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Crawley Council’s commitment to construction workers

The Leader of Crawley Borough Council committed to back a Charter that seeks to ensure that conditions for construction workers on projects under local authority control in Crawley meet the highest standards.

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Crawley Council’s ‘significant commitment’ to the town’s construction workers has been welcomed by the country’s largest trade union.

Crawley Council is giving its backing to a Unite Construction Charter that seeks to ensure that conditions for workers on construction projects under local authority control in Crawley meet the highest standards.

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Peter Lamb, leader of the council has committed to back the Charter and has included the commitment in the Labour council’s manifesto.

The Charter commits to working with Unite in order to achieve the highest standards in respect of direct employment status, health & safety, standards of work, apprenticeship training and the implementation of appropriate nationally agreed terms and conditions of employment.

Peter Lamb, Leader of Crawley Council said:

“Everyone has the right to a safe working environment and the conditions set out in Unite’s Construction Charter should ensure construction workers are treated fairly and safely on council projects. I don’t see this as setting an example, it’s really the least that any employer should do.

“The Council has ambitious plans to invest in affordable homes and to regenerate the town centre as part of a wider economic development and regeneration programme. The Charter will cover important local authority construction projects including a range of residential, commercial and public realm improvements.”

Unite regional secretary for the South East, Ian Woodland said:

“We welcome Crawley Council’s significant commitment to construction workers. Unite’s Construction Charter will help local workers to operate in a safe environment on construction sites and to ensure they can raise health and safety issues without fear.

“The council is involved in a number of important projects and workers on those projects will be able to work under the highest standards.”

Crime

Two jailed after attempt to smuggle 8.5kgs of cocaine through Gatwick

“This was a deliberate, if unsophisticated attempt to smuggle dangerous Class A drugs into the UK”, says Chris Capel, Assistant Director of Border Force South.

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The drugs, which had been wrapped in plastic and hidden inside boxes marked ‘rum’, weighed approximately 8.5kgs.

Two men from Barbados are facing a total of 13 years in jail after pleading guilty to attempting to smuggle an estimated 8.5kgs of cocaine into the UK.

On 1 September, Border Force officers stopped 62-year-old Grantley Herbert Thompson, and 30-year-old Jamal Ricardo Walcott, in the customs channels at Gatwick Airport’s North Terminal. Both had arrived on a flight from Barbados.

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During a search of their baggage officers discovered a white powder, wrapped in green plastic, and hidden inside boxes marked rum. The powder was subsequently tested and gave a positive reaction to the field test for cocaine. The cocaine had an estimated street value of £535,000.

Chris Capel, Assistant Director of Border Force South said:

“This was a deliberate, if unsophisticated attempt to smuggle dangerous Class A drugs into the UK and I commend the Border Force officers whose work ensured that Thompson and Walcott are now behind bars.

“Illegal drugs have a significant impact on our society, being the root cause behind countless burglaries, thefts and robberies. They are also used as a commodity by organised criminals linked to violence and exploitation of the vulnerable.

“We continue to work with our colleagues from the National Crime Agency (NCA) to do all we can to stamp out this despicable trade and bring those responsible to justice.”

The case was referred to the NCA and Thompson and Walcott were charged with importation of a class A drug.

62-year-old Grantley Thompson.

On Thursday, 11 October the pair appeared at Croydon Crown Court where they admitted the smuggling attempt. Both were sentenced to six years and six months imprisonment immediately.

30-year-old Jamal Walcott.

The Government’s Serious Violence Strategy, which was launched in April, aims to combat the devastating impact drugs have on levels of serious violence.

It also highlights a strong link between drugs and serious violence and the related harm and exploitation from county lines. The Government has set out the action it will take to tackle this violent and exploitative criminal activity. The action of Border Force to stop drugs before they get into the country forms a key part of this work.

Border Force officers use hi-tech search equipment to combat immigration crime and detect banned and restricted goods that smugglers attempt to bring into the country.

Nationally, they use an array of search techniques including sniffer dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors and scanners – as well as visual searches – to find well-hidden stowaways, illegal drugs, firearms and tobacco which would otherwise end up causing harm to local people, businesses and communities.

Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or go to https://www.gov.uk/report-smuggling

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