Judge To Look Into Why Tenants Are Not Prosecuted For Criminal Damage & Theft

Judge To Look Into Why Tenants Are Not Prosecuted For Criminal Damage & Theft

10:46 AM, 12th October 2016, About 5 years ago 164

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On my flight from Malta to Heathrow last week I had the pleasure of sitting next to a gentleman who was a Judge and also worked for the Ministry of Justice to review the Court system.

We got talking about criminal damage so I asked him how many tenants he had fined or imprisoned for criminal damage to a landlords property during his career as a Judge.

He went quiet for a while, clearly deep in thought, but then had to admit that such a case had never been brought before him. Being naturally inquisitive I asked him why he thought that might be.

He had no answer.

The point I made was that if I were to smash his doors, windows, garage door etc. I would expect to be prosecuted. He agreed.

He also agreed that criminal damage is criminal damage regardless of whether the person committing the crime is a tenant of a landlord or not. We then went on to discuss theft of property from a landlords property by a tenant.

When I explained to him that Police and CPS regularly brush off theft from a landlord or criminal damage caused by a tenant as a “civil matter” he was clearly concerned and accepted that when tenants do commit such crimes they should be prosecuted. I’m not convinced he appreciates the scale of the problem though so I am asking you to provide some examples in the comments section below. I have the Judge’s contact details and he will be signed up to receive notification emails linking to your comments.

If he is true to his word (I have no reason to doubt that he won’t be) then our chance meeting could well prove to be a very useful one in terms of my quest for justice for landlords.


by Luke P

11:36 AM, 20th October 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Robert Mellors" at "20/10/2016 - 11:34":

Perhaps evidence that justice only seeks out those with money to lose whilst the bottom end of society (with no cares and nothing substantial to lose) walk away. They should stick them in prison with day release to work until their damage/debt is repaid.

by David Price

11:59 AM, 20th October 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Luke P" at "20/10/2016 - 11:36":

Please Luke do I have to remind you that WORK is a four letter word.

I too house the same socio-economic group and regularly see the sort of damage you have suffered and regularly get the same response from the police. Also from the do gooders, "It doesn't matter what the tenant has done he has RIGHTS" Prostitution, rape, murder, drug abuse, serious rent arrears - I have had the lot but I have no rights, only the tenant has rights.

by MoodyMolls

12:28 PM, 20th October 2016, About 5 years ago

Yes I to have had very similar

We need to gather all the information

I think we need a system where it is easy for every landlord to record and upload all the pictures and what they have done and the result. So somebody good at a database we should very quickly have a hugh amount on which to tackle Shelter and government on. Without this we dont have the clout.

The results of CCJ them how many declare themselves bankrupt manage to get rehoused by council est. We should start building a case load

by Luke P

12:28 PM, 20th October 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "David Price" at "20/10/2016 - 11:59":

The damage is not what shocks me (I see it all the time)...it's the intent. Hammer marks on window cills, gratuitous damage everywhere including Stanley knifing ceilings, walls, worktops and cupboard doors.

by Michael Fickling

12:36 PM, 20th October 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Robert Mellors" at "20/10/2016 - 11:22":

Luke........ presuming this place was in reasonable "normal" order before.. then I would make the police have it ...ie respond properly...this is a crime of criminal damage.
If they refuse to record a crime and investigate etc.. I would put in an official complaint and pursue it.Their comments... as described.. about scenes of crime etc are atrociously incorrect. Also it looks like hammer marks or similar instrument on the doors.??..So there at least is one thing definite to examine ( and ive only glanced at your photos) and if your (EX ?) tenant still has the hammer/implement ( im presuming its not yours or left behind??.).. a match can and should be done by an expert..and can prove that hammer caused that damage beyond doubt. NOTE an expert on marks or whatever does not normally attend..the soco should.. and takes samples ( the whole item if needed plus photos of that and the whole place ) and they are sent off to a forensic centre...when you get the implement that is believed/suspected to have been usedt!
Tenant/suspect gets arrested.. hammer is recovered on a search ( which they have the power to do at time of arrest using police powers..dont need a high court warrant or anything difficult ).A hammer has both "aged accidental" tiny imperfections caused by previous use.. ( same principal as shoe marks..marks that are unique appear on sole over time on every worn shoe !).. and cast marks ( from moment of manufacture/finishing ) quite often..upon around its striking surface.These marks/features are compared to the surfaces struck in your property . The average "beat" police officer has little more forensic science knowledge than a reasonably intelligent member of the greater public. They should record a crime and should have called out a SOCO or whatever they call them locally...to assess record and examine that scene. That much they ( the PCs) should and probably HAVE been told./instructed by their trainers.Trust me i used to manage a very large police scenes of crime and forensic processing outfit including..photography..identification services..fingerprints... d.n.a etc and various( nationally) associated matters including policy etc etc.If it was my place id be insisting on both a crime being recorded and a scenes of crime officer attending and id be making sure the attending s.o.c.o ( C.S.I or whatever your area calls them ) took photos..and samples from the struck/damaged items. Cant say much more without seeing it but im almost certain there would be other forensic approaches too possibly linking into your ex tenants clothing, tools etc which should be explored. This is an atrocious response by your local police service and I can assure you i am very experienced in senior management in this subject. My take in the same spot.. make the police do their job.
>>>IF anyone wants it im happy to present at any future landlord forums on severe damage..police response and what CAN and should be done..including dealing with difficult or inexperienced police staff. Not looking for money.!! maybe just actual travel costs...I dont want to revisit my past here or start up a mass of "damage" threads on 118.. but if anyone is interested in a presentation at a venue im happy to discuss same. I can give my bona fides via Mark or staff at 118..who can pass on same maybe.<<<<> <<<As ive posted before that crime recording factor is essential usually to getting these offenders pursued and all that follows or doesnt..if its not done.
In this case ( as described) and any similar the police view as described this is or was woefully incorrect. Anyway its up to you and again Im sorry youve had the double insult!.. of both the criminal damage and a pathetic response as described. Again i make these comments only in connection with serious and extensive damage cases which this appears to be and is also well beyond likely "bond" etc.

