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Three Bridges property used as car parts business recovered by council

On repossession of the council property, various car parts, tyres, tools and rubbish had been left behind.

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Photo used for illustrative purposes only.

A property in Three Bridges has been recovered by Crawley Borough Council after it discovered it was being used by the tenant to run a car parts and accessories business.

The investigation was initially launched by the council’s Fraud Investigation Team who received an anonymous tip off, alleging that the tenant was not residing at the address.

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The Fraud Team then worked with officers from the Nuisance and Anti-Social Behaviour Team, Housing and the Community Wardens in the process of recovering the property, after it was discovered that the tenant had been using the adjoining residents’ car park to carry out mechanical works on a number of vehicles, including several cars and vans.

The council were awarded an outright possession order at Horsham Court and awarded costs of £424.50. On repossession of the property, various car parts, tyres, tools and rubbish had been left behind.

Leader of Crawley Borough Council, Peter Lamb said:

“While fraud is incredibly rare, every property lost to fraud is a Crawley family which can’t be housed. Crawley Borough Council is committed to delivering more affordable housing for local people and ensuring every house goes to those residents who need it most.”

Crawley Borough Council’s Fraud Investigation Team can be contacted free and in confidence on 0800 634 0180 or by email to investigations@crawley.gov.uk

The Community Wardens investigate all reports of fly-tipping and can be contacted on 07884 492324.

The Nuisance and Anti-Social Behaviour Team can be contacted on 01293 438438.

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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