Crawley builder says police did not respond to 999 call


A Crawley builder said police did not respond to his 999 call after criminals attempted to break into his van.

Terry Wilkinson, 51, of Dower Walk, Gossops Green, gave a running commentary of the incident from his bedroom window to a non-emergency police call handler at around 11pm on Thursday last week (September 17).

He banged on his window when they tried the lock on his Ford Transit. He called 999 after the group left in a car towards Gossops Drive.

Crawley Police Sergeant Anthony Cheeseman said: “As the informant was calling us about the suspicious vehicle, he then told us that two men had tried the lock on his parked vehicle and gave us a partial index of the suspicious vehicle which unfortunately did not yield any result.

“Although the incident was not assigned to a unit, officers in the area were made aware but could not find the suspicious vehicle. The informant was given crime prevention advice about removing tools from his van. We are sorry he was not happy with our response.

“We are not aware of a series of break-ins to vans in the area, but if anyone sees a crime in action, then phone 999.”

Mr Wilkison, who is self-employed builder, said he was told police did not have the resources to deal with the attempted theft when he called Crawley Police the next day.

He was contacted by a community support officer a week after.

He said the incident involved four men working in a red Ford Connect van and the silver Vauxhall car.

His tools were stolen before when his van was broken into in November 2014.

In March, Sussex Police announced 1,000 jobs will go as it attempted to cut £56million from its budget by 2020.

The cuts followed £50million of savings which had been made over the past five years as part of the Serving Sussex 2015 programme.

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