BLUE BADGE MISUSE RESULTS IN PROSECUTION…….LAPTOP AND SMARTPHONE CONMEN FLEECE WOMAN FOR HUNDREDS……EIGHT MORE PROSECUTIONS UNDER ‘DON’T MESS WITH CROYDON’ CLAMPDOWN…….FREE ONLINE COURSE LAUNCHED TO RAISE AWARENESS OF AUTISM……SOUTHWARK SHORTLISTED FOR ‘LOCAL COUNCIL OF THE YEAR’ AWARD
BLUE BADGE MISUSE RESULTS IN PROSECUTION
A 26 year old Croydon man has been prosecuted for misusing a blue badge in Bromley when the badge holder was not present.
He pleaded guilty to misusing his mother’s blue badge following an incident in October 2015, when a Civil Enforcement Officer on patrol in Ravensbourne Road, Bromley, inspected the blue badge and later confiscated it when it was obvious that the badge holder was not in the vicinity.
At Bromley magistrates court and ordered to pay a £250 fine, prosecution costs of £300 and a victim surcharge of £25.
Bromley Cllr Lydia Buttinger, who has been leading the council’s campaign against blue badge fraud, said: “This is another prosecution where the motorist has misused a relatives blue badge.
“The Blue Badge scheme is extremely positive and important for those who need it and we won’t accept the integrity of the scheme being undermined. “Those tempted to persist in Blue Badge misuse must know that they risk being prosecuted which is a serious matter.
“It is a common excuse for people to say they are running an errand on behalf of a blue badge holder when they are not present, but this is actually misuse.
“If you are a blue badge holder or a motorist who uses a blue badge, do make sure you fully acquaint yourself with the blue badge scheme rules.”
Blue Badge misuse is criminal offence which can lead to a £1,000 fine and confiscation of the badge. Anyone who suspects that a blue badge is being used for the benefit of a person who is not the badge holder can report their concerns at: www.bromley.gov.uk/reportbluebadge (Source: Bromley council press release)
LAPTOP AND SMARTPHONE CONMEN FLEECE WOMAN FOR HUNDREDS – Bag only had fizzy drinks and cardboard in it
Shoppers are being warned of the risks of buying goods from strangers on the street after trading standards officers learned of a woman who was conned out of hundreds of pounds in a scam in central Croydon on a busy Saturday morning.
The incident unfolded at the junction of Surrey Street and Scarbrook Road in mid-March, when the woman shopper was approached by a middle-aged man who told her that he was selling a laptop computer and an Apple iPhone in order to raise cash to pay some bills. He claimed to have recently bought the laptop for £1,100, and had a receipt as proof of the purchase.
Agreeing to buy both items, the woman withdrew £300 from a nearby cash dispenser and went with the man to a car parked nearby in Scarbrook Road where, he said, the laptop, receipt and phone were.
Sitting in the car – a dark blue estate – was another man, introduced to her as the first man’s brother-in-law. A laptop computer and an iPhone were shown to the woman and then put into a laptop case, at which point she handed over £320 in cash.
The woman was then distracted when a council parking officer arrived to tell the driver to move the car, and when the first man asked her for her telephone number. She was then given a black laptop bag which, upon opening it when she got home, she discovered contained only two large bottles of fizzy drink and some cardboard padding.
The first man, who was friendly and charming throughout, is described as being white, in his mid-40s, about 5’ 8” tall, of medium build, and wearing a winter woolly hat. His “brother-in-law” was slightly younger, a bit shorter than the first man, and was also wearing a woolly hat. Each had an Irish accent.
Croydon’s cabinet member for communities, safety and justice Cllr Mark Watson said: “This was a brazen scam carried out in broad daylight by a pair of very confident, and seemingly plausible, conmen.
“People should never buy goods from anybody who approaches them in the street – the chances are they’ll be scammed, and they have no way of knowing what they’re buying, or where it’s come from.
“As happened in this case, the goods they think they’re buying could be switched, and, if they’re not, they could be stolen, faulty or unsafe.
“Anybody who’s offered goods in this manner should always refuse to buy, and then they should report the incident to the police.” (Source: Croydon council press release)
EIGHT MORE PROSECUTIONS UNDER ‘DON’T MESS WITH CROYDON’ CLAMPDOWN
A decorator who fly-tipped 20 bags of building waste in a Croydon lane has been sentenced to community service and ordered to pay £3,300 as one of eight successful council prosecutions on Tuesday.
Magistrates ordered the eight offenders to pay a total of £6,700 in fines and court costs for the offences, ranging from illegally dumping business waste to urinating in the street. The council has now successfully prosecuted 80 people in court under its Don’t Mess With Croydon – Take Pride campaign.
Tuesday’s biggest sentence of 120 hours’ unpaid community service and £3,300 in overall costs was handed to a man whose business was caught after dumping building waste on a grass verge beside Old Lodge Lane in Purley on 20-21 March.
His four charges were failing to prove he was a registered waste carrier, not providing waste transfer notes, failure to attend an interview under caution and knowingly causing or permitting waste to be illegally deposited.
