Five arrests in Crawley attempted murder hunt

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DETECTIVES from Sussex Police’s Major Crime Branch investigating serious violent disorder in Crawley have arrested five men.

Police received calls from around 11pm last night (Wednesday 15 September) reporting a fight behind the Argos store in Queensway. When officers arrived the group dispersed, heading towards Memorial Gardens.

Four men were arrested near the scene and a fifth suspect was traced and arrested around 9am this morning.

Four of the men have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and one on suspicion of grievous bodily harm. All are in custody awaiting questioning.

During the incident, three people were attacked. Two men suffered serious head injuries and remain in hospital in London. The third victim has now been released from hospital.

Detective Chief Inspector Trevor Bowles from Sussex Police’s Major Crime Branch is leading the investigation. He said: “Early indications show that this was a set of violent acts between two groups known to each other, which culminated in two men being seriously injured.

“We believe two groups of people of Southern Asian appearance were involved, but it is much too early to speculate on the reasons for the violence.

“Large parts of the town centre will remain closed today to preserve any evidence and to enable detailed searches to be carried out, particularly for a bladed instrument that could have caused the injuries.

“This is already an incredibly complex investigation into a series of interlinked events. I urge anyone who can help us piece together what happened in Crawley town centre last night to get in touch.”

Chief Inspector Steve Curry, the Crawley District Commander, said: “I would like to thank the people of Crawley for their patience and understanding while we investigate this serious incident. A special thanks goes to the businesses who have been disrupted today and are assisting officers.

“Neighbourhood policing teams will be in the area to to speak to anyone who may be concerned about the incident and who may have information that could assist police.”

Anyone who witnessed the incident and has not yet spoken to police, or anyone else with information that could be useful, is asked to contact Sussex Police on 0845 60 70 999 quoting Operation Reaves or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

For exclusive pictures and a full report see next week’s Observer.