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Holyrood expenses payouts include Labour MSP who bought public speaking guide 'for dummies'

Holyrood expenses payouts include Labour MSP who bought public speaking guide 'for dummies' | Race & Crime UK | Scoop.it
LABOUR MSP Anne McTaggart was one of a number of MSPs whose claims have been made public after a rise of more than £900,000 in expenses in the last year.

 

A NEWLY-elected MSP used taxpayers’ money to buy a public speaking guide for “dummies”.

Labour’s Anne McTaggart was left embarrassed yesterday after the latest batch of Holyrood expenses revealed the purchase.

The Glasgow MSP spent £141 on books just a month after being elected in May last year.

The titles included Public Speaking and Presentation for Dummies, The Scottish Parliament: An Introduction and several books on Labour politician Barbara Castle.

The figures show MSPs claimed just over £12.8million in expenses last year, up 8.2 per cent on the previous year.

The rise of £969,436 to £12,818,835 is due to winding-up expenses claimed by MSPs who either stood down or were voted out of the Scottish Parliament at the 2011 elections.

Excluding these costs, MSPs’ total expenses were just over £11.3million, a decrease of £500,000 on the previous year.

A total of 48 MSPs claimed winding-up expenses, which include staff salary costs, staff redundancy and office and accommodation costs.

Who claimed what? A list of what MSPs claimed
Last year’s top spender was Orkney MSP Liam McArthur, who claimed £52,878.

He was followed by Highlands and Islands MSP Dave Thomson and Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Western Isles) MSP Alasdair Allan. All three made substantial travel claims.

SNP MSP Annabelle Ewing claimed the lowest amount – £3460.

First Minister Alex Salmond claimed £13,361 for items including office rent, travel costs including mileage, and phone bills.

Labour leader Johann Lamont spent £17,831, which included hotel stays in Edinburgh as well as taxi and train fares.

The Glasgow MSP spent £800 on website costs and more than £1050 on surgery advertising.

Conservative leader Ruth Davidson claimed £20,440.

Her expenses include £148 in June 2011, for staff training entitled “dealing with difficult people”.

Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie claimed £19,738, including £361 on return flights from Edinburgh to Heathrow in July 2011.

Green Party co-leader Patrick Harvie spent £24,266 on expenses including rail passes and hotel stays.

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CCTV stills released following theft of Rolex watch

CCTV stills released following theft of Rolex watch | Race & Crime UK | Scoop.it
CCTV images from a Jewellery store in Eccles have been released after two men walked out with a £4,000 watch.

 

CCTV images from a Jewellery store in Eccles have been released after two men walked out with a £4,000 watch.

The theft happened at about 1pm on Saturday 28 July 2012 at the Albermarle and Bond Jewellers in The Mall.

The two offenders were looking at a number of items and asked to see a Rolex watch, worth about £4,000.

At this time, the man without the watch asked to be let out of the secure door, but held it open for his accomplice and the pair then ran off with the watch.

The victim followed them but lost sight of them on John William Street.

Staff have assisted officers by providing CCTV footage of the suspects, from which the stills have been released.

 

One of the men is Asian, in his 30s, about 6ft tall, of slim build and with short black hair. He was wearing an orange T-shirt with a horizontal dark strip and dark trousers.

His accomplice is black, in his 30s about 5ft 7in tall, of medium to stocky build and with a completely shaven bald head. He was wearing a long-sleeved blue jumper and white converse trainers. He spoke with a local accent.

 

Police Constable Claire Murphy said: "The pair tricked staff when they made off with the watch, but the security system in the store has managed to capture images of the suspects.

"I would appeal to anyone who may know this pair, or who may have been offered the watch to call us."

 

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 1234 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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Thieving Bradford NHS manager escapes jail

Thieving Bradford NHS manager escapes jail | Race & Crime UK | Scoop.it

A SENIOR NHS manager from Bradford who wrongly harboured more than £146,000 of public money in bank accounts he controlled avoided jail today.

Sajid Khan previously admitted retaining the money in bank accounts belonging to members of his family, including his grandmother, Bradford Crown Court heard.

The 34-year-old held £146,143.10 of NHS money between September 2005 and last February without declaring or repaying the funds.

The money was used to make payments on a leased car, transferred into other accounts or withdrawn in cash soon after being received.

It is unclear how the money ended up in the accounts.

Khan, a father-of-two, pleaded guilty to dishonestly retaining a wrongful credit in January.

Since then he and his family have paid back all the money to Bradford and Airedale Primary Care Trust (PCT), where he used to work as an assistance finance manager.

Judge Colin Burn gave Khan a one-year prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered him to do 250 hours of unpaid work. Khan was also ordered to pay £25,000 in court costs at a rate of £2,000 a month.

