Three fraudsters have been sentenced following a detailed Trading Standards investigation.
On Friday 6 January 2023 at Winchester Crown Court, three individuals were convicted on charges relating to the provision of roof maintenance and general maintenance to which false representations were made regarding both the necessity and value of the work.
Three victims were identified in Surrey and their cases were investigated by Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards. In total these victims paid £62,950.
The work carried out on the properties of two of the victims have since been considered by an expert surveyor to be unnecessary, with the standard of workmanship considered to “very poor, even abysmal”. These works did not meet building regulation requirements or any British Standard.
The third victim had the work to their property rectified, meaning the surveyor could not evaluate what the perpetrators had carried out there.
In addition to Surrey, the perpetrators targeted residents across Hampshire, Bracknell and West Sussex. The Trading Standards services for each authority developed intelligence around the perpetrators as part of their investigations, which eventually led to the cases being linked together, with Hampshire Trading Standards ultimately taking the prosecution case.
In all cases, the work escalated from what was originally low-cost, basic repairs to substantial roof repairs, often including total roof replacement, and was delivered to a poor quality.
The perpetrators would target elderly or vulnerable residents and would sometimes use threats to secure payment. In some cases, the repairs carried out were completely unnecessary, whilst in others the damage that needed repairing had been deliberately inflicted by the perpetrators themselves.
Proceeds of Crime investigations are underway with a view to securing money back for the victims.
Denise Turner-Stewart, Surrey County Council Cabinet Member for Communities and Community Safety said: “I’m pleased these individuals have been brought to justice following great work from our trading standards officers and those of neighbouring authorities.
“Together, we have ensured these shameless individuals cannot deceive any further victims into fraudulent, sub-standard works and I’d like to thank all the officers involved for their work on this.
“People like this need to be stopped and we will continue to do all we can to keep the residents of Surrey safe.”
For the original press release from Hampshire County Council visit: https://www.hants.gov.uk/News/20230109TradingStandardsRoof
Find out more about scams and how to prevent them by visiting: www.surreycc.gov.uk/business-and-consumers/trading-standards
Find a trusted trader by visiting our Trading Standards approved website: www.traders4u.co.uk