Crawley chef, 32, charged with impersonating a police officer after schoolgirl has clothes ‘searched’

A man has been charged after a schoolgirl was approached by a stranger who ‘searched’ her clothes in Three Bridges.

Saturday, 16th October 2021, 9:51 am

The incident happened in Crawley on Wednesday morning, October 13.

David Peter Young, 32, a chef, of Garton Close, Ifield, Crawley, has been charged with kidnap with intent to commit a relevant sexual offence, kidnap, impersonating a police officer and two breaches of a sexual harm prevention order, police said. He was remanded in custody to appear at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Saturday 16 October.

​A spokesman added: “Just after 8am on Wednesday the 14-year-old girl, on her way to school in the Three Bridges area, was approached by a man wearing a yellow hi-viz jacket, who took her to an adjacent area off the road and searched her clothing before cycling off. The girl is safe and unharmed and is receiving support.”

Superintendent Marc Clothier said: “We want to reassure people we have not received any similar reports at this time and there is no current risk to anyone in the community in relation to this case.

“You will see more uniformed patrols in the area and we encourage you to stop and talk to us if you have any concerns.

“If you have any information that would assist our investigation, please call us on 101, quoting Operation Lonsdale.

“If you do see any behaviour that causes you concern, please always call 999 right away.

“We understand some people may want additional reassurance when interacting with a lone police officer and when you are alone. If this is the case, genuine officers can use their police radio on loud speaker to talk to the operator in the police control room. The operator can confirm the identity of the officer, that they are on duty and carrying out legitimate policing business.

“You can also ask a passer-by to observe. Off-duty officers intervening in a crime in action or where someone is vulnerable, and not carrying a radio, will quickly call 999 for back up.”