Connect with us


Former Crawley tenant guilty of illegally sub-letting

A former Crawley Borough Council tenant has been found guilty of illegally sub-letting her council home and making an unlawful profit from doing so.



Kerry Sowe, 42, of Lancing Close, Ifield pleaded guilty to an offence under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013 and was ordered to pay an Unlawful Profit Order to the council of £4,570 and costs of £1,970 at Crawley Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (October 16).

Crawley Borough Council received a fraud referral in February alleging that Mrs Sowe, then a council tenant of Ditchling Hill, Southgate, had illegally sub-let and parted with possession of the whole of her council property and was living in Gambia at the time.

The case was passed to the council’s Corporate Fraud Investigations Team, which undertook a thorough investigation.

Evidence was gathered to show that Mrs Sowe had left the country for a large period of time, illegally sub-let the property and made a profit from doing so. She was interviewed by council investigators where an admission was first offered.

Mrs Sowe was served with a notice to quit the property by the council’s Housing Team as she was in breach of her tenancy terms. The property was returned to the council’s stock in April and has now been reallocated to a family with a true housing need.

When being sentenced the magistrates commented that Mrs Sowe had acted deliberately to maximise the profit for herself.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of the Council said:

“We have almost 2,000 households on the waiting list so it’s vital that our housing goes to those most in need.

“This case demonstrates how seriously we take our responsibility to make sure that only those eligible for council housing receive the help they need.”

The council’s Corporate Fraud Investigations Team will investigate all aspects of fraud against the local authority and also run data matching exercises to try and find any fraud that has found its way into the system.

One of the regular checks that the team carries out is to make sure that people who claim a Single Person Council Tax Discount are actually entitled to it. So far this financial year the team has removed 29 discounts at a value of £16,105.

Anyone who thinks they know someone who has made a false application to claim services from the council, is not living at their council property, has been illegally evicted or has illegally sub-let it can contact the Corporate Fraud Investigations Team in confidence 24 hours a day on 0800 634 0180 or email


BREAKING NEWS: Coronavirus cases jump 200% in one week across Crawley



On Monday 14th Sept the new “rule of six” comes into force across England with news breaking today that children under 12 will not be exempt from it.

The new rules mean people are limited to meeting in groups no larger than six people both indoors and outdoors.

The rule ‘could’ potentially be coming slightly too late as new figures for Crawley reveal a 200% jump in recorded cases in just one week.

People need to realise the harm it can do you without putting you directly in hospital

Data from the UK public health bodies shows that in last week (2nd – 8th Sept) there were 15 NEW cases reported in Crawley. This number does not seem a lot but when compared to the week(s) before it shows a dramatic jump.

In only the previous week there were only 5 new cases reported, with 4 separate days reporting no cases at all.

But in the past week this figure jumped with 8 reported in one day alone.

So far the worst single day for reported cases in Crawley was back on the 28th April when 19 cases were reported in a day.

To date, since recording began there have been 502 cases, with 77 of these resulting in death.

As more parts of the UK are also having to deal with stricter lock down restrictions Crawley remains below the national average of cases per 100,000 at 13. The national average is currently 18.

The towns neighbour, Horsham, saw an even greater rise of 360% with 23 cases reported between 2-8 Sept.

Across the UK an additional 3.497 cases were reported in the past 24 hours, an increase of 36% on the same day a week ago, taking the total to 365,174.

A local doctor, who asked to remain anonymous, said her and her colleagues were very worried about how too many people were downplaying the risk of infection.

“I hear every day some people talking about how the number of people in hospital through Covid are so low so we shouldn’t worry about the number of cases increasing – but we should. People need to realise the harm it can do you without putting you directly in hospital.”

But questions on how the new rules will be enforced are still not clear with new statements released from the Police that talk about ‘engaging, encouraging and explaining’ before even considering taking any action.

A source close to Sussex Police has told Crawley News 24 that there is both confusion and dismay within the ranks about who and how officers are going to contend with issues of larger groups than allowed meeting up, while juggling the increase of daily issues that are returning since the full lockdown.

Another source said they were awaiting a full outline of what powers the police really will have on Monday (14th Sept) before officers would be given full guidance on what they should do.

Sussex Police told Crawley News 24:

“As we start to see a rise in infections it is vitally important that we all follow the regulations and restrictions in place to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

Everyone has a role to play limiting the outbreak by following the regulations, including those about gatherings which will be limited to six people both indoors and outside when the new legislation comes into force on Monday 14 September.

People need to take personal responsibility for their actions, in particular during this heath emergency, and this includes adhering to the latest government guidance.

Sussex Police will continue its approach of engaging, encouraging and explaining the current regulations and only taking enforcement action when necessary. “

Only 1 week after schools reopen, a couple of weeks after a house party alarmed residents in the town, (and Crawley Council confirming they were investigating the event), and new rules coming into force, all eyes will now be set to see just how well the town responds to the new measures and whether the rise is just a ‘blip’ or if it is a sign of a returning rise.

Continue Reading