SEVEN FINED FOR DROPPING CIGARETTE BUTTS
Magistrates ordered 15 people caught dumping rubbish, littering or spitting in Croydon to pay a total of over £4,600 in fines and costs in court on Tuesday (26 January).
The offences, ranging from illegally dumping household rubbish and furniture to dropping cigarette butts, led to the prosecutions as part of the council’s Don’t Mess With Croydon – Take Pride campaign.
Seven people were prosecuted for dropping cigarette butts and fined between £100 and £452. One person was fined £425 for spitting.
Tuesday’s fines were:
£914 for dumping household waste and cardboard in Colliers Water Lane on 16 September and giving false personal details.
£452 for illegally dumping household waste on the ground in Monks Orchard recycling centre on 27 September.
£452 for dumping household waste in The Coppins on 25 August.
£265 for dumping household waste on the ground at Monks Orchard recycling centre on 3 October.
£245 for dumping household waste and furniture in Fir Tree Gardens on 29 September.
£100 for dumping household waste in Myrtle Road on 8 September.
£100 for dumping household waste in Milne Park East on 15 September.
£452 for spitting in Boswell Road, Thornton Heath, on 9 October.
£100 for dropping a cigarette end in George Street in Croydon on 6 October.
£265 for dropping a cigarette end in Wellesley Road in Croydon on 14 October.
£100 for dropping a cigarette end in North End in Croydon on 22 July.
£452 for dropping a cigarette end in Central Parade on 12 October.
£175 for dropping a cigarette end in Park Street on 7 July and giving false personal details.
£100 for dropping a cigarette end in North End in Croydon on 1 July.
£452 for dropping a cigarette end in Mint Walk on 13 July.
The campaign combines enforcement action against fly-tippers and littering with a drive encouraging residents to sign up as local champions and arrange council-backed clean-ups.
For more information about the campaign, please visit: www.croydon.gov.uk/dontmess (Source: Croydon council press release)
ONCE BITTEN, CONNED HOUSEHOLDER IS TWICE SHY
A victim of con artists has been receiving phone calls – and a doorstep visit – trying to get him to part with even more money, say Croydon council.
The 60-year-old Waddon resident was initially called upon in 2014 by somebody claiming to be a roofer and offering to repair tiles that he said were loose. Fearing a scam, the householder called the council’s trading standards team.
Officers arranged for a legitimate inspection of the roof, which was found to be in overall good repair, and confirmed the visit had been an attempted scam.
Early last year, the householder discovered a leak in his roof and, following the recommendation of “a friend of a friend” arranged for a team of roofers to effect repairs. Once started, they informed him that work was also required to the chimney stack and that the guttering needed to be replaced. He agreed they should do the work, as they were already in place, and paid them £15,000. He was dismayed to find, within a few months, that the leak had not been repaired.
In recent weeks, the householder has received a number of phone calls, attempting to pressure him into parting with more money. He has also had a doorstep visit from a man asking for his name and phone number, and saying that he would receive a call to speak about the work done to his roof.
A subsequent phone call, from somebody claiming to be a police officer based at Twickenham law courts and investigating the roofing works, claimed that the householder had been awarded a refund.
Not to be caught a second time, he called the trading standards team who advised that such follow-up calls were a common ploy to extract more cash from previous scam victims.
The conmen will often call, months or even a couple of years after the event, and claim to be a trading standards or police officer. They say they are investigating the traders who carried out the work, and that the victim may be due compensation.
It is then suggested that the victim sends their money to the bogus callers, in order to receive more compensation by showing the court that their bank account is empty. In reality, once they have parted with their money, they will never hear from the callers again – and find they have been stung twice.
Neither trading standards nor police officers would ask a resident to part with their money. Any such request is a sure sign that the caller, be they on the phone or the doorstep, is a rogue trader attempting to part a potential victim from their cash.
Croydon’s cabinet member for communities, safety and justice Cllr Mark Watson said: “This case shows that even the careful can be caught out by these skilled conmen.
“This resident had previously suspected a scam and done the right thing by calling our trading standards team. “Despite that, however, he later fell victim to rogue roofers and was taken for £15,000.
“Thankfully, he’s learned his lesson and he took advice from our officers before being caught a second time.
“Always ask for the full name and position of the person you are speaking to, and, if in doubt, put down the phone and check their credentials, or ask a friend or relative to do so for you.”
Report any suspicious callers to the police on 101, or the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506. (Source: Croydon council press release)
SCHOOL PLACE BID UNCOVERS COUNCIL TAX FRAUDSTER
A woman who unlawfully claimed single person discount on her council tax was caught out over an application for a school place.
The 28-year-old Bromley woman was sentenced at Bromley magistrates court on the 29th January 2016 after pleading guilty to claiming a single person discount on her council tax when in fact her partner and father of her five children had been resident with her since 2007.
The case was referred for investigation by Bromley’s education department following an application for a school place where a second contact was given for the address.
The woman was sentenced to a three year conditional discharge and ordered to pay £400 towards prosecution costs and a £15 victim surcharge. She also has to repay her entire single person discount amounting to £2,465.60, wrongly claimed from 2007 to 2015.
Anyone with information about a suspected benefit fraud should contact (in strict confidence) the Fraud Hotline on 0800 169 6975 or email email@example.com
Bromley council have also recently launched an anti-fraud App, which is a quick and easy way residents can report their suspicions. Visit www.bromley.gov.uk/fraud for information about downloading the App to your mobile device. (Source: Bromley council press release)