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Crawley man sentenced to 14 months in prison for Gatwick parking deception

The director of a Gatwick ‘meet and greet’ parking company has been sentenced to 14 months in prison and disqualified from being a director for four years following an investigation by West Sussex Trading Standards.

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Asad Bashir Malik (Jura Close, Crawley, West Sussex) and his company London Parking Gatwick Ltd, which was turning over £.1.4 million, were found guilty at Brighton Crown Court of misleading customers.

Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings are still pending.

The company said on its website that all cars left with them would be parked in a secure compound.

But in 2016 reports to West Sussex Trading Standards claimed that over 1,000 vehicles were being parked in a field in Bonnetts Lane, West Sussex.

Trading Standards officers visited two fields, Bonnetts Lane and Keepers Knight, in July 2016 and confirmed that London Parking Gatwick Ltd was using these to park its customer’s vehicles.

Some of the vehicles had been left unlocked with their windows open and keys on the windscreen. Some of the vehicles were damaged and others had been issued with parking tickets. The investigation also revealed fake customer reviews on the company’s website.

Officers contacted the customers and established that they had been misled by claims on the website.

Richard Sargeant, Trading Standards Team Manager, said:

“Malik and his company deceived thousands of customers between 2014 and 2016, causing damage to their cars and making false claims on its website.

“This was a complex investigation for our team and I am very pleased with the outcome.

“I would urge anyone using a Gatwick meet and greet business to only use a Trading Standards-approved company.”

Anyone who thinks they have been a victim of an unfair trading practice can contact Trading Standards via Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06 or online via www.westsussex.gov.uk/tsreport


Crime

Betting shop robbed at knifepoint in Southgate, Crawley

Sussex Police are investigating a knife point robbery in Crawley and are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

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A man entered a betting shop in Southgate Parade, Crawley around 10.05am on Wednesday (June 5).

He threatened the staff worker and demanded money from the till before fleeing the scene.

Officers attended the premises and conducted an area search but the suspect was not found.

Sussex Police say that all lines of enquiry will be investigated.

Chief Inspector Rosie Ross said:

“All lines of enquiry connected to this incident will be investigated.

“Engagement with the communities is vital and we will continue to educate members of the public about the dangers and consequences of carrying a knife.

“Our message to those who carry a knife or thinking of carrying a knife is that it does not protect you and could actually make you more vulnerable and in danger of serious harm.”

Anyone with information is asked to report online or call 101 quoting 351 of 05/06.

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