Modern Slavery in Cornwall? Sadly – Yes

March 27th, 2015 by

Modern slavery was discussed at a conference in Cornwall at the Eden Project on Tuesday 3 March.

modern slavery

A number of speakers from across the UK  delivered keynote speeches addressing the complexity of this issue.

The event was co-hosted by Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer, National Policing Lead for Modern Slavery; Bishop of Truro, the Right Reverend Tim Thornton, and Chief Executive of Cornwall Council, Andrew Kerr.

The conference aimed to raise awareness of the issue in Cornwall in the hope that it will increase reporting of this crime and improve the way victims of slavery are cared for.

Delegates from law enforcement, health services, faith communities, Cornwall Council, education, local businesses and other partner agencies  heard from six speakers, including the newly appointed Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Kevin Hyland.




Crime and policing news update: March 2015

March 27th, 2015 by

Truro Brownies say “Be Safe, Be Seen”

March 26th, 2015 by

Children from the 9th Truro (St Georges) Brownies helped the  Cornwall Council Road Safety Team celebrate this year’s Twilight Trail, which involves a twilight walk with a twist!

Twilight Trail group 1987









Twilight Trails aim to educate children about the importance of wearing fluorescent and reflective clothing in poor light and at night to ensure that they are more visible to other road users.

The event, which took place during February, at Victoria Gardens in Truro, started with an evening meeting during which Road Safety staff gave a brief presentation about the importance of wearing fluorescent and reflective clothing when out on the roads at night or in poor light.

With a torch and a reflective tabard each, the children were taken along a dark route where they were able to discover all kinds of reflective items concealed in hedges, trees and undergrowth.

During the walk team members from Road Safety explained how the torches cause the reflective material to shine just as a reflector would react when caught in a vehicle’s headlights.

Without reflective clothing or items a pedestrian or cyclist is only visible, in dipped headlights, from 30 metres away. By wearing or using reflective items they become visible at 150 metres, giving drivers five times the distance to notice them and, more importantly, avoid them.

Tamsin Ferris, Cornwall Council Road Safety Officer says: “Twilight Trails are an incredibly visual and interactive method of helping children to learn that reflective and fluorescent clothing will greatly increase their visibility when out on the roads in poor light. A fun activity such as a Twilight Trail helps the children to retain the vital road safety message of Be Safe and Be Seen.”

In recent years there have been a number of tragic adult pedestrian deaths on dark roads. So the message is vital for everybody: consider wearing or carrying something bright if you have to walk along the road at night.




Detox unit to be built for Young people in Cornwall

March 26th, 2015 by

The Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) have been awarded a £438,000 capital grant to build a Young Peoples and Families wing at Boswyns Assessment, Stabilisation and Detox Unit in West Cornwall.


Bosence Farm Limited are contributing £100,000 of their own funding. This will reduce young people and families who are affected by drug and alcohol problems and who require residential assessment, stabilisation or detox, from having to be sent out of Cornwall and will make it easier for local services to co-ordinate and support their care. In 2014-15, Young People requiring such service were having to be sent as far away as Kent and, whilst family placements were sometimes closer, the outcomes were very poor. By Placing the unit alongside the adult specialist unit, the needs of families with complex multiple needs can be looked at together and we can reduce costs by piggy backing the new service onto the existing service, with its excellent clinical facilities.

The DAAT is looking for a Project Manager to work with the team responsible for the design and delivery of the build and parties interested in supporting the unit from inception.


Road Safety Team highlights the dangers of work related road crashes

March 26th, 2015 by

Members of staff from the Cornwall Council Road Safety team attended two IMERYS sites and delivered a range of activities and information in a bid to highlight the risks associated with work related driving to over 80 members of staff who drive as part of their work. The staff involved drive on a regular basis as part of their work, in addition to driving to and from work.

CC Imerys 7762 (2)

Left to right….

Tamsin Ferris,

Paul Rowe, Clare Bracey

Jim Husband, Senior Health & Safety Field Officer for IMERYS.



Nationally, it is estimated that approximately 200 road deaths and serious injuries each week involve someone at work. Around one third of all crashes are estimated to involve someone who was at work at the time – meaning that up to 1000 lives are lost each year where someone is driving for work. It is estimated that between 25% and 33% of road traffic collisions involve somebody who was using the road for work purposes.

