Monday, 29 July 2013

SGC: Half-arsed, lazy, incomplete and wrong.

I have asked SGC to outline their spending and revenues by year for the last ten years, broken down between business rates, council tax, central funding and all other revenues from fines, forfeitures and charges.  It is my belief that the latter category now exceeds any other form of income - and some of the data they sent seems to confirm that.  However, as expected, the reply was half-arsed, lazy, incomplete and wrong.  They had not bothered to properly read the request or to adequately respond to it.  But why break a habit of a lifetime?

I would attempt to to trawl their own accounts myself but they make a habit of varying the format regularly and using opaque terms without proper explanation of each strand of data.  In effect, you have to be a public sectoroid accountant to make any sense of it, and that's how they prefer it.

The reason for such a request is that there is a referendum lock on all council tax increases, whereby if a council wishes to increase its revenue by more than 2% they must obtain the direct consent of the people.  In the face of that inconvenient obstacle known as democracy, rather than obey they law, they have simply walked around it, and now leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of a quick buck - where no law shall stand in the way of their unbridled lust for the private wealth of the public.

I have asked SGC to properly complete the request but as yet have heard nothing - and don't expect to either.  In light of this I felt compelled to do a little basic research of my own.  I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the chart below with it being based on my own limited extrapolations from the published documentation, but if these figures are true then it raises more questions than answers.

For all the protestations in the media of "cash strapped councils", we can see they are anything but, and in spite of a massive leap in revenues, most likely from dishonest charges and fines, they still manage to spend more than they steal.  Do you recall consenting to this?  I don't.

It is for that reason I consider it a moral obligation to delay and withhold council tax for as long as possible, and it is why I make it a point to make it cost them to collect it.  So far this saga has involved the Police Commissioner, my MP, a senior official in the Fraud office, two senior plod, six junior plod, several recovery officers, a clerk of the court, an accounts manager, three magistrates, four bailiffs, three recovery officers, two police cars, a pursuit down the M42, a missing wheel clamp and a broken padlock - all over nine months.  And I only just submitted the court appeal yesterday.  This isn't over.

Yes, in the end I paid my council tax, but by my ready reckoning, it has cost the local authorities several thousand pounds to extract their £1178.  As it stands presently, it will require six years or more of my council tax just to cover the costs of collecting last years sum - and it won't cost me a penny, whether I win in court or not.

So I say to SGC, it's cheaper all round if you actually investigate bailiff fraud and insist that your contractors obey the law, stop ripping off the poor with liability order charges, and while you're at it, learn to live within your means and stop dishonestly evading the democratic process.  And if you're still not getting the message, wait and see what I have in store for you next year.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

A delivery of bovine excretal matter.

I sometimes think there is a factory somewhere that churns out Stepford-esque public officials, all designed with the same narrow set of parameters, which explains the basic lack of imagination, humanity, attention to detail, personality and comprehension skills.  Today I received an absolutely classic piece of corporate-speak drivel from an evidently senior police official.  You could be forgiven for thinking this was from a press officer - because in effect, that's all senior officials are now; apologists for the pyramid of ineptitude and indifference that lies beneath them.  Take a look at this...
Dear Mr North,

I have been asked to respond to your e mail to the PCC Office dated 19th June 2013. Please accept my apology for the delay in responding due to leave and other operational commitments.

I have reviewed the information that you have provided and I understand that you have reported the matter to Action Fraud. You will be aware that the role of Action Fraud is to work with a range of partners with the aim of making fraud more difficult to commit in the UK. This approach will work to tackle fraud across the spectrum but also works on identifying fraud types and fraud issues that are a notable problem. This will ensure that the fight against fraud in the UK is a coordinated one.

Unfortunately, the Police are unable to investigate every report of fraud individually, but the information provided will build the intelligence picture about fraud. All fraud reports are utilised by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) to inform the wider intelligence picture and identify emerging threats to the country which are then referred for investigation.

In your case, I am aware that there is an ongoing civil matter that was due in Court on 12th July in respect of which you were advised by PC 2803 Williams to await the outcome of that case prior to a final decision by Avon & Somerset Constabulary on your complaint. It may be that your communication to the office of the PCC crossed with that conversation with PC Williams and I anticipate that following the outcome of that hearing you will be in contact with PC Williams should you wish further consideration to be made.

