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Two sexual assaults in one night in Copthorne as Police begin hunt for man

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Police are investigating after a man forced his way into a woman’s home and sexually assaulted her by touching in Copthorne near Crawley.

They also believe he touched another woman in the street shortly afterwards.

At about 4pm on Friday (12 July), a man called at a woman’s house in Newtown and asked where the nearest bus stop was. He then barged his way in and touched her. She pushed him out and locked the front door. He then carried on knocking on the door before leaving.

Officers responded immediately and carried out a search of the area but could not find the man. A short time later another woman reported that a man had approached her asking for a hug and then touched her as she tried to get into her car in Knowle Drive, Copthorne, at about 4.05pm. She shouted at him and he ran off.

The suspect is described as white, aged about 20, 5′ 9″, slim, with light brown hair and was wearing a white buttoned up shirt, dark trousers and carrying a dark coloured backpack.

Detective Sergeant Joel Brooks said:

“These incidents were frightening and distressing for the victims and we are keen to hear from anyone who may have seen this man hanging around or approaching the women.

“We are carrying out searches, making enquiries and have police officers in the area.”

If you can help with the investigation please report online or ring 101 quoting serial of 1078 of 12/7.

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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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