West Sussex angling champion tells of 'heartbreaking' crime

A Crawley man has told of the 'heartbreaking' theft of thousands of pounds of fishing equipment and raised concerns after police declined to attend.

Inside the motorhome after the theft
Inside the motorhome after the theft

Graham Cridland, of Gossops Green, had around £3,500 worth of supplies stolen from his motorhome on Monday October 8.

Despite reporting the theft to police on 101, Graham spent more than two hours on the phone before receiving a text telling him officers wouldn't attend.

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Graham said: "I found the vehicle ransacked.

The interior was ransacked by thieves

"It was heartbreaking.

"Why do we bother paying our taxes when nothing is done.

"They're just not interested."

The stolen equipment included £1,000 of goods owned by Graham and £2,500 which had been donated to the West Sussex and Surrey Angling Academy, which is run by Graham.

The academy offers fishing courses to disadvantaged young people.

According to Graham the academy has a 97.5% success rate with young people, ex-offenders and injured servicemen/women in keeping out of trouble, remaining in or continuing education and gaining employment.

Graham told how he found fingerprints on the door mirror.

However he received a letter from the police which said further investigations were not possible due to a lack of evidence.

Graham added: "It is not good enough.

"You need to have faith in your police force when needed

"[It] will not be long before people take matters into their own hands."

A Sussex Police spokesman said: "We contacted the informant and advised we would not be able to attend.

"As the demand on our service continues to increase, we need to prioritise cases based on a threat, harm and risk assessment.

"This means we cannot realistically attend every victim of crime.

"However, our Investigation and Resolution Centre provides timely advice and support over the phone, freeing up officers to attend those most in need."