I understand that you are not satisfied by the response that you have received from your report to Action Fraud. I can only reiterate the response that you have previously received from Mrs Mountstevens. I have recently taken responsibility as the force lead for Action Fraud and the issue of feedback to victims of fraud following a report to Action Fraud is something that has been raised with the NFIB and the Action Fraud National Force Liaison Manager. Whilst the response you have received from Action Fraud has been agreed with the victim support service, please be assured that we value your feedback and will seek to utilise that feedback in improving the service provided.

Yours Sincerely

Dr Kirstie Cogram
Financial Investigation & Economic Crime
Serious & Organised Crime Group
ex. 66641
Tel: 01275 816641 / 07920 757908

My first thoughts were "is this a wind up?"  They know perfectly well by now that this wasn't a civil matter.   The part highlighted tells you this automoton has only examined the case in the most cursory sense.  The plod did not at any point state that an investigation was dependent on the outcome of the trial.  I would have torn strips off them if they had.  The CPS even agreed to an adjournment of the trial on the basis that it was our understanding an investigation was in progress.  She has essentially re-stated what I already know from the pig-ignorant and lazy response of the the plod.  I really don't know why they bother.

The short hand version of this letter is "Dear Mr North, I'm too busy counting paper-clips to look at your case and I don't understand it anyway - but because I'm very important I will cobble together a few key phrases from the public sector bullshit handbook and then tell you to basically fuck off."

That's fine.  I didn't expect much.  Expecting a public official to do their job is like expecting a cat to bark, but I'd have preferred the honest version just to save time.  That said, such casual insolence deserves a somewhat verbose reply - and since so much of this is now pre-written thanks to this blog, it's very little effort on my part to do so.

Dear Dr Cogram,

Thank you for your email. I quite agree that the police cannot investigate every report of fraud individually, however in this instance, I was in possession of hard evidence, yet the police refused to even accept a complaint. The only way I was able to get a crime number was to use the action fraud website and pursue it further from there.

The reason the police neglected their duty in this matter is that there seems to be an internal directive to treat advance fee fraud by bailiffs as a civil matter, in spite of several statements from the government since 2007 that fee fraud is indeed a criminal offence. Though Mrs Mountstevens herself initially maintained it was a civil matter, Advance Fee Fraud has never been a civil matter (as the police maintain) and it is only in light of the recent guidelines from the DCLG that I was able to get any movement at all in the direction of a proper investigation.

So up until the arrival of the Action Fraud website, there was no possible means of reporting bailiff fraud, which means the authorities collectively have little or no telemetry or intelligence on this kind of crime. Even your own website does not list bailiff fraud as a category and one is expected to know the intricacies of fraud law in order to categorise it properly. One can see why the average citizen doesn't bother to report such to the police (and takes such matters into their own hands). The reason you do not acknowledge the seriousness of this fraud epidemic is because you collectively deny its existence - and use your lack of data in relation to it to reinforce this view. If you don't see it, it isn't happening it seems.

You are correct in that there was a court case on 12 July 2013, though it was not a civil case, as you would know had you familiarised yourself with the details before contacting me. The court case was to discern whether my actions were reasonable by way of removing a bailiff's wheel clamp. The magistrates view was that there were means available to me that I neglected to explore before resorting to removing their clamp, thus my actions were not viewed as reasonable - and consequently I am guilty of Criminal Damage. I beg to differ, and will appeal, but that is not relevant to the matter at hand.

The court case itself was not to decide whether or not my allegations of fraud against Rundles Bailiffs were valid or not. In fact the magistrates made no ruling on this at all, because that was not in their remit. You are correct in that the police have awaited the verdict before initiating an investigation. They have used it as an excuse not to investigate - as they have wrongfully read the verdict as a vindication of the bailiffs, when it is entirely immaterial to the allegations of fraud. So yet again the police have not only ducked the issue, they have merely sat on an investigation and allowed the outcome of this trial to prejudice their decision to investigate. When I am finished with the appeal process, regardless of the outcome, I will turn all my attention on a police complaint and will present other victims of Rundles bailiffs in support of it. They are mistaken if they think I will let this drop.

