Crawley College principal praises ‘incredible, courageous’ staff after major incident

The principal of Crawley College has praised ‘heroic’ staff who cared for students during a major incident.

Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 4:00 pm

Vicki Illingworth spoke out after two staff members tackled an armed suspect while scores of heavily armed police descended on the college.

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She said: “Our college community was shaken by the actions that occurred yesterday afternoon.

Police at the scene yesterday

“I cannot praise the courage, resilience and support shown by our staff enough. They have been incredible and the care and compassion they shared with our students and with each other continues to fill me with admiration.”

Vicki confirmed two members of staff suffered minor injuries – not caused by gunshots – but praised their ‘heroic’ actions which, along with the emergency services’ response helped keep the community safe.

She added: “They are both at home, resting, and we ask members of the media to respect their privacy at this time.

“Our priority is and remains the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff. Counselling services are available for all students and staff.

“We are grateful to have received so many messages of support from parents and local residents, as well as colleagues across the FE sector, local authorities and individuals close to the college. We would like to thank everyone for keeping us in their thoughts and extend our thanks to the Police and the emergency services.”

Vicki said she knew many students were keen to resume studies in their normal college environment. But earlier today the college confirmed it would remain shut tomorrow, April 28.

She added: “We will be providing updates as soon as we are able. But we look forward to being together again, on campus, soon.

“Thank you for your continued support, patience and understanding.”