“NO HOME HERE” campaign launched by Police to tackle community harm

North Yorkshire Police has today (Wednesday 6 December 2017) launched a five-month campaign to help protect vulnerable victims of crime.

Titled “NO HOME HERE”, the campaign is designed to raise public awareness about a range of emotionally and physically harmful crimes that often go unnoticed because the victims are living in fear.

The intention is to highlight the patterns of behaviour of both the victims and those responsible for the harm, to the wider community and encourage reports into police via 101 or in an emergency via 999.

Online and media publicity is being used to promote the campaign, including targeted leaflets and posters to a range of people and organisations who are likely to come into contact with both victims and offenders.

With this increased awareness to spot the tell-tale signs, North Yorkshire Police is calling upon everybody in the local community to be extra vigilant and report incidents, either directly to the police or via an alternative reporting channel such as a dedicated charity.

The five strands of community harm that will be focused on during the campaign are:

  • domestic abuse (December)
  • child neglect (January)
  • stalking and harassment  (February)
  • hate (March)
  • modern slavery and human trafficking  (April)


Increased police presence on York streets over Halloween and Bonfire celebrations

Over the coming weeks police in North Yorkshire will have an increased presence in York to deter those who may choose to engage in anti-social behaviour (ASB), and help keep the community safe under Operation CASBIA.

Op CASBIA is a new initiative that started on Friday 27 October. Local neighbourhood policing teams will be out in numbers to provide reassurance, crime prevention advice and provide you with the opportunity to meet your local officers.  Officers from North Yorkshire Police’s specialist Road Policing Group and Operational Support Unit will also be joining the local team to deter ASB and deal with the anti-social use of vehicles on our roads.

Postcards will also be supplied, to display that you do not wish to have Trick or Treaters at your door. These are available at the front office of both Acomb and Fulford Police station, or alternatively you can email your local team for one to be posted through your door.

Chief Inspector Allan Wescott, of North Yorkshire Police said:

“Although this time of year is fun and exciting for many, there are those in our communities for whom it can cause concern and anxiety and increase the fear of crime in local communities. There are also a small number of people who may choose to use it as an opportunity to commit Anti-Social Behaviour. We want to reassure the public that we will be out on the streets, doing our best to keep local communities safe.

“I’d like to also remind people to only trick or treat in their own neighbourhood unless they’re with an adult and avoid going out alone and ask people to stay in well- lit areas where there are plenty of houses.

“At this time of year we work closely with the Fire and Rescue Service, and I urge people not to take risks with fireworks. Anyone caught supplying fireworks to under 18s or lighting them in the street can expect to be dealt with robustly.”

Crime levels on rise as residents seek meeting with police

Concerns about arson attacks in run up to “bonfire night”

The Foxwood Residents Association has written to local Police Chiefs asking for a meeting to discuss an increase in anti social behaviour problems in the area.

The requests comes as figures reveal that there has been  a  13% increase in crime nationally over the last year.

However the figures also confirm that North Yorkshire continues to have the lowest crime rate in England.

It shows there were a total of 37,359 crimes in North Yorkshire during the 12-month period, giving a crime rate of 45.9 per 1,000 of the population. This reflects a one percent increase in crime in comparison to the same period the previous year.

Broken down into the main crime categories, the ONS figures for North Yorkshire show:

Court fines six for offensive and fouling behaviour

York Magistrates found five men guilty yesterday (10 October 2017) of urinating in public in the city during the summer, and another of throwing a can from the City Walls.

All were fined and variously ordered to pay a court surcharge and prosecution costs.

Working in partnership with North Yorkshire Police, City of York Council prosecutes people found fouling the streets to reflect the anti-social nature and health risks this offence presents.