The police have been rude and dismissive from the outset and I would even say lazy at this point. I am a victim of a crime and have been stonewalled by the council and the police - and now your own office. I am astonished by this. There is now a cottage industry of legal services to deal with rogue bailiffs and thousands of anecdotal accounts of bailiff fee fraud on internet forums and yet the whole law enforcement establishment prefers to stick its fingers in its ears and deny the problem exists.

You will be aware that even small councils are issuing anywhere between five and ten thousand liability orders a year for council tax - and if even half of these result in bailiff action, whereby they routinely employ unlawful tactics - in clear breach of the regulations, then we are looking at a national epidemic amounting to several million pounds. One would have thought that this would be of particular interest to you. Pursuing it would not only go a long way to restoring public confidence in the police, but would also be a career making case against a long standing epidemic of fraud that has netted millions for unscrupulous bailiffs. In light of the changes to council tax benefit, this problem is only going to get worse, and still you are content to neglect the issue, and essentially fob me off with the same bland corporate-speak as everyone else. If I'd wanted a scripted answer from a press officer, I'd have called your press officer.

My confidence in the impartiality and professionalism of the police has been utterly rocked by this. Had the police taken my complaint seriously in the first instance there would never have been a criminal case brought against me. There is no evidence whatsoever that the bailiffs visited me on the alleged dates and they have no record of the charges they scribbled on the proformas stuffed through my door at later dates. Only I am in possession of these documents. That is why the police do not see any evidence of fraud: - They have refused point blank to even look at it. They have not even been to my house to follow up on the evidence.

What we have here is 'policing by stats'. Prosecuting me is a nice easy hit that takes no great effort to secure a statistical win. The police will take the councils word that the bailiff fees are legitimate and will do no examination of their own, and with the deck stacked by the councils not even investigating complaints and referring complaints directly to the bailiff companies themselves, there is a high probability of an easy conviction. It seems that anything that may prove difficult or time consuming to investigate, that does not necessarily result in an easy statistic to chalk up on the blackboard, is deemed too much effort and not worth the trouble. Rather than serving the justice and serving the public, they can proudly lie to their superiors that another ruffian criminal has been punished for his misdeeds. For a public service that is rapidly losing respect and standing in the community, you would expect they would take more of an interest in protecting the public interest. If this is the shape of policing to come, I will not be in the least bit surprised if we start seeing such incidents turn violent - and you will have played your part in it.
I am am deeply offended, angry and disappointed by the police response in this matter and now I know they've have chosen sides, I will no longer view them as public servants, but lazy, predatory bandits who will opt for convenience over justice. The consequences of that will be theirs because times are coming where the police will need the co-operation and support of people like me. It won't be there. As for you, if your letter is anything to go by, you are as much a part of the problem.

Yours sincerely,

Peter North.
I don't for a minute expect it will penetrate the layers of institutional conditioning, nor will it prick her conscience since public officials have no souls anyway.  I bet this ghoulish thing doesn't even cast a reflection in the mirror.  However, this is essentially the result of getting in touch with the Avon & Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner.  The lesson here is that if you don't like the answer from the press officer-in-chief, then they will shunt it through to a different press officer, who will merely add a moderately different flavour of bullshit to it.

Somehow we're expected to pay them £100k a year or more for this drivel.   Given that this apologist crap is so standard now, I'm surprised there isn't a subroutine in Microsoft Word that essentially does the same job for the price of a liability order.  These people are scum sucking parasites and they are draining the vitality from civil society.  Eventually, there will be a price to pay.

Thursday, 18 July 2013


Bailiff fraud is a national epidemic.  The only people who won't acknowledge it are the police, the courts and the councils because they rely on it to feed their grubby little empires.  They are uniformly corrupt - and even the government is starting to take notice.  But I am not alone in fighting them.  I have received some substantial and very generous donations over the last few days.  We are stunned by the response.  So I can categorically say, when we win the appeal, we are going to make Avon and Somerset Police pay through the nose, and South Glos Council will be sent a bill for the disruption and stress - and we will take them to court should they refuse to pay.  We will also move for a serious reprimand of the police officers involved.  One way or another, I'm going to take this out of somebody's hide and South Glos Council will have to answer for their corruption. 

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

An easy hit.

A policeman hard at work serving the community.
Readers of this blog may have noticed the contributions from various commenters, some of whom are every bit as familiar with this corruption epidemic as I.  It's rare to get relevant and sensible comments on a blog and I am very grateful to receive them.  I'm only sorry I've not had time to reply to each of them, but please keep them coming.  The first comment on the latest post by "eek it out" hit the nail on the head.  What we have here is 'policing by stats'.

