Police chief praises compassion shown in response to Shoreham air crash

Emergency services and public figures, including Sussex Police Chief Constable Giles York lay flowers on the Old Toll Bridge, in Shoreham. Picture by Eddie Mitchell
Emergency services and public figures, including Sussex Police Chief Constable Giles York lay flowers on the Old Toll Bridge, in Shoreham. Picture by Eddie Mitchell
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CONDOLENCES were offered today by the chief constable of Sussex Police to everyone affected by the Shoreham air crash.

Chief Constable Giles York laid a floral tribute near the scene of the devastating plane crash on the A27, which he said was likely to remain closed until Monday (August 31).

I want to take this opportunity to thank people for their generosity. They have offered food and support and shown a huge amount of compassion.

Giles York, chief constable of Sussex Police

“I have visited the scene a few times and spoken to some of the 200 people there working to help identify victims and find answers for the families affected,” he said.

“It is an incredibly challenging scene. Weather has hampered the speed at which the investigation is being carried out. There is a danger of evidence being lost and that is why we are preserving the scene for so long.”

He said he was thankful for everyone’s patience with the road diversions currently in place.

“We are working with Highways England and West Sussex County Council to reopen the A27 on Monday morning after three days of repair,” he said.

“With police searches continuing at the site for some weeks, the road will be reduced to a single lane each way, which will cause some delays.

“There will not be any access from the A27 to Lancing College and the airport for some time.”

The chief constable said the memories of the incident would always live in the memories of the community and some people would bear the scars for a long time to come. He said 20 different agencies were working on what he called a ‘complex investigation’.

CC York continued: “We are determined that we will find answers for families who have lost their loved ones, we have 24 dedicated family liaison officers helping families and we are working in support of the coroner to allow her to carry out her inquests.

“The reaction from local people has been really heart-warming. I am incredibly impressed with how the community has responded and I must pay tribute to our own staff and those of the other emergency services and agencies who have responded to what is a dreadful scene.

“We are aware of the groundswell of interest by the public to visit the site and show their respects.

“Thousands are in agreement with the idea posted on social media but due to road safety concerns and the ongoing police work it isn’t feasible for the public to visit the actual site of the crash. We would encourage anyone wishing to pay their respects to visit the Shoreham Toll Bridge where tributes are already being laid.

“However we are working with partners and the community to identify suitable memorial events in due course.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank people for their generosity. They have offered food and support and shown a huge amount of compassion.”

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