NEWS DIGEST 15.05.2021: Current events in Barking & Ilford, crashes for cash

Good morning everyone. Today’s news is brought to you via InYourArea.

The UK’s top 30 worst-affected postal districts for ‘Crash for Cash’ scams have been revealed. ‘Crash for Cash’ is a common insurance scam which sees fraudsters invent or deliberately cause road traffic collisions, often involving innocent people, to try and get compensation. The hotspots analysis by the Insurance Fraud Bureau confirms Birmingham remains the most prevalent area in the UK for the dangerous scam, followed by postcodes in Bradford, Manchester, London and Luton. IFB analysis of 2.7 million motor insurance claims made across the UK in between October 1, 2019 and 31 December, 2020 has identified over 170,000 claims which could be linked to suspected ‘Crash for Cash’ networks. It is hoped that the announcement of the UK’s top ‘Crash for Cash’ hotspots will encourage communities to be vigilant as more drivers start to take to the roads – Top 30 UK hotspots for ‘Crash for Cash’ scams (InYourArea Newsroom National)

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A murder investigation has been launched after a woman who was attacked in Ilford last month died as a result of her injuries. Svetlana Mihalachi, 53, was found with serious injuries at a residential address in Princes Road, Ilford on Friday, April 9. Metropolitan Police Detective Superintendent Paul Trevers said: “Our thoughts are with Svetlana’s family following this incredibly sad development. They are being supported by specialist officers.” A man has already been charged with attempted murder in relation to this incident. Following Svetlana’s death, a murder investigation has been launched. The suspect, named as Nicolae Virtosu, was remanded in custody to appear next at the Old Bailey on May 24. He initially appeared at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on April 12 charged with attempted murder and making threats to kill – Murder investigation launched as woman, 53, dies six weeks after being attacked at residential address (MyLondon East London News Ilford)

An art exhibition on paintings about how Indian women adorn themselves is scheduled to take place at the Malthouse in Barking, east Greater London, on the 15th to the 30th May 2021 by the Laura I.Gallery. Entitled ‘Art of Adornment’, the exhibition will bring together a series of acrylic paintings that explore the art of Indian adornment and how it acts as a visual expression of identity – Art of Adornment (InYourArea)

Alcohol was taken off street drinkers during patrols targeting antisocial behaviour in Barking town centre and Heathway, Dagenham. Council enforcement officers and Met police joined forces to patrol antisocial behaviour hotspots and carry out weapons sweeps on Wednesday, May 12. During patrols of the Public Space Protection Order area in Barking, alcohol was taken off seven people who were street drinking. They then went to Dagenham Heathway, handing out one begging warning as well as seizing alcohol from a street drinker in the PSPO area. Weapons sweeps of the surrounding areas during both patrols turned up nothing – Antisocial behaviour patrols in Barking and Dagenham (Barking & Dagenham Post)

Barking and Dagenham Council will become the first local authority in the UK to give paid time off to council employees who suffer a miscarriage or stillbirth, according to a local newspaper for the area. Women who suffer the loss of a baby at any stage in their pregnancy will be entitled to a week off work in plans unveiled by the council. Around one in four pregnancies in England end in miscarriage, according to the Miscarriage Association. The new bereavement leave policy brought in by the council was influenced by a similar policy, which became a law, in New Zealand, in March 2021. Over there, mothers and their partners are now entitled to three days of paid bereavement leave after a miscarriage – Council to offer full paid leave to employees who suffer miscarriage (Barking & Dagenham Post)

Redbridge Equalities and Community Council (RECC) has condemned an attack outside an Ilford mosque where worshippers were hit with eggs and stones. The group, which has been promoting equality and challenging discrimination for more than 50 years, said it was with “mounting horror” that it learned of the attack which happened outside the Ilford Islamic Centre at around 11pm on Tuesday, May 4. In the statement RECC said: “It was with mounting horror that the RECC learnt that worshippers at the Ilford Islamic centre were pelted with stones and eggs following prayers on May 4”Redbridge equality group condemns ‘heinous’ Ilford mosque attack (Ilford Recorder)

A former police sergeant has been sentenced for harassment after engaging in ‘unwanted and inappropriate contact’ with a witness. Syed Ali, formerly attached to the East Area Command Unit which polices Redbridge, harassed a female member of the public between May and July 2020. In May 2020, two years after transferring to East Area Command Unit, Ali began to engage in unwanted and inappropriate contact with the same witness by messaging her on his work phone. Chief Superintendent Stephen Clayman, BCU Commander for the East Area, said: “The way in which Ali conducted himself is utterly shocking.”Former east London policeman sentenced for harassing witness (East London & West Essex Guardian)

Summarised by SMMRY

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