New top cop’s concern over vehicle thefts

Chief Inspector Dave Padwick

Chief Inspector Dave Padwick

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Crawley Police’s new district commander has raised concerns over thefts from unlocked vehicles.

Chief Inspector David Padwick took up his new position on August 31 following CI Justina Beeken’s move within Sussex Police on to the Local Policing Programme Team.

Mr Padwick said: “We’ve seen a slight increase in cars being opened by opportunist thieves which people haven’t locked.

“It sounds simple but it seems to be a problem in Crawley and it was a problem in Brighton [where Mr Padwick served p­­­­­­reviously].”

He added burglaries in town spiked two weeks ago against an overall fall compared to the last financial year.

He said: “A number of those we have suspects for, we’ll continue on that area of our business.”

The number of violent offences resulting in injury had also fallen in Crawley.

He said modern policing allocated resources between officers in the community, investigations and emergency response based on intelligence. The model for the crime investigations branch had not changed. Officers had started using mobile phone technology to reduce paperwork.

Mr Padwick had been struck by Crawley’s community spirit.

He had been on patrol in town, attended community meetings, and met with Crawley’s Safer Partnership Team and voluntary groups.

He said: “The one thing that has struck me from Crawley has been the welcome from all the community groups.”

However, he warned law breakers: “If you choose to commit crime in Crawley we will relentlessly pursue you.”

Mr Padwick said he spent his formative years working in another new town, Basingstoke, early in his career.

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