Prosecuting me is a nice easy hit that takes no great effort to secure a statistical win.  The plod will take the councils word that the bailiff fees are legitimate and will do no examination of their own, and with the deck stacked, there is a high probability of an easy conviction - especially since the average magistrate is too thick to make a judgement on points of technical regulation.  To expect a plod to do the legwork where grey matter may collide - forget it.

Rather than address a fraud epidemic for which there is widespread proof, testimony and multiple complaints to the police, as well as a cottage industry in fighting them, the police opt not to rock the boat and leave these grubby little dung piles alone, free to rape the public with unlawful charges.  I ask, would this industry even exist if the police did their jobs? 

It seems that anything that may prove difficult to investigate, that does not necessarily result in an easy statistic to chalk up on the blackboard, is deemed too much effort and not worth the trouble.  Rather than serving the justice and serving the public, they can proudly lie to their superiors that another ruffian criminal has been punished for his misdeeds.  For a public service that is rapidly losing respect and standing in the community, you would expect they would take more of an interest in protecting the public interest.

I have been in touch with Avon and Somerset Plod to demand a written explanation as to why they have refused to investigate, which I shall publish here.  So far they have gone to great lengths to avoid putting anything in writing.  I suspect this is because they know full well that they are exposed - and they know they have done a sloppy job on this from the outset, especially the obnoxious and thoroughly lazy PC 4434 Bird.  One can almost understand the impulse to throw hand grenades at plod if the lack of manners is typical of PC's Bird and Coleman.

However, there is one small matter they forget.  This isn't over yet.  Odds are good that I shall win the appeal an abuse of process grounds alone.  After which, if they think I have been a nuisance up to press, they ain't seen nothing yet.  But if I lose, I will have a criminal record already, and thus will have nothing to lose by doing precisely the same again next year, alongside a couple of other community minded and principled people who have pledged to do the same by withholding council tax; after which I will  be compiling a document for submission to the Serious Fraud Office.  They are, after all, experts on serious fraud.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

An open letter to Avon & Somerset PCC

Dear Mrs Mountstevens,

I am writing to you to express my grave concern over the conduct of Avon and Somerset Police in the matter of an alleged fraud by Rundles Bailiffs.  Yet again, the police have refused to investigate the matter, despite there being no evidence whatsoever that Rundles visited my home on either occasion they attempted to charge me for, nor have Rundles kept any record of what they attempted to charge me on the first date they actually visited, which is well in excess of what is permitted by law.  Had the police bothered to investigate I could have demonstrated this clearly.  Further to this I have only had a phone call from a police officer to explain their reasoning, who refused to let me speak at any point and did not listen to anything I said. 

The police have taken the view that as I was found guilty of criminal damage for removing the bailiff's clamp, that de-facto, there is no fraud to investigate, however, no verdict was passed on Rundles or the evidence presented in that regard; only a verdict on whether my actions could be said to be reasonable in light of the circumstances.  And so in essence, the police have summarily acquitted Rundles without investigation or charge, and had they done their jobs in the first place (and interviewed me as to why I suspect fraud) I would not in all likelihood have even faced a trial to begin with.  Given the timing of today's phone call, one takes the impression that the police have merely sat on the matter until the verdict of this trial, which is has no bearing on the matter of fraud.  That is breathtaking negligence even by Avon & Somerset standards.

I require a written explanation as to why it is the policy of the police not to investigate matters of fraud.  The police have been rude and uninterested from the outset, and not at any point have they taken a legitimate complaint seriously.  At this point I am considering legal action against the police because I feel there is little alternative.  

The police have acted with contempt and with a total disregard for their duty to uphold the law in this matter - and have have merely acted as agents on behalf of council collection agents.  I need not tell you how much this harms the standing of the police in the community.  Now that the councils are significantly increasing their council tax liability order summonses, someone will eventually take the law into their own hands on the basis of police negligence - and somebody, possibly a police officer, will get hurt.  On that day, I will be sure to remind them who is at fault, and that you had every opportunity to remedy it.

Peter North.

Kicking back at bailiffs.

