Crawley council not ruling out CCTV on notorious rape and murder path

Crawley Borough Council has launched a safety review on a notorious murder and rape path.

The council and Sussex Police had decided CCTV would not provide adequate coverage on a path between Haslett Avenue West and Waterlea where a man was raped and another murdered. A woman was raped nearby.

But a spokesman has said the Joint Action Group, which is made up of council officers, Sussex Police and West Sussex County Council, will discuss the safety improvements along the path at a meeting on Monday, October 12.

Police last month appealed for witnesses after a 34-year-old male runner was raped at about 6.45am on August 14 in the alleyway off Waterlea, Furnace Green.

A woman was raped in an alleyway between Stephenson Way and Haslett Avenue East near Three Bridges entrance to the path in May.

Joao Esteves, 45, was murdered on the path in January 2014.

Concerned residents called for CCTV to be installed and vegetation to be cut back on the path after the appeal.

A council spokesman said the council and Sussex Police decided CCTV coverage would not be adequate because of bends in the path and alleyways branching from it.

However, A spokesman yesterday (October 5) said the council had launched the review and said: “The council will also speak with local residents and path users to find out more about their issues and how they would like to be involved in any potential changes.

“Safety improvements which have already taken place include better street lighting and the cutting back of foliage. The cutting back of tree branches will take place soon and happens every autumn.

“Staff from Crawley Borough Council and Sussex Police have visited the site to look at options to further improve safety along the length of the mile-long path.”

Councillor Michael Jones, Cabinet member for Community Engagement and Public Protection, said: “I take this incident extremely seriously and have personally intervened to review safety along this path. It is well-maintained and lit but we need to look at what, if anything, can be done to make it safer.

“I’ve visited the area with senior council officers and now launched a complete review of the safety arrangements, working with Sussex Police and West Sussex County Council, to see what we can do to address residents’ concerns in a practical way.

“I am ruling nothing out at this point, up to and including CCTV.”

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