No CCTV for notorious Crawley murder and rape path

Cycle way and footpath between Haslett Avenue East and Sutherland House (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-151105-151905008
Cycle way and footpath between Haslett Avenue East and Sutherland House (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-151105-151905008

CCTV will not be placed on a notorious Crawley path where people have been raped and murdered.

Crawley Borough Council and Sussex Police have decided CCTV would not provide adequate coverage on a path where a man was raped and another murdered. A woman was raped nearby.

Concerned residents have called for CCTV to be installed and vegetation to be cut back on the path between Waterlea and Haslett Avenue East.

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.

Police have 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.

A borough council spokesman said: “Following serious incidents on the pathway between Haslett Avenue and Waterlea, the council has worked with its partners at West Sussex County Council and Sussex Police to improve safety.

“The land is the responsibility of West Sussex County Council and as such they improved lighting in January 2014. Foliage was cut back earlier in the year and cutting back some tree branches will take place soon.

“CCTV has been considered but due to a number of bends in the path and further alleyways branching from it, it would not provide adequate coverage.

“We will continue to work with partners to consider ways of improving safety along the path.”

A spokesman for Sussex Police said the rape of the man in August was “regarded as an isolated incident and not connected with any other incidents in the area.”

Enquiries were continuing.

After the rape of a woman in May, a police spokesman said there was ‘no reason why people should think this is a dangerous place’.

A spokesman for West Sussex County Council said: “We work with all our partners, including police colleagues and borough council colleagues, to constantly look at what can be done to make our towns safer.

“This is not just in Crawley, but all over West Sussex.”

He said the borough council arranged to clear vegetation on the footpath where the woman was raped.

The county council asked its contractor to clear vegetation around lighting columns.

Crawley Community Safety Partnership is formed of the borough and county councils, Sussex Police, the fire service, Crawley Clinical Commissioning Group and the probation service.

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