Members of staff from IMERYS sites at Par Moor and Drinnick were encouraged by their managers to attend the events and complete the various activities that were offered covering a broad range of subjects including; stopping distances, vehicle maintenance, collision causations and the importance of planning their journeys to avoid time pressure leading to an increased risk of speeding and in-car distractions.

Staff visiting the event were given the opportunity to rank six of the top 15 causes that are attributed to road traffic collisions in Cornwall by the Police and to measure out stopping distances in a bid to provide them with practical activities to really drive home the importance of maintaining safe driving practices when driving as part of their work.

Staff who took part were entered into a prize draw to win two £50 Asda gift cards, kindly provided by IMERYS. Further Work Related Road Safety activities are planned following positive feedback from both staff and the Health and Safety department of IMERYS.


Coming up – Water safety and drowning prevention week

March 26th, 2015 by

Fire Service prepare for Water Safety and Drowning Prevention week

Fire Brigade Banner _ Web

Accidental drowning causes more than 400 UK deaths every year and hundreds more will have a non-fatal drowning experience.

The first Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) Water Safety and Drowning Prevention week will run from the 13-19 April this year and is extensively focused on the main areas of drowning in the UK, which are swimming and recreational use of open water. Of the 378¹ fatalities in 2013, over 50 occurred in the South West in comparison to the 88² people who lost their lives in fires between 2008 and 2013.

fire drowning

Orange Watch, St Austell Community Fire Station staging a rescue for the press during the 2014 Royal Lifesaving Society’s drowning prevention week, warning about the dangers of swimming in Cornwall’s many disused quarry and mine workings.

 The CFOA Water Safety Group have created a list of the ‘Fatal Five’ causes of drowning to base the public safety message around:

The drowning prevention FATAL FIVE:

  1. Cold water shock – low water temperature can numb limbs and claim lives
  2. Do you know what is in or under the water surface – entrapment hazards, pollution etc.
  3. Currents or water conditions – includes floods, unknown depths, ice, riptides, eddies etc.
  4. Alcohol consumption – don’t swim if you have been drinking (this is a big issue, particularly with young men)
  5. Swimming Competency – don’t assume because you can swim in a pool that you can deal with the challenges of open water swimming – the key messages here are swim in safe areas, or where there is supervision or a lifeguard.

Age is one of the major risk factors for accidental drowning’s ³ and in the UK it remains the third highest cause of death in children


Males are especially at risk of drowning, with twice the overall mortality rate of females. They are more likely to be hospitalized than females for non-fatal drowning. Studies suggest that the higher drowning rates among males are due to increased exposure to water and riskier behaviour such as swimming alone, drinking alcohol before swimming.

Over the coming weeks CFOA will publish a tool kit for the drowning prevention week to assist any community or media engagement activities in your area. The target messages this year will be focused upon ‘Cold Water Shock’ and in particular at 16 – 30 year old people.

 Top tips

  • Don’t swim in old quarries or clay pits they may be very deep, have unseen hazards below the surface and the water is often contaminated.
  • Remember that lakes and rivers remain cold all year round (warm shallow areas just a few metres from the shore can be misleading about the temperatures further out). Moving water cools the body 250 times faster than still water!
  • Take extra care on river banks, they are often slippery and can crumble, at least 22% of people who drown fall into the water by accident.
  • Never swim near locks or weirs where water flows quickly and water levels may change suddenly.
  • Always wear a buoyancy aid or lifejacket for activities on the water or at the water’s edge (such as when boating or fishing).
  • Never enter the water after consuming alcohol.

Visit the Royal Life Saving Society Drowning Prevention Week in June for more information:

¹ National Water Safety Forum’s Water Accident and Incident Database report 2013

² Fire deaths in the South West between 2008-13 Report by Devon and Somerset FRS

³World Health Organisation Global report on drowning: preventing a leading killer 2014


Attacked in Their Own Home

March 26th, 2015 by

Attacked in Their Own Home.

A report by Cornwall’s Trading Standards team has highlighted the widespread misery and impact on health and independent living caused by scam mail and bogus phone calls.

Download full report here –  Mass-Marketing-Scams-Interim-Report-FINAL-Feb-2015.pdf


Cornwall Council





The report explains how the scale of the threat in Cornwall has become apparent over the last year, with over 1000 victims identified from just one mailing list seized by police. Cheques and cash attached to bogus prize notification claims, fake clairvoyant letters and misleading catalogue ordering forms have been intercepted and returned. Such is the size of the task these days, that Trading Standards has recruited 6 volunteers specifically to work with victims and help them to stop responding to such convincing letters. But as the case studies highlighted in the report demonstrate, loneliness and isolation are often difficult underlying causes to prevent.

