11 October 2016
Criminals are paying for new crime prevention measures in Mid Sussex thanks to a recent prosecution by Mid Sussex District Council.
In August 2015 Mr Imran Shahid and Mr Tariq Wasi pleaded guilty to converting Greenfield land in Copthorne into an illegal airport car park. The men failed to obtain planning permission for the operation and ignored a Stop Notice when the Mid Sussex District Council Planning Enforcement team instructed them to cease trading.
Mr Imran Shahid and Tariq Wasi sought to profit by disregarding planning regulations that are in place to protect the local environment. As a result, Mid Sussex District Council obtained a Confiscation Order under the Proceeds of Crime Act and the defendants accepted that they had benefitted to the tune of £34,578 by ignoring the Stop Notice and trading for a further 11 days. A Crown Court Judge ordered that the full amount be confiscated.
Mid Sussex District Council has now received £8,513.98 from the Home Office as its share of the proceeds under the Asset Recovery Incentivisation Scheme. The money is being used to set up a fund for projects that reduce crime, or the fear of crime, in Mid Sussex. This might include introducing security lighting in poorly lit areas, replacing protective fencing or cutting back hedges to make an area more open.
The Council has already used some of the money to purchase six battery operated CCTV cameras to help local families that are suffering with anti-social behaviour in their communities. The cameras gather vital evidence for Sussex Police and are proven to reduce crime and reassure local people.
A donation has also been made to West Sussex Mediation Service, a local charity that helps people to resolve a range of disputes, including those between neighbours. By intervening at an early stage the Mediation Service can often resolve issues before they escalate and require enforcement action by Sussex Police, local councils and other agencies.
“It’s fantastic to see this money being put to good use, helping to prevent crime instead of lining the pockets of criminals,” commented Councillor Norman Webster, Mid Sussex District Council Cabinet Member for Community. “We want everyone to feel safe and secure in Mid Sussex and this funding will help us to create stronger, safer communities for everyone.”
For more information contact Natasha Allen, Mid Sussex District Council Partnerships Manager on 01444 477204 or email Natasha.Allen@midsussex.gov.uk