Charity Matters Jun/Jul 2017 ISSUE 73

SOME REAL CHARITY “Charity begins at home” runs the saying, and no better example of this in action can be found than the speedy actions of hundreds of local people who…

LOW According to the Charity Fraud Line the number of frauds perpetrated on charities has increased by 30% in three years, with analysts claiming that more than £2 billion …

MISGUIDED? Claims that refugee charities are paying criminal gangs of people traffickers to ferry desperate migrants to their rescue boats moored off Libya have …

CLEAN UP AT PETPLAN The RSPCA has welcomed moves by specialist pet insurer Petplan to dump its online-only dog breeder approval scheme and carry out telephone …

FINES FOR FACEBOOK? The NSPCC has called for heavy fines for Facebook and other social network companies if they fail to delete content that could harm children …

TUTOR STOLE FOR GIRLFRIEND A Muslim I.T. tutor stole from his charity employer to pay for hotel stays with his secret Christian girlfriend. Inner London crown court heard …

SOME GOOD FROM BRAVE REMORSE A dog-owner who was prosecuted after his three dogs died when left in his car without water or ventilation for five hours has told …

SOME REAL CHARITY

“Charity begins at home” runs the saying, and no better example of this in action can be found than the speedy actions of hundreds of local people who donated food and drink, clothes, toiletries, money, blankets, sleeping bags, shelter and accommodation and their time for survivors of the tragic Grenfell Tower blaze last week that took at least 50 lives and injured hundreds, with the number of dead still rising.

This “Blitz Spirit” was provided by ordinary people of all ages, genders colours and creeds who just wanted to help those in their community who had not lost their lives but everything else, and who were not celebrities looking for any personal or corporate publicity for their efforts.

There’s another saying, “Virtue is its own reward” that also seems appropriate here.

LOW

According to the Charity Fraud Line the number of frauds perpetrated on charities has increased by 30% in three years, with analysts claiming that more than £2 billion a year is stolen from the sector.

Favourite scams include conning volunteer charity treasurers into believing they were paying for building work done by someone else, and getting them to move monies via online banking, into fraudulent bank accounts run by the scammers. Four children’s football clubs lost nearly £80,000, and Chester Zoo lost £1.26million in 2013 in this way. In the case of the zoo the money was transferred to a bank account in Weston-super-Mare owned by restaurateur Ashid Ali, 40, who then redistributed the money to 28 different accounts owned by three accomplices. All four men received suspended sentences, on the basis that the court heard that they were not the organisers of the scam but some of the implementers. Continue reading

MISGUIDED?

Claims that refugee charities are paying criminal gangs of people traffickers to ferry desperate migrants to their rescue boats moored off Libya have been made by a senior Libyan coastguard official.

According to the Mail on Sunday the official, Colonel Tarek Shamboor, has documentary evidence that charities pay the gangs, which charge up to £450 per migrant, and which are responsible for thousands of deaths by drowning as their unsafe and overcrowded vessels sink.

The accusations have been denied by the charities.

CLEAN UP AT PETPLAN

The RSPCA has welcomed moves by specialist pet insurer Petplan to dump its online-only dog breeder approval scheme and carry out telephone interviews with those applying.

Previously any breeder or supplier of puppies could apply for and get accepted onto the Petplan Breeder Scheme, which gave them a veneer of respectability and the right to advertise their dogs on the Petplan website. Accordingly a number of unscrupulous dog dealers, keeping dogs in appalling conditions and with a very high death rate, signed up.

Earlier this year police and RSPCA officers raided one “puppy farm” in Solihull approved for the Petcare scheme, and found “horrific” evidence of puppies being badly treated, resulting in owner Sean Kerr, 52, being given a six month jail sentence and ordered to pay £30,000 costs for causing unnecessary suffering.

FINES FOR FACEBOOK?

The NSPCC has called for heavy fines for Facebook and other social network companies if they fail to delete content that could harm children online.

Recently such content as child abuse pornography, hate preaching, racism and cannibalism has not been deleted by social media companies when it should have, although Facebook claim they are hiring 3,000 extra moderators to address the problem.

TUTOR STOLE FOR GIRLFRIEND

A Muslim I.T. tutor stole from his charity employer to pay for hotel stays with his secret Christian girlfriend.

Inner London crown court heard that Qasim Saeed ordered £25,000 worth of computer equipment on behalf of the Second Chance jobseekers charity in Walworth and then sold it to fund the hotel liasons. Saeed of Ilford admitted fraud and received an 18 month jail sentence suspended for two years, 150 hours of community service and an order to repay his employer in full.

SOME GOOD FROM BRAVE REMORSE

A dog-owner who was prosecuted after his three dogs died when left in his car without water or ventilation for five hours has told his story on camera to support the RSPCA’S annual DOGS DIE IN HOT CARS summer campaign.

Jonathan Theaobald, 66, from Peterborough left his three Staffordshire bull terriers in his car last year for five hours while he went to the gym. Although the weather was overcast the temperature inside the car reached an estimated 40C, enough to kill the dogs. Theobald pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to dogs, was handed an 18 week jail sentence suspended for two years, was banned from keeping pets for ten years and ordered to pay £1,900 in fines and costs. Continue reading

Event Organisers Update June 2017 ISSUE 153

TERROR CHOICES The recent terrorist atrocities in Manchester and London have certainly put unwelcome pressure on those planning to attend live events…

NEW HOTEL FOR PICCADILLY Planning permission is being sought for a luxury 102-bedroom hotel with conference facilities, named-chef restaurant, bar, a Wellness Spa …

FALSE CLAIM? A five-star hotel in Crete is counter-claiming £170,000 from a couple who submitted a £10,000 claim for food poisoning, a claim the hotel says is false…

AND ANOTHER? Legal action for damage to its reputation is being threatened by a Tunbridge Wells restaurant after a customer posted a negative review on Tripadvisor…

OLYMPIA SOLD Olympia London has been sold for £296 million to institutional investors who plan to have hotel accommodation on site. The 130 year old venue, which hosts …

TRAINS TO AMSTERDAM DELAYED Eurostar have announced that they will be running a direct service from London St Pancras to Amsterdam by the end of 2017…

BEST FOR BARGAIN BOUTIQUE Those who enjoy the chic of boutique hotels might be interested in a recent rating of 50 of the best in Europe by the experts at the Daily …

HOKUSAI An exhibition featuring around 100 works, mostly woodblock prints, by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) has opened at the British Museum …

SUNTAN It’s been 30 years since the 1987 American thriller Fatal Attraction scared the hell out of philandering males everywhere with the morality tale of the weekend affair …

TERROR CHOICES

The recent terrorist atrocities in Manchester and London have certainly put unwelcome pressure on those planning to attend live events.

Question is whether one fights terrorism by continuing to go and thus not letting the terrorists win, as thousands do. Or does one take the view that attendance at the event is supposed to be for enjoyment and that worrying about being shot, stabbed or blown up can only detract from that enjoyment to the extent that it is not worth going, which is what the terrorism is meant to achieve. Continue reading