The report, “Mass Marketing Scams” has been shared with all of Cornwall Council’s elected members so as to raise awareness amongst local communities.


Guilty Pleas for shoddy home maintenance work.

March 26th, 2015 by

Guilty Pleas for shoddy home maintenance work.

At Truro Crown Court on 16th March Stephen McCann of Pitt Lane, St Columb Major pleaded ‘Guilty’ to 3 offences relating to shoddy building work, overcharging and failure to give cancellation notices. The offences had been committed at the homes of two elderly female.

trading standards






McCann, who also goes by the name of Jones, was serving a 3 year conditional discharge sentence for similar offences at the time of this latest offending.

Following a call by one of the victims, Cornwall Council Trading Standards conducted door to door enquiries amongst her neighbours and unearthed further offending at a neighbour’s property.  McCann had failed to issue both customers with written cancellation rights for the work carried out. McCann had also completed the work to a very poor standard, according to an expert building surveyor, who reported that rectification work of over £1100 was required to put things right.

McCann was sentenced by Judge Carr for two offences under the Fraud Act 2006 (for failing to disclose information required under the Cancellation of Contracts made in a Consumer’s Home or place of Work etc Regulations 2008) and for one offence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (for failing to meet the requirements of professional diligence).  A 6 months prison sentence was suspended for a period of 18 months and McCann was also made subject to a 2 month curfew order (7pm until 7am daily) and ordered to pay £1140.66 compensation to one of his victims and £4000 towards the prosecution costs.


Unsafe Installation of Wood Burning Stoves

March 26th, 2015 by

Guilty Pleas for Unsafe Installation of Wood Burning Stoves

Luke Watson of Barripper, Camborne and his sub-contractor, David Watson (unrelated) of Great Wheal Seton, Camborne pleaded guilty at Truro Magistrates Court on 2nd March to a total of four offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and the Fraud Act 2006 relating to the unsafe and unregistered installation of three wood burning stoves and for fraudulently charging for work not undertaken, between November 2011 and October 2012.

trading standards

Police Uni Back





At the time of the offences, Luke Watson ran his own business under the name of “County Stoves” and was registered with HETAS, the official registration body for solid fuel heating engineers. Some time later, after the business had been closed, problems with his workmanship and business practices began to emerge.

Following a complaint by a local consumer Cornwall Trading Standards launched an investigation into the historical activities of County Stoves and this revealed a number of cases where the installation of a wood burner or stove was found to have been incomplete and potentially unsafe. Furthermore, to avoid potential audit or inspection by the registration body, Watson deliberately failed to register those installations with HETAS.

Both men refused to attend for interview and refused to provide any documentation relating to the business in an attempt to frustrate the investigation.

Luke Watson pleaded guilty to three charges, he was fined 3 x £550 and ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge and costs of £2113.17 David Watson pleaded guilty to one charge and was fined £400 and ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge and costs of £301.88.

The prosecution case file has now been passed to the Health & Safety Executive for further investigation into the installation work carried out by the two.


Cornish Smuggler avoids prison sentence

March 26th, 2015 by

On 20th February 2015 at Bodmin Magistrates Court Ian WHIPP pleaded guilty to a number of charges involving the sale and distribution of smuggled, fake and illegal items. Previous encounters with Mr Whipp by Cornwall Council Trading Standards and D& C Police prompted the use of a range of legislation to reflect the nature of his offending, namely;

1 X Tobacco labelling offence (smuggled and illicit tobacco)

1 x Licensing offence (sale of alcohol without a license)

4 x Trade Mark Offences (Counterfeit DVDs)

2 x Video Recording Act offences (sale of DVDs prior to release date, therefore unclassified)

Whipp was sentenced to 120 days imprisonment, suspended for 2 years together with a 220 hour unpaid community work order, to be completed by 6th March 2016.

He was ordered also to pay an £80 victim surcharge and £1000 towards prosecution costs. In passing sentence the Magistrates stated that they were unimpressed by Whipp’s previous offending record – a prison sentence in Denmark for counterfeit DVD’s and Formal Cautions from Plymouth TS for Video Recording and Illegal tobacco offences – and the fact that the latest offences were committed while he was on release from prison under licence.

Safer Cornwall are a working partnership involving: