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Police chase into Crawley ends moments after children would have been arriving at school

A police chase that was initially reported seen coming from Copthorne has ended dramatically in Three Bridges.

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It was a miracle that there were no school children using the Hazelwick subway to get to school.

Only moments after the area would have been full of children, parents, staff and residents all making their way to school, work or the supermarket then a dramatic police chase ended as a Audi crashed its way into a barrier just before the subway.

Photos from the scene show a badly damaged Audi that was trying to evade a stop by police.

The car was driven at speed from Copthorne and was trying to evade a stop by taking back roads, finally coming to a stop when it took a turning into a footpath off Woodend Close towards the subway.

The subway leads to Hazelwick Ave and is opposite Hazelwick Mill Lane which leads to Hazelwick School.

But the driver didn’t know that barriers prevent any vehicle from accessing the main road.

Sussex Police have subsequently updated what happened saying:

“Sussex Police has arrested a man in Crawley following a police pursuit.

Officers responded to a call from a member of the public around 8,40am on Thursday (November 21) concerned for the driver of a vehicle near Copthorne Common, Crawley.

On arrival, the driver made off from the officers shortly after he collided with a stationary police car and he was pursued towards Church Road. The driver then decamped from a dark blue Audi convertible in Scallows Road, Crawley.

Shortly after this, officers received another phone call from a member of the public reporting a man acting suspiciously nearby.

Officers, assisted by the police helicopter, conducted an area search and a suspect was detained.

A 24-year-old man of no fixed address was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving, failing to stop and driving under the influence of drugs. He remains in custody and enquiries are ongoing.

If anyone believes they may have seen this car, witnessed the matter or has any dash cam footage you can report information online or call 101 quoting 262 of 21/11. “

Police were seen using dogs and a helicopter to look over the scene and numerous officers have been scouring the bushes and grass areas for evidence.

Sussex Police have been contacted for more information.

Lifestyle

Safety warning calls after two washing fires including one in Southgate, Crawley

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Firefighters are reminding householders of some simple safety steps when using electrical appliances such as tumble dryers and washing machines.

It follows two incidents in two days.

In the first incident firefighters were called after a pile of folded washing caught fire after being tumble-dried over the weekend.

A crew from Bognor Regis Fire Station was mobilised at 01.56am on Saturday to reports of a fire in a home on Lion Road in Pagham.

Upon arrival, firefighters found the property was heavily smoked logged, but thanks to a working smoke alarm, the three occupants had been alerted and had been able to escape from the property.

The fire started after the home owner had washed and tumble-dried some towels earlier on in the evening. These were then stacked and put in a hessian type bag in the hallway. But in the early hours of the morning, the towels, which had self-heated, began to smoke and caught fire. Fortunately, the homeowner had a working smoke alarm.

Crews removed the towels to fresh air and extinguished them.

In the second incident  at 4.10pm on Sunday, firefighters were called to a washing machine fire in a first floor flat in Imperial Mews. Two appliances from Crawley and a Surrey Fire & Rescue Service crew from Salfords were mobilised. On arrival, firefighters wearing two sets of breathing apparatus extinguished the fire using a hose reel and a CO2 extinguisher.

The fire damaged washing machine was removed from the property. Nobody was injured during the incident, but the property sustained smoke damage which meant the resident needed alternative accommodation for the night.

Simon Foster, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s Performance Risk and Improvement Team Group Manager said:

“At this time of year, people are using their tumble dryers far more than at other times of the year.

“When taking clothes out of the tumble dryer, make sure you wait for laundry to cool down before putting it away. Oil residue and oxygenating chemicals from stain removing detergents can create a chemical reaction causing items like tea towels to self-heat, smoulder and could catch fire.

“Once clothes have cooled down, make sure you store them in a well-ventilated area.”  

The fire service is reminding people of the following safety tips when using electrical appliances:

•Look out for product recall notices.

•Register your appliance – appliances up to 12 years old can be registered on the Register My Appliance website.

•Don’t run appliances such as tumble dryers, washing machines or dishwashers overnight or when you are out.

•Always read the manufacturer’s instructions.

•Have your appliance serviced by a qualified engineer.

•Do not put rags or materials into a tumble dryer if they have been used to soak up flammable liquids. You can find out more about home fire safety by visiting the West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service website here: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire-emergencies-and-crime/west-sussex-fire-and-rescue-service/home-fire-safety/electrical-and-heating-appliance-safety-advice/

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