Irish £5 note thief targets Minster

Further CCTV images of man using counterfeit Bank of Ireland £50 at York Minster issued

Police have released further CCTV pictures of a man they want to speak to regarding the purchase of items using counterfeit Bank of Ireland £50 notes.

Police have released further CCTV pictures of a man they want to speak to regarding the purchase of items using counterfeit Bank of Ireland £50 notes.

The initial appeal for information was in relation to a man police wanted to identify,  after he used counterfeit Bank of Ireland £50 notes to purchase low value goods from a number of shops at Monks Cross Shopping Park in York on Thursday 8 February 2018.

Police enquiries have found that on the same day, the man also used a Bank of Ireland counterfeit £50 note in the York Minster Gift Shop to purchase a low value toy.

Anyone who recognises the man pictured, or has information which could assist the investigation is asked to contact police on 101, select option 2 and ask to speak to Rachel Shaw. Alternatively you can email – please quote reference 12180025678.

Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800555111.

Appeal for witnesses following an assault in Acomb Front Street

11-15 Front Street

Officers are appealing for witnesses and information following an assault in Acomb which happened in the early hours of yesterday, Friday 29 December 2017.

Police received reports of an altercation involving a number of men and women outside Boyes on Front Street Acomb, shortly before 12.40am.

Upon arrival, officers found five men and four women to be involved in the altercation and an assault had also taken place.

A 23 year old man has sustained injuries after being punched and kicked, and a 33 year old man has sustained an injury to his head and hand.

Two men from York, aged 23 and 33, were arrested in connection with the incident. Both men have been released under investigation while enquiries continue.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or who has any information is asked to contact police. Dial 101, press 2 and ask to speak to York Investigation Hub.

Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Please quote reference number 12170231267 when passing on any information.

Crime meeting hears residents concerns

Considering the date and location, last night’s meeting to consider policing standards in York attracted a good turnout.

There was little more to report on delays in answering 101 calls although the Police were able to say that on average all non-emergency calls were answered within 90 seconds. Residents were told that a standard 15p (flat rate) fee applied to all 101 calls. There has been a big increase in the numbers of people using the service.

Many residents from the Foxwood and Woodthorpe areas attended the meeting and complained about ongoing anti-social behaviour problems.  A sharp increase in criminal damage incidents had been noted earlier in the year and figures produced for the Westfield Ward (left) showed a steady monthly increase in reports up to the end of October.

The Police explained that they had transferred PCSOs staff into permanent (City Centre) Police officer posts earlier in the year. Many of these had come from sub-urban areas. This might explain why communication links between the Police and Residents Associations stalled in January 2017, and are only now being reinstated.

More recently an increase in police patrols – and the use of social media including twitter ( – had been noted. This included a high-profile attempt to take some of the “scooter gangs” off local roads.

Crime distribution in the Westfield ward in October 2017

The performance and transparency of the Safer York partnership was criticised. The Councils web site provides access to the minutes of the organisations last meeting which apparently took place in December 2016 (click). Those attending the public meeting were assured that another meeting had taken place since, although the claimed two monthly frequency was not being achieved (click).

In any event, the Safer York web site is over 2 years out of date and includes a message, urging visitors to help flood victims, prominent on the “what’s on” page!! (

Nor is the North Yorkshire Police web site much more up to date.  In the neighbourhood’s section they assure residents that the last “event” – property marking – took place last March. There are no events planned for 2018. (click)

Plans to reinvigorate the “Neighbourhood Watch” scheme were announced by Cllr Andrew Waller while most attendees were appreciative of the trouble taken by Cllr Ashley Mason to organise the meeting. Senior police officers present were able to reassure residents that a recovery plan was in place and that the expectations were that policing standards next summer would be higher.

For their part, residents wanted to see more proactive policing with the emphasis being on preventing crime rather than reacting to incidents that had already taken place.

This would mean a sustained improvement in all communication channels and the likely reversal of the trend to centralise resources into the City centre generally and West Offices in particular.

“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

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