TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS MESSAGE: DON’T LET THE CON ARTISTS FLEECE YOU….HON ALDERWOMAN GEE BERNARD R.I.P……BOJO’S WATER CANNON SOLD OFF
Croydon council have issued their traditional Yuletide message for shoppers: Don’t let the con artists ruin your Christmas.
Their trading standards team warns shoppers to be aware of the following signs that indicate all is not as it should be – especially at one-day “sales”:
• Sales might be conducted behind closed doors, often manned by bouncers to prevent people leaving.
• Cash will be the only form of payment accepted, and no receipts will be issued.
• The quality – or quantity – of goods on offer bears no relation to the low selling price. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
• No refunds will be given, and there will be no observance of consumers’ rights.
• There will be no clear details of the business or individuals running the sale.
A Croydon council spokesman said: “One of the less-happy traditions of the run-up to Christmas is the annual spate of one-day sales and mock auctions by con artists determined to part shoppers with their money by selling poor-quality goods.
“They take out short-term leases on high-street shop units, or hire halls, clubs or pubs for just a few hours, to stage events that invariably see bargain-hunting shoppers ripped off as they believe they are buying quality products, only to find that they have been sold cheap, sometimes dangerous, imitations.
“This year, shoppers are being urged to resist the temptation to hand over cash at mock auctions in the belief they are buying high-end goods.
“In fact, it would be advisable for them to stay away from all such sales where the adage ‘If it looks too good to be true, it probably is’ is especially pertinent. “If there are no customers, the rogue traders will move on.
“Typically, such sales are to be found selling electrical goods – such as tablet computers, games consoles and ebook readers – or what appear, at a casual glance, to be high-end perfumes and cosmetics but, on closer inspection, turn out to be shoddy, low-quality wares.”
Cllr Hamida Ali, Croydon’s cabinet member for communities, safety and justice, says shoppers have a responsibility to not be taken in by the claims and promises made by rogue traders who set up scam sales.
“The consumers who are most often exploited by the grand-sounding sales patter are usually those who can least afford to lose the money they’re spending in good faith.
“In addition to older and vulnerable people, these con artists – because that is what they are – prey on the inexperience of younger shoppers who are probably not so aware of the scam being played out.
“What all consumers must remember is that they need to protect themselves and be aware that, at these sort of events, the box they’re leaving with might not contain what they expect.
“The expectation that the council or the police will be able to get back the money they’ve lost to grab a bargain is unlikely. “Once it goes, it’ll probably never be seen again.” (Source: Croydon council press release)
HON ALDERWOMAN GEE BERNARD
Former Croydon councillor Gee Bernard has died.
Gee Bernard was Croydon’s first black councillor, and represented the West Thornton ward from 1986 to 2002.
She was born in 1934, in Jamaica, where she attended high school until the age of 15. Coming to England, she studied at North London University and East London College, where she qualified as a social worker.
A committed member of the community, she also served as a governor of two local schools, and on the Croydon Citizens Advice Bureaux committee, Relate, Croydon Race Equality Council, Upper Norwood Association for Community Care, West Thornton Community Centre, Croydon Community Police Consultative Committee, and Croydon Juvenile Justice Liaison Committee, among others.
In 1993, Ms Bernard founded community charity Croydon African and Caribbean Family Organisation with two initial aims – to start a school to assist children excluded from education, and a club for elderly residents providing mental and physical activities, and occasional daytrips.
Cllr Tony Newman, leader of Croydon council, said: “Gee Bernard can best be described as a force for good in Croydon; a staunch supporter of the community who made a very real difference to so many people, both in the West Thornton ward she represented and beyond.” (Source: Croydon council press release)
BOJO’S WATER CANNON SOLD OFF
Responding to Mayor Khan’s decision to sell water cannon purchased by former mayor, Boris Johnson, Labour’s London assembly policing and crime spokesman Unmesh Desai said:
“This is a welcome termination of one of Boris Johnson’s most embarrassing legacies. Investing in water cannon at a time when neighbourhood policing was being stripped back, and without a licence to even operate them, was an utter waste of money.
“With the water cannon not fit for London’s streets, even the Prime Minister wasn’t willing to give the purchase her backing.
“Water cannon have come to symbolise Boris Johnson’s willingness to put thought-through policies aside for the sake of his quest for headlines. “Our opposition to the former mayor’s investment in water cannon has been vindicated but once again Londoners have paid a substantial price for his foolish decision.”
Unmesh Desai is the London assembly member for City and East. (Source: GLA Labour party press release)