The Guardian is running a half decent report this week on the guidelines issued by the DCLG.  There's not much to pick fault with, either in the guidelines or the Guardian report, to which the councils will pay no attention.  I offer an extract for analysis.
Pickles said: "It is unacceptable for councils to employ burly bailiffs with heavy-handed tactics like kicking down doors, making phantom visits or charging excessive fees – it is unfair and damages a council's standing in the community.
Bailiff behaviour in this fashion is a given.  It's what bailiffs do.  That is why this blog is named the way it it, not "Rundles are lying crooks".  It seems somewhat redundant to make that assertion.  That's what they do.  If Rundles are confident that I am being in any way libellous, they are welcome to sue me and I shall see them in court.

What really "damages a council's standing in the community" is the fact that councils not only refuse to investigate their own contractors, it it is the fact they wilfully support the criminal actions of their contractors without investigation of complaints.

In so doing they move from a position of being benevolent benefactors to the needy to a position of being greedy cash-grabbing corporate monopolies who abuse their 'market position' to extort as much money as they can, for nefarious and dishonest purposes, with little or no accountability to the public.

This in turn creates what Baroness Hollis calls a "culture of non-compliance".  And rightly so.  If we are to pay council tax for them to squander at will without consequence for failure, and will wilfully allow their contractors to break the law in pursuit of their ill-gotten gains, then there is little or no option but for the decent law abiding citizen to refuse to comply.  That is, in part, why this blog exists.  If the state has taken it upon itself to break the law and criminalise the poor, then "non-compliance" is not only an option and a consequence, it is also a moral and civic duty.

This isn't over.

Some readers will be aware that the criminal damage trial regarding the clamping was last week.  I was found guilty.  I had moved for an adjournment on the basis that, as the police were (supposedly) investigating Rundles bailiffs, the outcome may prejudice that investigation.  I then received a letter from the CPS agreeing to an adjournment and even the CPS barrister in court had no objections in light of this matter.  This was of no concern to the magistrates, who then proceeded to press ahead with the trial, even thought I was without representation and my case notes were with my legal adviser.

Their view was that I should have been prepared for the possibility of a trial and spent the £1000 on representation just on the off chance, even though there was every reasonable expectation of an adjournment.  Evidently, expediency takes precedence over justice. 

The verdict was somewhat non-committal.  It was the view of the magistrates that as I had not contacted the police or the council at the time of clamping (as if there was any point in that) that my actions were not reasonable, which has no bearing on the fraud issue whatsoever.

Consequently, a rather rude plod informed me today (without letting me speak) that they have decided to drop their investigation of Rundles on the basis that I was found guilty of criminal damage. It is not for the magistrates to pass judgement on the matter of fraud (nor did they do so), only as to whether my actions were reasonable in light of the circumstances.  So the police have basically sat on their arses and awaited this verdict and summarily found Rundles innocent without investigation, charge or trial, even though Rundles themselves have admitted in court that they have no record of what they attempted to charge on first visit, no copies of the letters they posted through my door - and have yet to supply any evidence whatsoever that the visits had taken place at all.  Nor have the police contacted me at any point to clarify why I suspect a fraud and what my grounds for complaint are.  Had the police done their job (as if), there is a good chance I would not even have faced a trial.

I'm sure the plod, Rundles and the Council are having a good laugh about this, but in light of this, the police have strengthened my appeal grounds and now I will move for a full retrial.  This isn't over, not by a long shot, and when I win, I will make it my sole mission to bring all parties concerned to account.  My line of defence at trial was flawed, but having done the dress-rehearsal with a bunch of brain dead magistrates, and now having a new ace up my sleeve, along with proper representation, were I James Cohen, I would be concerned.  The police, the council and the courts have made a pigs ear of this from the very start.  It is going to cost them.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Quelle Surprise!

