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Teenager arrested after reports of gun shots at Crawley College

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Police continue to have a large presence in Crawley following an incident at Crawley College.

Officers received multiple calls shortly after 3.10pm on Monday (26 April) to reports of gun shots being fired at a college in College Road, Crawley.

Armed police were swiftly on scene and an 18-year-old man from Crawley was detained in College Road at 3.20pm and remains in custody at this time. A firearm and a knife were seized.

Two college staff members were treated for minor injuries. These were not gunshot wounds.

Pupils and staff were evacuated to a safe space while police carried out a search of the buildings.

Chief Superintendent Howard Hodges added:

“We continue to have a large policing presence in Crawley and are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

“Two staff members at the College suffered minor injuries and presented themselves to a walk-in medical centre. No one else has presented themselves to us with injuries but if you need medical assistance please contact the ambulance service or speak to an officer.

“We are liaising with officers at Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE). All lines of enquiry are open at this stage.

“Roads in the vicinity of the college have been closed and we continue to ask members of the public to stay away from the area at this time.”

Report information by calling 101 or report online quoting Operation Reset.

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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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