  • Nigel Whiteley, aged 45 of Holmsley Lane, Leeds, was seen urinating on the Knavesmire at 8:20pm on Saturday 1 July 2017. Whiteley pleaded guilty by post and was sentenced to a £120 fine, £30 court surcharge and £100 costs.
  • Patrick McGowan, aged 47 of Cornlands Road, York, was seen by York BID rangers urinating in an alley on Coney Street at 4pm on Saturday 8 July 2017. McGowan did not attend court and was convicted in his absence with a £220 fine, £30 court surcharge and £100 costs.
  • John Alexander, aged 38 of The Causeway, Wolsingham, Bishop Auckland, was seen by police at 7pm on Saturday 15 July 2017 urinating in Albermarle Road. Alexander did not attend court and was convicted in his absence. He was sentenced to a £220 fine, £30 court surcharge and £100 costs.
  • Paul Potter, aged 25, of Monkgate, York, was seen by police at 1:15am on Saturday 15 July 2017 in North Street urinating against a door. He pleaded guilty by post and was sentenced to a £130 fine, £30 court surcharge and £100 costs.
  • Dan Rogers, aged 20 of Pebworth Avenue, Birmingham was seen by police in High Ousegate at 3:50am on Saturday 29 July 2017 urinating in the doorway of a shop. He attended court, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a £70 fine, £30 court surcharge and £100 costs.
  • Raymond Warren of Meanwood, Leeds, was seen by council employees throwing a can of alcoholic drink from the City Walls outside West Offices at 8:45am on Friday 14 July 2017. He was given a fixed penalty of £75 which he failed to pay despite telling the enforcement officer that he had £900. The case was heard in his absence at York Magistrates Court on Tuesday 10 October 2017 where he was found guilty and fined a total of £330.


Dyson vacuum cleaner servicing scam

A mother and son who ran a company that fraudulently serviced Dyson vacuums have been sentenced at Leeds Crown Court today (25 September) for a total ten years for conspiracy to defraud following an investigation by National Trading Standards.

Thomas Scoffin (aged 31 from Park Avenue, Leeds) was the sole director of Leeds-based Excel Servicing Ltd and has been sentenced to seven years imprisonment. His mother Linda Scoffin (aged 61 from Hall Drive, Lincoln) who helped him run the business, has been sentenced to three years in prison.

The judge said that the fraud was so serious that it required a custodial sentence. There were also disqualified from being company directors: Tom for eight years, Linda for six years.

Following complaints against their firm, the National Trading Standards Yorkshire & Humber Regional Investigations team based at City of York Council took 34 witness statements from 24 February 2014 to 30 May 2015. They found that the Scoffins’ company defrauded customers – many of whom were elderly or vulnerable – by falsely claiming to represent Dyson and then conducting unnecessary servicing on their Dyson vacuum cleaners.

The company cold-called members of the public from across the north of England and told them their Dyson vacuum cleaners required a service. Customers were misled to believe Excel Servicing represented Dyson, with some being told Dyson had contracted out their servicing to Excel.

Despite their claim that Dyson vacuum cleaners required servicing, this is not the case which was confirmed by Dyson Ltd itself. When company representatives visited customers they carried out unnecessary ‘servicing’ and, in some cases, actually damaged the vacuum cleaners and voided customers’ Dyson warranties.

Customers were often charged between £50 and £200 to service the cleaners, and charged £40 for a new filter which were, in fact, worth between £2 and £5.

While ‘servicing’ victims’ Dyson cleaners, Excel Servicing staff used pressure-sales tactics to persuade them to buy another brand of vacuum cleaner. The new cleaners – which are designed for industrial use – were sold for between £500 and £2,000 and were often too heavy for the customers to whom they were sold.

The investigators found that Linda Scoffin also ran her own business, KB Midlands Limited, from Lincoln. It supplied and sold Kirby cleaners, and also emailed instructions to Excel Servicing. KB Midlands Limited supplied Kirby cleaners to Excel Servicing.

£1.5 million was received into the Excel Servicing business account for the period of the investigation and payments were made – sometimes through a finance company – to buy Kirby vacuum cleaners.

The investigators also found that the couple paid for numerous foreign holidays from money made by Excel Servicing, while Tom Scoffin spent in bars, restaurants and casinos. During the period of investigation, he was found to have withdrawn £17,000 in cash, and the business bank account for Excel Servicing was used to buy international flights.

Despite this spending, Excel Servicing declared a loss to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs during this period and paid no Corporation Tax.

