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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.

More news: Gatwick allows people to rent out their cars when away

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

Appeal for help after five masked robbers force way into home in Crawley

Detectives in Crawley are seeking information about a violent attack at a home in Pound Hill.

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At 3,30pm on Thursday 22 November the occupants of the house in Punch Copse Road, answered the door, and were confronted with five men with their faces covered who threatened the occupants and forced their way into the house.

They stole a quantity of cash and a box containing some cutlery before leaving the address and making off in a car which was parked nearby.

All the suspects are described as black, and were wearing dark coloured clothing.

One of the occupants, a 37-year old woman, was knocked to the floor during the attack and sustained bruising and a shoulder injury for which she was treated at East Surrey Hospital.

Detective Constable Mark Buckley said;

“We have been making extensive local enquiries and are still seeking witnesses who were in the area that afternoon, particularly around Punch Copse Road or surrounding roads, and including anyone who was using dashcam in their own car at the time.”

If you have any information please contact us via 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call 101, quoting serial 904 of 22/11.

You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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