Firms trained up to recognise criminal exploitation


Hauliers are being trained by the police to keep an eye out for criminal exploitation and vulnerability across counties in the Midlands.

‘We Don’t Buy Crime’ is a project that delivers bespoke training sessions to raise awareness of crime taking place across Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire.

Ram Aston, crime inspector at West Mercia police, said: “Haulage companies are the latest companies our exploitation and vulnerability trainers are working with to offer this fantastic training.

“Lorry drivers are on the road frequently and will be familiar with the main routes through our counties, they park up at service stations, laybys and overnight lorry parks and play an absolutely vital role in helping to tackle criminal exploitation and identifying vulnerability hotspots.

“We know criminals use our road network to commit crime, whether they’re travelling from other areas into our counties to commit crime, or trafficking children and young people to criminally exploit them.

“Lorry drivers are our eyes and ears, we want them to know the signs to look out for and if they see anything that seems out of the ordinary or suspicious we want to hear from them.”

So far, 20,645 frontline professionals working in licensed premises, hotels, education, post people, refuge collectors, social services, and for local authorities have received We Don’t Buy Crime’s exploitation and vulnerability training.

‘Self-isolating’ director’s application refused following PI non-attendance


A St Albans-based operator that threatened the traffic commissioner’s office with legal action if it heard a case in his absence, has had his application refused following a public inquiry.

West Herts Tipper Services sought an operator license authorising 10 HGVs, but concerns over its financial standing, availability of its proposed operating centre and how it would demonstrate professional competence when its CPC holder had resigned in July, prompted the Eastern traffic area TC Richard Turfitt to call a PI.

Director Alexander De Gabriele wrote to the TC’s office to explain he was self-isolating having developed Covid-19 symptoms and was therefore unable to attend.

The TC suggested a remote hearing, but De Gabriele responded stating he was too ill to participate, and he was then asked to provide medical evidence.

In response, the director wrote: “I’ve been advised to self-isolate!

“I have not yet been tested and will not have time to do so beforehand.

“I will instruct legal council today on this matter. If you insist on dealing with this case in my absence it will be my lawyers that you here [sic] from next.”

In a written response, following a PI in the director’s absence, Turfitt said he remained to be satisfied about repute, financial standing and professional competence: “The application is refused on that basis,” he added.

“The applicant is at liberty to renew its application but will need to address all matters at issue and to do so promptly if that is to progress in future.”