Well, well, well!!  Look who's in the news!  It's our fraudster friends, Rundle & Co. Bailiffs.
"When the bailiff, employed by Rundles – which collects late payments on behalf of the council – arrived at the 38-year-old's home in Hermits Road, Three Bridges, she thought he was there to discuss the plan.  But when she let him inside he presented her with a £950 bill, which included a £500 late payment charge.  Mrs Mustafaj told him she didn't have that much on her so would have to go to the bank.  She claims the bailiff told her this would add £110 to the bill. Mrs Mustafaj, who runs Cafe Xpress Wash in Gales Place, reluctantly agreed to pay up."
There is absolutely no basis in law for these charges whatsoever.  Not legally, not morally.  A serious fraud has been committed and Mrs Mustafaj, the victim, is evidently under the impression that Rundles have lawful authority to levy these fees.  They do not.  It is depressing that with all the wealth of information online that people still fall for this grotesque scam.  But the behaviour of the local council is equally repugnant, and is fairly consistent with my experience of South Gloucestershire Council, who are also aiding and abetting a serious fraud epidemic.
"Defending the bailiff, a council spokesman said: "Mrs Mustafaj appealed against the council's decision [not to give her a council tax discount]. It was reconsidered but we upheld our previous decision.  On April 18 Mrs Mustafaj told us she wished to take her claim to tribunal, which we are preparing for. The bailiff's actions and fees were appropriate."
This is absolutely classic council behaviour. No attempt to investigate the complaint, or to establish the lawfulness of the fees, only a justification of the decision to use bailiffs, which is wholly irrelevant. All we get is the casual and indifferent corporate-speak lies from them and "Nobody from Rundles was available for comment." Shocked!! Shocked I tell you!

Our councils are knowingly assisting a bandit organisation that wilfully acts outside the law. They must be stopped. And they will be. Of that, I promise.  I am not working alone on this.  An individual by the name of Arnold Layne deserves some special credit for the work he has done with FOI requests and his other research, and if you look in the comments of the linked article, you will see that there are other ordinary citizens, just like you, who have cottoned on to these grubby little fiefdoms where the police, the councils, the courts and the bailiffs close ranks in mutual defence and in defiance of the law.  We are building a body of evidence between us that this corruption is endemic to most, if not all, councils in the UK.

This is quite obviously a deliberate conspiracy to defraud, obfuscate and evade, and while the authorities have been getting away with this for years, now that we are seeing queues round the block of people summonsed for council tax, the days of this dirty little stitch-up are numbered.  Someone will have to answer, and if they think they can do this to us without there being a price to pay, then they can think again.  These people are predators who prey on the gullible, the weak and the poor.  But we will spread the word and we will teach people to stand up for their rights - and then SGC and your cronies, we will turn our attention on you.

Arrogant, rude, lazy and indifferent.

While the greedy-guts fraudsters at SGC are the primary offenders in this whole debacle, the police have not escaped my attention either, as you probably noticed.  What prompts this post is the remarks made today by policing minister Damian Green.  He said that "police should be more polite and thoughtful to renew their relationship with members of the public".  I couldn't agree more.

On the morning when the plod came to retrieve the clamp I confiscated, an individual whom I believe to be PC Coleman 4331, on behalf of Rundles, proceeded to lecture me without allowing me to speak, stating in so many words that he had the power to violate my flat in search of it if I refused to hand it over.

What is interesting here is that, even though the governments own guidelines have always required that the police take bailiff fraud seriously, Coleman refused to even let me finish my sentences and kept repeating "It's a civil matter" in a mantra fashion, while the dimwitted plod-ette sat smirking silently in the corner.  I was insistent that he listened, but instead he threatened to arrest me for speaking out of turn.  I wasn't threatening and I wasn't even uncivil, much to my own surprise.  I quoted the regulations to him directly, to which he replied as he was leaving "it's all Greek to me, I don't know anything about it."  I suggested that "he ought to fucking well find out, because this won't be the last time".

Essentially, this plod was aiding and abetting a fraud, - and abandoning impartiality by acting as an agent on behalf of Rundles (even though the plod maintain it was a civil matter), while refusing to even hear out the case put to him (with the legislation on screen) that a criminal act had been carried out against me - and that I was a victim of a crime.  According to the plod, it's a civil matter where the public are concerned, but it's a criminal act to defend yourself against well known fraudsters like James Cohen & Co.

At this point, politeness seems somewhat redundant.  But if the plod think that talking over people and shouting down victims of crime is a way in which to secure the respect and co-operation of the public, then we're in bigger trouble that I thought.  To all intents and purposes, the police have simply become the para-military wing of the tax office and the bodyguards of known serial fraudsters.  This is the stuff of third world mafia-state kleptocracies, not first world democracies.  (Stop laughing at the back.)

