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Police continue Gatwick drone investigation but admit it will ‘take some time’

It appears the drone investigation is likely to continue for quite some time as the police release another statement revealing no new details.

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Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry said:

“Sussex Police continues to progress a thorough and comprehensive criminal investigation into the illegal drone activity at Gatwick, which led to airport disruption.

“All lines of enquiry are being vigorously pursued. This includes identifying and investigating people of interest and with some enquiries anticipated to take some time.”

ACC Barry, who along with the Chief Constable Giles York, attended a ministerial meeting on Thursday (3 January) to provide an update on Sussex Police’s response and ongoing criminal investigation, said:

“We are committed to identifying, tracing and bringing to justice those behind this serious criminal offence, and to the on-going protection of public safety.

“It is recognised that we responded to a very challenging situation and we have shared the learning from the operation and investigation with the government.”

There will be information relevant to this enquiry within the community and, with a £50,000 reward on offer for information from Gatwick Airport Limited, it is vital that people come forward so we can bring to justice the person responsible for this criminal act.

If you have any information, please contact Crimestoppers, anonymously if you want, on 0800 555 111 or through the non-traceable anonymous online form. 

The reward will only qualify if information is passed to Crimestoppers’ 0800 555 111 number or via the non-traceable anonymous online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

Business

Businesses show their support for Gatwick’s growth as protesters continue their campaign

With only four days left before the consultation closes, 29 companies and business organisations that together represent over 25,000 companies Sussex, Surrey, Kent and London have come out in support of Gatwick’s plans.

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With only four days left before the consultation closes, 29 companies and business organisations that together represent over 25,000 companies Sussex, Surrey, Kent and London have come out in support of Gatwick’s plans. The open letter to Stewart Wingate, the airport’s CEO, is signed by organisations including Chambers of Commerce, the Federation of Small Business and sector specific associations (full list below).

In the letter the business organisations describe Gatwick as ‘a linchpin of the regional economy and a significant national asset’ that contributes ’over £5bn to UK GDP and supports 85,000 jobs.’  It goes on to say:

As the UK heads into a new chapter, Gatwick will have a vital role to play in fuelling trade, tourism and commerce, and providing links to global markets. When Gatwick thrives and grows, so too does the national and regional economy, so the airport’s growth ambitions deserve our full support.’

Clearly this growth should not be at any cost, and given our businesses and employees are based in the local communities in and around the airport, we fully understand that the impacts of expansion need to be considered and carefully managed.

‘But we believe the strength of Gatwick’s plans lies in their simplicity. By unlocking much-needed new capacity from within the airport’s existing runways and footprint, Gatwick’s growth plans are a low-impact way of delivering significant benefits.’

We are firmly in support of Gatwick’s plans which we believe will play a crucial role in allowing our businesses, our employees and our region to continue to prosper.’

The support from businesses comes one month after 75% of residents surveyed across Sussex, Surrey and Kent said that they also supported Gatwick’s growth plans, with just 14% opposing.

The public consultation on Gatwick’s draft master plan runs until 10 January 2019 and can be accessed here

Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, Gatwick Airport, said:

“This vote of confidence in our plans for growth is particularly powerful as organisations representing over 25,000 businesses have thrown their weight behind our draft master plan. 

“Businesses know we can’t take the region’s economic growth for granted. By sending this letter they recognise the airport’s vital role in creating local jobs and opportunities, and that growing Gatwick is essential for the future prosperity of our region.

“With only a few days left I would like to encourage as many people as possible to take part in our ongoing consultation to show their support for the airport’s growth plans.”

But protesters like CAGNE (Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions) say the effect of any part of the plan would be highly detrimental for all residents.

In a recent statement they said:

“This master plan simply blights these areas again to the threat of airport expansion beyond 2030. The fact remains that Gatwick was not selected by the Airport Commission due to lack of unemployment in the surrounding counties; lack of connectivity to the rest of the UK and the world; it is predominantly used for European leisure travel.”

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