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Crime

Crawley private hire driver guilty of operating illegally

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A Crawley man has been successfully prosecuted by Mid Sussex District Council after operating illegally in the District as a private hire driver.

Mr Raja Masood from London Road in Crawley, was prosecuted for plying for hire without a Hackney licence, which meant his vehicle was uninsured. Mr Masood was found guilty on 8 January 2018 at Brighton Magistrates Court.

Mr Masood is a Private Hire driver licensed by Wealden District Council. As a private hire driver he can only take passengers that are pre-booked, otherwise he is plying for hire and his vehicle insurance would not be valid for that trip.

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A Mid Sussex District Council Licensing Officer witnessed Mr Masood dropping off a customer at East Grinstead Railway Station; he then picked up another member of the public. Enquires by the Licensing Team revealed that this customer was not pre-booked.

Mr Masood was interviewed and admitted that the passenger was not pre-booked. He was prosecuted by Mid Sussex District Council, six penalty points were added to his Driving Licence and the Council was awarded total costs of £1500.

Councillor Norman Webster, Cabinet Member for Community said:

“Mid Sussex Council takes passenger safety very seriously. The laws and licensing standards that we enforce are in place to ensure that passengers are safe.

“People should be aware that if they use private hire vehicles without booking in advance then the vehicle will not be insured if an accident occurs.

“Each vehicle is required to have its licence on display and drivers invariably carry identification, which passengers can inspect. Residents can help by checking the taxi or private hire vehicle they are using to make sure it is fully licensed by the District Council.

“If you suspect something is wrong, contact our Licensing Team on 01444 477344”.

Crime

Four charged with supplying class A drugs in Crawley

Three of the four men have home addresses in Crawley. They are due to appear in Court on 10 October.

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Four men have been charged with supplying class A drugs in Crawley following a long running investigation by detectives from the West Sussex Community Investigation Team.

Three of the four men are Crawley residents and the charges include supplying class A drugs such as crack cocaine and heroin.

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27-year-old Laeek Ahmed, of Denchers Plat in Crawley, has been charged with five counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs (cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin), possession with intent to supply heroin and three counts of money laundering from 1 September 2016 to 7 January 2017.

Syed Hussain, a 39-year-old, of Heron Close, Crawley, has been charged with two counts of conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin and one count of money laundering from 1 to 24 November 2016.

Sarder Bashir, 37-years-old, of Martyrs Avenue in Crawley, was charged with two counts of conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin from 1 to 24 November 2016 and one count of perverting the course of justice from 22 to 25 November 2016.

They are due to appear at Crawley Magistrates’ Court on 10 October.

Francis Gomez, 40, of Yeats Close, London, has been charged with three counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs – cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin, two counts of supplying cocaine and cannabis and two counts of money laundering from 1 September 2016 to 19 October 2017.

He was remanded in custody to appear at Lewes Crown Court on 5 October.

Detective Inspector Alan Pack said:

“This case demonstrates our determination to continually review and gather evidence in order to bring charges no matter how long it takes. I would actively encourage the public to provide information that assists us so that we can continue this important work.”

You can report suspicious behaviour or drug dealing at our website or ring 101.

For advice and information about drugs see the Sussex Police drug advice page.

A spokesperson for Sussex Police added:

“We have put increased resources within the Community Investigations Teams, a successfully proven element of the new local policing model, to meet demand better as they deal with crime series, such as burglary and organised crime.”

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