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“Our communities are starting to break down because there aren’t the public services any more” says Crawley council leader

Speaking on BBC Sunday Politics South East the leader of Crawley Borough Council spoke openly when asked how to address youth crimes on our streets.

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In what was a lively debate on the BBC programme, the discussion turned to how Sussex was working to address the youth crimes that has become a major national issue.

But after Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said there was plenty of money in the system, it just needed to be used more effectively, Crawley Council leader Peter Lamb questioned the reasoning behind the recent council tax increase asking:

“If there is already enough money in the system why has council tax gone up 14.5%.”

Ms Bourne tried to explain how the money just wasn’t being used effectively and needed to be directed into the right areas.

Conservative MP for East Worthing and Shoreham Tim Loughton, who was also on the show, said that that one way to tackle the problem was to realise that school exclusion was not the answer and that all departments had to work together to ‘get all the members of the family back on track’.

The programme also showed another community project, a boxing club, that was working at getting young people off the street.

But Mr Lamb questioned the viability and success of the new initiatives and the conservatives comment, he said:

“all the preventative funding that is already there is being removed and the problem is by the time we get into boxing clubs that’s too late, these kids in many cases been nobbled by bad people. the reality is we have to get in there and deal with the fact that families are breaking down

If you lose 800 police officers and pcso’s and police officers and you see crime go up, it doesn’t take a genius to work out what the cause and effect there is.

Our communities are starting to breaking down because there aren’t the public services there any more and the public services are not there any more because there is no longer the money.

Working poverty is going up and up and up “

All this comes just one week after a local initiative ‘Kicks’ was highlighted and more funding was given by the PCC.

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Crawley College to reopen following incident

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Crawley College will be beginning a phased reopening to students from tomorrow, Thursday 29 April.

The phased reopening will take place between tomorrow and Tuesday 4 May with full details by courses provided on the college website www.crawley.ac.uk . Students should check details before returning to campus.

The campus has remained closed for the past two days following police investigations into the incident that took place at the college on Monday (26 April).

Vicki Illingworth, Principal of Crawley College, said:

“We are looking forward to welcoming our students and staff back to the college.

“We’d like to reassure everyone, the college is safe and they will be well supported in their return to the campus.

“Sussex Police have confirmed that this is being treated as an isolated incident which is not terror related and nobody else is being sought in connection with the incident.  The individual concerned is in police custody and has been charged.”

“We are now focussed on ensuring we can bring students and staff safely back on site. We’re proud of the service we provide to our students to give them opportunities in education and training.

“I can reassure everyone that this was a one-off incident and we have strategies in place to keep everyone as safe as possible, as well as giving the students the support they need to come back and join us to complete their studies successfully.”

Vicki also echoed her earlier comments, paying tribute to the staff who supported students who were on site during the events of Monday afternoon.

She added:

“I continue to remain full of admiration of our team. They pulled together on Monday and implemented all of the protocols we have in place to keep students safe.

“They’ve continued to work together to support each other and their students over the past couple of days – and they will continue to do so when students return to campus.

“We are also particularly proud of the two members of staff who acted so bravely and swiftly to apprehend the individual before the police arrived. They acted selflessly to protect their students and the college community. They have asked for privacy during this time.

“It was a very intense time for everyone involved.

“The students who were kept inside the college and who were part of the emergency evacuation were supported throughout by our staff and counselling services have been available to them this week. These services will continue to be in place for them to access.

“We’ve continued to be in touch with our students through our support services to check that they are ok and we will resume face-to-face counselling as soon as we can.”

Work is taking place at the college campus to repair some damage which was sustained during the evacuation and subsequent investigations, with teams working hard to ensure the campus is ready for reopening.

The college would like to thank students, staff, the Police and Emergency Services and the wider community for their ongoing support and understanding.

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