But times they are a changing.  Today we see, courtesy of a passer by, the true face of the British police.  Essentially they are violent, belligerent, arrogant, bent, lazy, know-nothing incompetents (who think they are the whole of the law), who will only act when they're exposed, and only with instruction from both the police commissioner and the CPS - and even that took some doing.  So, my dear plod, the next time we dance our little dance (and we will), you will excuse me if I am less than civil.  While there are still no laws against standing up for yourself, I will continue to do so until you get your own house in order.

Monday, 8 July 2013

I got mail!

As far as councils go, SGC are not the worst offenders when it comes to greedy profiteering from Liability Orders - but they most certainly are greedy little piggies.  Here is their rather frank admission of fraud:
Dear Mr North,

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act.

Liability Orders granted in pursuit of Council Tax for 2012/2013 = 4,272
The actual cost of issuing = £84.79
Amount charged = £85.00
Total Revenue raised = £363,120

Please let me know if you require clarification on any of the above.

Yours sincerely ,

Mrs L Stevens
Recovery manager 
South Gloucestershire Council
Don't you find it awfully convenient that the supposed cost of running a monthly query against their existing tax database comes to £84.79  per person?  What is going so badly wrong at SGC that it costs them £362,222.88 to print off and send a batch of letters from a mail merge?  And though the law states that only reasonable costs may be charged, even by their own admission, they are rounding it upward.  By their own admission the are embezzling money from the process. I suspect if we were allowed to know the true cost, we would find the fraud is a substantially larger figure than they admit to. Perhaps I should call the police?

Though it is interesting to note that this is the same Mrs L Stevens who referred a specific complaint about a council recovery officer, to that very same council officer, which in my view is an outrageous abuse of process.
Mr North,

I have been forwarded your email as Mrs Hooper is not in the office until Monday 24th February.

The content and the tone of your email have been noted, but I do not intend to dignify it with a detailed response other than to advise you that Mrs Hooper is a very valued & experienced senior member of my Recovery team.

A full investigation of your complaint will be undertaken by Mrs Hooper next week.

I have advised Rundle & Co of your comments relating to their company.

Yours sincerely

Mrs L Stevens
Recovery Manager
South Gloucestershire Council
You will also note, that rather than investigating the alleged fraud by Rundles and referring it to the police, as they are supposed to do, this same creature actually leaks my complaint to the bailiffs themselves.  What we see in SGC's recovery office is a bunch of lazy, arrogant, dishonest crooks who will neither investigate a complaint properly or uphold the law, and leak complaints to their criminal contractors.  When the court case is over, win or lose, there is an abuse of process to address here and Dorothy Hooper and Louise Stevens must be held to account.  While I am considering suing them, an LGO complaint is most certainly in the works.  These grubby parasites really should face the sack.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Warning over council tax scam

Residents are being warned about a council tax scam currently in circulation.  Thousands of people have been contacted by a criminal gang calling themselves "South Gloucestershire Council" with demands for sums exceeding £1000.  Their material claims that "This funding is a vital part of the region's budget and we want to make sure every penny goes towards providing vital front-line services." which, as we know, simply isn't true.  This organisation is a local protection racket whose collection agents are known to the police and are currently under investigation for fraud.  The ringleader of this scam is thought to be serial fraudster, Amanda Deeks, who operates in collusion with local thugs, one of them suspected to be James Cohen.  Residents of South Gloucestershire should call the police should they believe they are a target of this scam.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

A sign of things to come?

The Daily Mail reports that a bailiff and his female colleague were shot in south London while they tried to evict a housing association tenant with rent arrears.  The tempation is to let out a small cheer but we do not know the details of this case.  Though if it transpires that the bailiffs behaved in the way that Rundle & Co do, and the police were equally unmoved to investigate, one would not be the least bit surprised at this action - and this was only a matter of time.

Local politician Chuka Umunna has said  “It is very important that those who provide housing and related services can do their jobs without living in fear, never mind without suffering extreme violence of this type."  Given the conduct of various authorities across the country, I say "physician, heal thyself".  If you continue in this manner, then those who "provide housing and related services" will most definiately live in fear, and deservedly so.

If the public cannot rely on the police, the councils and the bailiffs to acknowledge and uphold the law, then there is little recourse but for citizens to take the law into their own hands.  Should the situation not improve, I expect we shall see a great deal more of this - and I, for one, will not lose any sleep over it.