so serious but it is the lack of communication that has alarmed residents.

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From 8pm yesterday (Wed 29th May) through till 4pm today a Section 60 order was actioned.

The order gives officers the right to search people without reasonable grounds and it’s use has been widely reported across the town, most notably today.

Images from residents and business owners have shown the sheer quantity of officers patrolling and stopping individuals and groups as they made their way through Crawley.

On one occasion four bikers were stopped on Haslett Avenue with an astonishing 4 vans, 4 cars, two patrol bikes and a hovering helicopter all in attendance. Only 30 minutes later the bikers were allowed to continue and the police dispersed leaving almost a hundred onlookers bewildered.

Surrey Police did put out a statement last week explaining that there would be an increase in activity.

Surrey Police Assistant Chief Constable Nev Kemp said:

“As part of our plan to ensure the riders, as well as the public are safe, we have now put a Section 60 order in place. The order is only put in place when we believe there is a possibility of serious violence, or weapons are involved. This isn’t something we have done lightly and is absolutely in place for the public’s safety.”

Sussex Police also added:

“This week we’ve had a number of officers out and about engaging with motorcyclists as part of the #TwoWheels campaign to raise awareness of safe riding.

The county is already seeing an increase in motorcycles in the area because of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC) Euro Run 2019, which is one of a number of events, including the Epsom Derby and Kemp Town Festival, taking place in Surrey and Sussex making it a busy period for officers. “

But local people have hit out at the intense presence and lack of information being shared by officers at the scenes.

One resident in Three Bridges said:

“I saw dozens of officers surrounding 4 riders and it was very alarming. When I tried to find out what was happening me and my friend were told its all ok just routine. But how can it be routine when you cant get past almost a dozen police vehicles? It’s like that scene from Naked Gun when there are fireworks going off and he’s telling everyone there’s nothing to see. If there wasn’t anything to see then why would we be asking?”

Responding to images of police activity on social media some have said that the Police’s response to the Hells Angels Motorcyle Club coming through the town is over the top with one saying:

“The old bill need to go and get on with their jobs and stop harassing these men, it will be highly unlikely they are/would do anything thats likely to bring the club into disrepute”

Whilst one lady added:

“My husband has a chat with one of the hells angels at the pub earlier- was very pleasant- why can’t they be left to do what they are doing”

One person pointed out that they felt the police were concentrating their efforts in the wrong place saying:

“I’d rather the Police went in the Memorial Gardens in town and moved on all the drug users spaced out on the benches and passed out on the ground. Horrible sight especially in kids holidays.”

After hearing the publics reaction Sussex Police added:

“There is currently an increased number of police officers in the Crawley area, highly  visible and tasked with specific activities alongside assurance visits. 

These patrols are for reassurance and as part of our policing activity during an incredibly busy Bank Holiday week with a number of events taking place.

We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable time during this period, especially recognising that there is lots going on this week. 

Residents and visitors should be in no doubt that any anti-social behaviour or criminal activity will not be tolerated and any reports will be dealt with swiftly.

We will also be using this as an opportunity  to raise awareness with businesses and the community around local priorities issues such as serious and organised crime.”


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DON’T FORGET: From 1st Dec you must show ID when visiting Crawley’s Household Recycling site

Residents are being reminded that they will need to take ID with them when they visit a West Sussex Household Waste Recycling Site (HWRS) from 1 December 2019.

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The new system is designed to save West Sussex taxpayers £250,000 per year by ensuring the sites are only used by those who pay for them.

Householders will need to prove they live within West Sussex by showing a form of ID such as a drivers licence or council tax bill.

The scheme has been introduced due to the high number of people travelling across county boundaries to recycle and dispose of their waste. This has a significant impact on waste disposal costs which ultimately fall to the West Sussex taxpayer.

Surveys have shown that an average of one in ten people using HWRSs closest to the county borders live outside of West Sussex.

At East Grinstead, this can increase to as many as one in five people. 

In response to this residents in certain areas of Surrey will be able to continue using the East Grinstead Household Waste Recycling Site, following an agreement between Surrey and West Sussex County Councils.

The councils have agreed a settlement which means Surrey residents living in the following postcodes – RH7 6, RH10 3, RH19 2, RH19 3, TN8 7, TN8 5 and TN8 6 – who find it easier to use the East Grinstead site, will still be able to do so.

All other sites in West Sussex will be restricted to West Sussex residents only from 1 December.

The new policy will be enforced through identification checks at HWRSs entrances to confirm that the site visitor pays their council tax to West Sussex County Council. 

People will need to show only one form of identification, such as:

• Current driving licence (photo card or paper licence)
• TV licence – less than a year old
• Council tax or utility bill – less than a year old

Further details about the changes can be found when visiting HWRSs and online at www.westsussex.gov.uk and www.recycleforwestsussex.org.

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