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Tory MP cautioned by police after assaulting partner 'should go'

24th July 2014

A Tory MP who is facing disciplinary action after attacking his girlfriend has been urged to resign. David Ruffley, MP for Bury St Edmonds, assaulted his partner in his home four months ago, and was cautioned by police. With calls for him to step down, Ruffley issued an apology through his legal team, claiming that he does not "condone domestic violence". The MP's plight has been referred to new chief whip Michael Gove, who will now consider what action, if any, to take. The case was brought to Gove's att...

Conspiracy of silence: House price fears making Brits keep quiet about crime

23rd July 2014

The country’s criminals must be delighted. One in ten Brits would consider not reporting a crime - in case it lowered the value of their home. Research by insurers Direct Line found that concerns about our neighbourhoods appearing riddled with rampant delinquency on online crime maps have led to 10% of us choosing not to inform the police about criminal activity. And the evidence seems to back up such concerns. Over a third (36%) of those thinking of buying in a high crime area saying they...

Hundreds of arsonists, burglars and drug traffickers escape with cautions

23rd July 2014

Many arsonists, drug traffickers and burglars escaped with mere police cautions in London last year, figures have revealed. A freedom of information request by GLA Conservative Tony Arbour showed that of the 29,560 cautions handed out to criminals in the capital last year: • 1,356 criminals were cautioned for wounding/GBH.• 301 drug traffickers were handed cautions.• 246 cautions handed out to burglars.• 107 robbers received cautions.• 23 arsonists cautioned. Further figures...

Night owl construction firm fined for 2am racket

22nd July 2014

A construction firm that worked on a Cardiff building site until two in the morning has been fined £5,000 for noise pollution. Styles and Wood Ltd was only permitted to work on the Lidl supermarket site on Cowbridge Road West between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday, and from 8am till 1pm on Saturdays. No noisy activities were to be carried out on Sundays or on bank holidays. However, Cardiff City council began receiving complaints in September last year that the company was operating, creat...

Defeated homeowner demolishes illegal outbuilding

22nd July 2014

A property owner has finally heeded advice and demolished an illegal outbuilding he built at the rear of his property in Hayes. Mr Nemchand, of Orchard Road, knocked down the extension after losing a planning appeal and judicial review. An enforcement notice was initially served by Hillingdon Council in 2011, as the size of the extension meant Mr Nemchand had exceeded what was allowed by planning rules. He appealed against the notice, which he lost and the decision went to Judicial Review. The...

Opinion: Tackling ASB in our neighbourhoods

22nd July 2014

By Matt Jones, assistant director of communities and neighbourhoods, City West Housing Trust Customers tell us that when it comes to their landlord, three things are most important: getting repairs completed on time; the quality of their home; and tackling anti-social behaviour (ASB). The last one is interesting because statistics tell us that in the average year, only around 5% of our customers will report ASB to us - and yet everybody knows someone who has experienced it. Even if this isn&rsq...

Social housing property's drug connections lead to closure order

22nd July 2014

A social housing property in Newbury has been shutdown with a closure order after reports of drug-related crime and anti-social behaviour. The closure, the first of its kind in West Berkshire, was sought in conjunction with Sovereign Housing Association, which is trying to tackle drug activity in Newbury. The Newbury Neighbourhood Policing Team was granted with a closure order for a period of three months by Slough Magistrates' Court last week. Matthew Allen, from Thames Valley Police, said: &l...

Opinion: Bedroom tax sufferers not the only victims looking to swap their homes

22nd July 2014

By Christine Land, solicitor, Croftons Solicitors LLP With the controversial ‘bedroom tax’ under review for “pushing people into rent arrears” (David Orr, NHF), the attractiveness of downsizing in social housing appears never to have been higher. According to figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions, 1 in 5 affected tenants are currently registered to downsize. It comes as no surprise therefore that the ‘home swap system’ which allows tenant...

Crooked couple prosecuted after nine years of benefit fraud

14th July 2014

A crooked Telford couple have been prosecuted after committing a lengthy spell of benefit fraud. Stephen Coleman, 46, of Damson Drive, The Rock, was sentenced to 30 weeks in jail after previously being found guilty of council tax benefit and income support fraud. Also found guilty was Nicola Coleman, 40, of the same address. She was sentenced to 30 weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months, and was also handed a 12-month supervision order. The pair dishonestly claimed £6,300 in council...

Former social housing tenant's racist behaviour leads to blocks ban

11th July 2014

A former tenant of social landlord Salix Homes who was banned from entering two Salford tower blocks on the grounds of his aggressive and racist behaviour has had his ban extended for another year after breaching the terms of a court order. Ian Rimmer, formerly of Canon Hussey Court in Islington, Salford, was served with an Injunction Order last year banning him from entering Canon Hussey Court or neighbouring tower block Arthur Millwood Court. But this week Rimmer, 46, was found in a bin storage...