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Crooked couple jailed after £188,000 property swindle

28th July 2014

A married couple have been jailed for carrying out a seven-year £188,000 benefit fraud, which helped buy properties and finance mortgage repayments. Nicole Mwamba, 48, and William Kapuya, 47, both of Campbell Road, Caterham, were last month found guilty at Croydon Crown Court of a combined 18 offences in relation to the scam, which took place between 2004 and 2011. Mwamba claimed housing and council tax benefit, yet failed to tell Croydon Council that she had bought and held mortgages for tw...

Bungling fly-tipper who stitched himself up fined

28th July 2014

A clumsy fly-tipper who dumped rubbish bags at the end of his own street was rumbled after council officers found his address amongst his household waste. The aptly named Mitchell Brash, of Deacon Way, Banbury, has now been ordered to pay £370 in fines and legal costs after pleading guilty to one charge of fly-tipping. Banbury Magistrates’ Court heard that in January this year, Cherwell District Council’s environmental services team received reports of several plastic sacks co...

Is a new law needed to build a better Wales?

25th July 2014

The Welsh National Assembly’s Environment and Sustainability Committee has asked whether a new law is needed to build a better Wales. The Welsh government’s Well-being of Future Generations Bill sets out a series of goals for the development of a more prosperous, resilient, healthier and equal society. The committee has said that, on a practical level, the government can aim to achieve the bill's goals through the creation of statutory public services boards - which would combine re...

Not a laughing matter: Police crack down on sellers of 'deadly' nitrous oxide

25th July 2014

Police in Hackney are going after street sellers of nitrous oxide, better known as 'laughing gas'. More than 1,200 canisters of the 'legal high' were seized outside pubs and clubs in Shoreditch last Saturday night. The canisters are used to fill balloons which are then sold for up to £5 to users who inhale the gas for a short rush. The substance starves the brain of oxygen, making users light-headed and disoriented for a few minutes. Though inhaling nitrous oxide is not illegal, Hackney ...

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...

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