Two of Tuesday’s prosecutions were against an estate agents and a food importing business for separate commercial waste fly-tipping, while other offenders had dumped materials ranging from black sacks of rubbish to wooden planks and a chair.
Tuesday’s other prosecutions were:
•Businessman ordered to pay a total of £1,040 as both an individual and director of a company for dumping oil drums, black bin liners and cardboard in Beulah Road on 22 October.
•Estate agents ordered to pay a total of £685 for fly-tipping black sacks of business waste on the pavement in Melfort Road on 29 October.
•Male ordered to pay a total of £355 for urinating on the pavement in Beulah Road on 23 October.
•Female ordered to pay a total of £355 for dumping cardboard boxes in Egerton Road on 5 October.
•Female ordered to pay a total of £355 for fly-tipping wooden planks and black sacks next to a bus stop in Beulah Road on 22 October.
•Defendant ordered to pay a total of £355 for littering a broken chair and a cardboard box in London Road on 23 November.
•Woman ordered to pay a total of £255 for dropping a cigarette in Bedford Park on 28 October.
The Don’t Mess With Croydon – Take Pride campaign combines getting local people to become community champions with enforcement against the worst offences.
As well as prosecuting people in court and handing out over 800 fixed penalty fines, since launching the initiative in summer 2014 the council has also signed up over 280 community champions who lead litter picks, carried out more than 1,320 business licence inspections and encouraged over 240 businesses to sign a pledge to keep their street tidier.
Any resident or business found to have fly-tipped or used an unlicensed waste carrier faces unlimited fines and a possible court conviction.
For more information on how to get involved in the Don’t Mess With Croydon – Take Pride campaign please visit: https://www.croydon.gov.uk/environment/dontmess/dont-mess
(Source: Croydon council press release)
You can also report dumped waste via the council’s dedicated fly-tipping hotline on 0208 604 7000, the council’s My Croydon smartphone app or by emailing [email protected]
FREE ONLINE COURSE LAUNCHED TO RAISE AWARENESS OF AUTISM
A new online autism awareness training package has been developed by Croydon council and has been launched to coincide with World Autism Awareness Week.
Although targeted initially at those living or working with autism, the module, hosted on the council’s e-learning website, is of use to anyone interested in understanding the condition. It provides useful and practical ways of identifying common signs and gives advice on how to deal with autism in day-to-day situations.
The project has been funded by a grant from the Department of Health and developed locally with the support of families and those using autism support services. Access to the module is free for anyone living or working in Croydon, and a small fee of £20 is charged for anyone accessing the site from elsewhere.
Croydon’s cabinet member for families, health, and social care Cllr Louisa Woodley said: “Our new course gives people an excellent and clear introduction to and awareness of autism. “This condition affects almost one per cent of the population in some way.
“It’s not something that can be cured, but once it is recognised, those who suffer from it can be supported and helped to cope.
“As a council we fully back the national ‘Think Autism’ campaign which is why we made the decision to invest in something that would help spread understanding as far as possible.
“Using the government’s grant to make access to the site free of charge for local people is just part of our commitment to improving the lives of those who live with autism.”
The course takes about an hour to complete, but is full of helpful information. “It clearly explains the range of needs of people on the autism spectrum and it helps to dispel many myths about the condition.
Cllr Andrew Rendle is the borough’s autism champion, having personal experience of supporting two autistic sons. He said: “The Croydon Autism Service already provides really successful awareness training. “We hope this new online course will help to promote awareness wider and faster.
“We want as many people as possible in Croydon to take the course because at least one in a hundred of the population are on the autism spectrum. “That’s more than one in a hundred of our neighbours, friends, colleagues and customers – over 3,500 people in our borough alone.
“We are going to be encouraging businesses to ensure that their staff to take up this training so that they can recognise when a customer may be displaying signs of autism and therefore treat them appropriately.”
Anyone who lives or works in Croydon and would like to try the new course can register with a valid local postcode at https://croydon.melearning.university/course_centre. (Source: Croydon council press release)
SOUTHWARK SHORTLISTED FOR ‘LOCAL COUNCIL OF THE YEAR’ AWARD
Southwark council are the only London council to be selected as a finalist for MJ magazine’s prestigious Local Authority of the Year award. The competition was open to all 418 councils in the UK.
Southwark faces competition from five other councils from across the country, including Leeds and Plymouth city councils.
The winner of the award will need to demonstrate a clear vision, innovation, strong performance across services, excellent team work and strong financial management.
The winning council must also show that it has distinctive qualities that make it a good role model for other councils.
Southwark council leader Cllr Peter John says: “People often tell me that Southwark should be bolder about celebrating its successes, but we’ve spent the last six years focusing on making Southwark a great place for our residents to live and work.
“But we’re now at a point where I think our officers and councillors alike deserve some recognition for the work we’ve done to transform Southwark into the fantastic borough it is today, and becoming finalists for MJ’s Local Authority of the Year gives us that in spades.
“When the LGA’s peer review team visited Southwark late last year they found a council with a ‘can-do approach’ and a great deal to be proud of.”
Later this month the six finalists will give a presentation to a panel of local authority chief executives who will decide on the winner. The winning council will be announced on Thursday 16 June. (Source: Southwark council press release)