Both now face confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Lord Toby Harris, Chair of National Trading Standards, said:

“These individuals preyed on elderly and vulnerable people, exploiting their trust and defrauding them. I would like to thank all involved in bringing these criminals to justice – these sentences send a strong signal that National Trading Standards will not hesitate to prosecute those attempting to defraud consumers.

“If you think you or someone you know may have fallen victim to a fraudulent business then I would urge you to contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.”

Councillor Ann Reid, interim executive member with responsibility for Trading Standards at City of York Council, said:

“This tenacious investigation is to be congratulated: it has revealed a disgraceful fraud against vulnerable people and has brought those responsible to justice. I hope this sentence goes someway to reassuring the victims of this fraud and helps restore consumer confidence in legitimate businesses.”

Colin Rumford from the National Trading Standards Yorkshire and Humber Regional Investigations Team said:

“Being aware of consumer rights, not settling for spurious assurances and reporting concerns to Trading Standards is the right thing for people to do: this case proves that. I’m delighted with this team’s work and its outcome.”

Police appeal to find owner of Apple Ipod in Acomb/Westfield area


North Yorkshire Police are appealing to identify the owner of an Apple Ipod recovered in York on Tuesday 5 September 2017.

“We are conducting enquiries to locate the owner of a Black Apple Ipod, which was believed to have been lost or stolen within the Acomb area of York between 4 and the 6 September 2017.

Anyone with information that could assist the investigation should contact us on 101, select option 2, and ask for [Andy Chapman]. You can also email andrew.chapman1681@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can pass information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111”.

Please quote the North Yorkshire Police reference number 12170159084


£75,000 payback order for counterfeit clothing seller

A city centre shopkeeper has today (6 September) been ordered by York Crown Court to pay over £75,000 profit from the sale of counterfeit goods from his shop over the past six years, following a proceeds of crime investigation by City of York Council’s Trading Standards.

Frank Kerr, aged 70 of Milan House, Eboracum Way, off Heworth Green, York has been given three months to pay the £75,059.98 benefit from his crimes or face a two year prison sentence after which the debt will still be hanging over him. He has also been ordered to pay £15,000 to City of York Council towards their investigation costs, within nine months.

The investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 followed a criminal investigation culminating in the prosecution of Frank Kerr in 2015. This followed the council’s Trading Standards officers finding racks of counterfeit clothes and other pirated luxury goods at Miss Diva, York. At the time, Mr Kerr told officers that he was providing a service for people who couldn’t afford the genuine article and that he felt the matter was quite trivial, having already been cautioned by Trading Standards officers for similar offences in 2012.

Mr Kerr pleaded guilty to 11 offences involving counterfeit goods, and 11 more as the sole director of Miss Diva Too Ltd. He also asked for 348 other offences to be taken into consideration. He was given a suspended four-month prison sentence.

At the time of that trial in 2015, the Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, predicted that the “sting in the tail” of the case would come following the financial investigation into the proceeds of these crimes, when Trading Standards would ask the court to confiscate his assets.

Police appeal following recent bicycle theft at Acomb

North Yorkshire Police is appealing for witnesses and information about a bicycle theft that occurred The Green  in Acomb, York.
Appeal following recent bicycle theft at AcombIt happened between 7.30pm on Wednesday 9 August 2017 and 7.30am on Thursday 10 August 2017 when a garage was broken into at a property on The Green.

Two bicycles were stolen during the break in:
• A Yellow Cannondale hybrid bike
• A white Giant road bike

We are appealing for information about the theft and or the whereabouts of the bicycles.

Anyone with information that could assist the investigation should contact us on 101, select option 2, and ask for Hannah Best. You can also email hannah.best@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can pass information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Please quote the North Yorkshire Police reference number 12170141164.


Contact details:
Hannah Best – #0728
hannah.best@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk | 30728
Incident reference:
bicycle theft 12170141164

Police appeal for information following tools theft in Tudor Road

The Police have issued the following statement,

“We have recently had a number of thefts where tools (drills) and garden equipment (chainsaws, hedge cutters) have been taken.

The most recent theft was on Tudor Road in Acomb overnight on the 24th August.

If you have any information that could help please contact and quote incident number 12170151384.

Please ensure that all your valuable items are securely stored and keep out of sight”.