The judge said: “This isn’t a situation whereby money which should be used for treatment for the general care of the people of Bradford has been lost.

“It seems to me that you fall to be dealt with ultimately not for the PCT being out of pocket, not for the prosecution being out of pocket, but rather for your dishonest conduct towards a public institution.”

The investigation began in June 2008 when a PCT finance officer found an undelivered email in his account that requested a redundancy payment of £54,600 to a bank account in the name of “C Allerton”.

No one with that name worked for the PCT and the finance officer had not written or attempted to send the email.

After enquiries it was discovered that the holder of this account was Khan’s brother and similar transactions had been made.

When police arrested Khan in February 2010 he had 30 bank cards for accounts belonging to members of his family.

His home was searched and bank statements were found relating to the accounts where payments had been made.

Khan, of Walmer Villas, Bradford, pleaded guilty to the charge of retaining a wrongful credit as soon as it was entered on the indictment.

In total, 26 payments were made into Khan’s accounts.

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Sun, sea and scams: Cheating mother who falsely claimed £37,000 in benefits caught after posting holiday snaps on Facebook

Sun, sea and scams: Cheating mother who falsely claimed £37,000 in benefits caught after posting holiday snaps on Facebook | Race & Crime UK | Scoop.it
Andrea Raftis claimed she was a single mother in Sutton with her two children - but she was with husband Fawad Rahimi, who ran a takeaway and had two properties.
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Poppy tin theft suspects named

Poppy tin theft suspects named | Race & Crime UK | Scoop.it
Two suspects wanted over the theft of poppy appeal collection tins in Essex are named by police.

 

Lulia and Liviu Ghitoi, believed to be from east London, are suspected of stealing charity tins from three stores in Hockley and Rochford on 11 November.

 

The pair are also wanted in connection with a mobile phone theft from a shop in Witham in September.

 

Police are appealing for witnesses. It is believed the pair, aged 31 and 22, took £150 from one charity tin.

 

The suspects are believed to be from the Barking area of London, police said.

 

The poppy tin thefts occurred at Costcutter in Hockley, and Tates Spar and Saunders Food and Wine in Rochford during the afternoon of Remembrance Sunday.

 

Costcutter owner Peter Woods said the theft was "disgraceful", adding: "If they've got any respect they will give it back, give it to the Royal British Legion."

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Burka-wearing thief steals jewels

Burka-wearing thief steals jewels | Race & Crime UK | Scoop.it
A thief in Manchester steals a "large quantity of jewellery" from a shop while disguised in a burka.

 

The person dressed in the full body cloak and walking with a pushchair stood outside Choice Jewellers on Wilmslow Road at 11:35 BST on Sunday.

A police spokesman said staff had opened the locked door because they thought the person was a customer.

The person then blocked the door open with the pushchair, allowing armed accomplices to enter and steal "a large quantity of jewellery" before escaping.

The spokesman said all four offenders had been armed with axes, which were used to threaten staff and smash jewellery cabinets.

After staff deployed a device which filled the store with thick smoke, the four were forced out of the Rusholme shop.

They then smashed the shop window to try to get more jewellery before escaping in a car down Walmer Street.

Det Con Ian Wrench said anyone offered jewellery by "anyone other than a licensed dealer" should contact police, as the four "who carried out this frightening robbery need to be caught".

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Thief targets female student in city park snatch-and-run

Thief targets female student in city park snatch-and-run | Race & Crime UK | Scoop.it

A female student was left shaken after being targeted by a snatch-and-run thief who stole her phone as she sat in a Cambridge park.

 

The 20-year-old woman was sitting under a tree next to the footpath at Pikes Walk across Christ's Pieces on Monday (April 30) at 2pm using her iPhone when a man ran past and grabbed the phone from her hand.
The offender continued to run along Pikes Walk towards King Street.
The man is described as Asian, aged between 30 and 40 years old and 5ft 10in tall. He was wearing a red zip-up jacket, blue jeans and black Converse trainers and carrying a medium sized black rucksack.
Det Con Andy Day, investigating, said: “I would like to hear from anyone who may have been in the area at the time and saw the person responsible for this theft.
“It has left the student shaken and we're keen to trace the person who committed this offence.”

 

Anyone with information should contact Det Con Day on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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Muslims robbing welfare system blind

Muslims robbing welfare system blind | Race & Crime UK | Scoop.it

Up to 20,000 polygamous unions robbing welfare system blind

Even Baroness Warsi has acknowledged that fear expressed as “cultural sensitivity” has prevented authorities from going after offenders and stopping the various ruses by which men bring in additional wives from overseas.

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