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VIDEO: Ifield driver jailed after high speed pursuit through Crawley

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A motorist who led police on two high speed pursuits has been jailed for 32 months.

Sussex Police released this video to illustrate the significant risks associated with dangerous driving and the consequences involved.

About 8pm on Friday 6 September, officers on patrol in Crawley spotted a vehicle of interest on Crawley Avenue. They followed it at a safe distance and requested assistance from other units.

At this point, the silver Mini Cooper overtook another car in an attempt to get away. It reached speeds of up to 70mph in a 40mph zone, narrowly avoided colliding with other road users, and even drove the wrong way around Ifield Roundabout.

After the suspect drove down a pedestrian footpath in Broadwood Rise, Broadfield, the decision was made to make tactical contact with the vehicle to bring the pursuit to a safe conclusion.

You can watch some of the pursuit here:

The driver was identified as Louis Brown, of Lavington Close, Crawley.

Brown was arrested and charged with the following offences:

  • Dangerous driving;
  • Driving with no insurance;
  • Driving while disqualified;
  • And possession of cocaine.

The 28-year-old was remanded in custody to appear before Lewes Crown Court on Tuesday 10 September, where he was already awaiting sentencing for a string of previous offences.

He was arrested on the evening of 31 December 2018 after reaching speeds of up to 70mph in a 30mph zone in Faygate as he attempted to evade police.

On this occasion, he was driving a Land Rover Freelander, and he was detained in Forest Road, Colgate.

He tested positive for both cocaine and cannabis at the roadside, and was subsequently arrested and charged with the following offences:

  • Driving with 125mcg of cocaine per litre of blood in his system – the legal limit being 10mcg;
  • Driving with more than 800mcg of benzoylecgonine (the main metabolite of cocaine) per litre of blood in his system – the legal limit being 50mcg;
  • Driving with 6.5mcg of cannabis per litre of blood in his system – the legal limit being 2mcg;
  • Dangerous driving.

All eight offences were dealt with at crown court, and Brown was sentenced to a total of 32 months’ imprisonment. He was also disqualified from driving for 52 months from the date of his release, and ordered to pay a £140 victim surcharge.

PC Mark Robinson said:

“In my 12 years in policing, I have never seen anyone drive in such an appalling manner. Brown was clearly intent on evading arrest, and on both occasions his driving fell far below the expected standard of a competent motorist.

“Taking risks on the road significant increases your chances of being involved in a collision, and it’s fortunate Brown didn’t seriously injure himself or someone else.

“His sentence sends a clear message to others that dangerous driving and drug-driving are extremely serious offences which will not be tolerated, and anyone caught committing these crimes will be dealt with robustly.

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to urge anyone who believes someone is driving under the influence of drink or drugs to dial 999.

“Or, if you have any intelligence about drink or drug-drivers, you can report it to us online or via Operation Crackdown. You can also report it anonymously via Crimestoppers.

“Help us keep you safe on the roads, and catch those who compromise road safety.”

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£1.2M of cannabis plants found as police shut down ten drug farms across Crawley

With reports over the last two weeks about police raiding addresses and seen digging up gardens it has now been revealed what was happening.

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Police have carried out a series of drugs warrants at addresses in Crawley as part of an investigation into cannabis cultivation sites.

On Sunday 2 February police were called to a report of intruders at an address in Tennyson Close, Crawley. Officers found some 800 cannabis plants in various stages of cultivation at the address, together with equipment used for their cultivation. Two men, aged 38 and 35, were arrested on suspicion of production of cannabis and after being interviewed were released under investigation.

Drugs warrants were then executed at nine other addresses. At every one equipment for cannabis production was also found, and at eight of the addresses cannabis in various stages of cultivation was also found:

At an address in Cowfold Close on Thursday 6 February 110 cannabis plants were found:

At an address in St Mary’s Drive, Three Bridges, on Monday 10 February some 150 cannabis plants were found. Two men both aged 21 were arrested on suspicion of cannabis cultivation and after being interviewed were released under investigation:

On the same afternoon, at an address in Lingfield Drive, Worth, some 100 cannabis plants were found. Two men aged 31 and 27, and a woman aged 35, were arrested on suspicion of cannabis cultivation and after being interviewed were released under investigation:

At an address in Woodfield Road on Wednesday 12 February no plants were found but a number of people found at the address were interviewed there as part of the ongoing investigation. No arrests were made;

Also on Wednesday 12 February officers at an address in Dobson Road, some 70 mature cannabis plants were found. No arrests were made:

On Thursday 13 February 120 plants were found at three addresses, one in Alpha Road, and two in Forester Road. Nobody was present at any of the three addresses:

And on Friday 14 February warrants were executed at an address in Caburn Heights where 60 plants were discovered, and at an address in Gossops Drive a large number of plants was also found. Nobody was at either address.

The seven people arrested and released under investigation were also referred to Immigration Enforcement for further enquiries about their status in the UK.

Four other people found at two of the sites have been referred to specialist support services as potential victims of modern slavery, and two other men, aged 31 and 32, from London E15, have been interviewed by appointment under caution on suspicion of human trafficking offences.

The total potential value of the more than 1,400 plants seized is currently assessed as some £1.2 million.

Detective Inspector Cheryl Lewendon said;

“We have completely disrupted a fully planned commercial project which appears to have been operating for several months, and was aimed at bringing illegal drugs on to the streets of Crawley and the surrounding area on a large scale.

“This is a large scale investigation in which we have had support from police and staff of our Crawley Prevention Enforcement Team, and also from colleagues across West Sussex as well as the force’s new Tactical Enforcement Unit (TEU).

“However our enquiries are continuing to trace other people we suspect of being involved in the organisation and management of these sites. Information from local people has already been key in exposing this project, and anyone with further information can contact us at any time either online or by calling 101, quoting Operation Forfar.

“You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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