by Roanch 21

16:21 PM, 20th October 2016, About 5 years ago

I did get a successful prosecution against a tenant for criminal damage.

It was a domestic, she locked him out, door got smashed in etc. The police officers gave me the standard brush off that it is impossible for a tenant to cause criminal damage to a rental property. So I googled the act (it's very concise and clear) and emailed it to the Chief Inspector and asked her where it says that tenants are excluded. She admitted that no-one is excluded from the act and the real reason that police say this is because the CPS don't like to pursue tenants for some lefty reasons. She said that the police could over ride the CPS advice and take the prosecution themselves but she tried to dissuade me by saying the judge would probably be lenient on him. So it's not The Police, it's the CPS, it's the judicary but she agreed to take the case to court without CPS backing. This tenant was well known to the police / judges and apparently nothing he does is his fault but is all due to society, his unemployment, alcohol, drugs, mood swings etc.

Anyway it went to court and he was found guilty! So shame on all you Police / CPS I get about £3 a month unless the payment bounces (which it does a lot) and it will take about 15 years to repay me but I still feel good.

If anyone is interested I can give them the details privately as it may set a sort of precedent.

by David Price

16:32 PM, 20th October 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Roanch 21" at "20/10/2016 - 16:21":

Well done. I particularly like the £3 a month, did you ask for interest?

by Michael Fickling

18:03 PM, 20th October 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Roanch 21" at "20/10/2016 - 16:21":

Roanch good on ya for getting it dealt with Excellent!!... and well done for making the effort..!!!!!!......Let me just clarify something here for all readers....the police do not prosecute. The c.p.s do. In all cases. The police record the crime..the police investigate and the police charge...or "report" the offender...or dont.!.. IF they do then and only then does the file get put together..(again by the police)..They then send it to CPS.In the vast majority of cases thats the first CPS see or hear about it...so the court file (and it is usually presented to CPS by police as a "court file" ..and always is where the police have charged the person/suspect.)..it. is then considered after all this police action by CPS. when it arrives at their office.
CPS in considering it (and completely contrary to what some have described on this site ) apply the prosecution "test" which is NOT>> "will we definitely get a conviction at a court hearing.". or... the beyond all reasonable doubt thing.....it IS in fact quite simply......" is a conviction more likely than an aquittal".... so in effect a 51% chance.Its really that simple.
Usually interviewed properly, arrested properly, investigated properly .. scene stuff done properly..and again contrary to popular belief often also with offender admissions arising..all by the police action.... IF they do the job properly..the answer to the 51% Q. CPS must later pose.. will be most often affirmative.. The only other test they can properly apply is whether its in the public interest to go to court......therefore if its twenty pounds worth of damage and you have a bond???..little chance they would likely take it. On the other hand 51% chance of a "guilty" and two thousand pounds worth of damage and they should clearly prosecute. Very simple test. Note>> all the pre emptive action here is at the police recording and scene end and enquiry arrest interview..end. The cps are the final arbiters as to whether it gets into a court but they will not even be aware of anything whatsoever and have no involvement whatsover until the police give them a file after charging or reporting a person. Thats done in a police station.Thats the general flow. Proof of the pudding exists in effect anyway as CPS did take it on once they had it.as you describe. In the majority of cases it is the police action which is lacking.when landlords get no court action...these cases are simply never getting to cps. CPS staff sit at a desk applying that 51% test each day and will generally be pretty clear upon it. From what im reading on 118 and have seen over thirty years..by far the biggest disconnect is the police service staff when these things dont get moving. past first base..no crime recorded..so no investigation..no arrest..so no court file to CPS. CPS and judges have no power over the police..police are the investigators and if the police dont act no judge and no CPS staff will even know about it. Crime report ( to police and kept by police )..crime scene action...further enquires/arrest...file from police to CPS>>>>CPS consider the file..court or N>F>A. Thats the flow. Again well done for pursuing it,,excellent stuff and nice to see a result. Those who might sneer at the five pound repayment instalments......might reflect that most offenders will have been arrested/detained...banged up in a cell..interviewed ..had a day in court etc etc ..had a conviction recorded against them..as well as the fine and its a lesson for similar minded idiots .

by Jonathan Clarke

19:42 PM, 20th October 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "KATHY MILLER" at "13/10/2016 - 09:15":

I've had a couple of these bills for boarding up. They have a duty to protect the scene from further damage. I can understand that stance .They say they call boarder uppers in as `agents of necessity `. But no one had the courtesy to let me know then or afterwards even though i was the victim of a crime. They treat you almost as if your fault for having rented to the tenants who break the law. The first i heard like you was getting a sloppily written unprofessional invoice for £180 through the door . I challenged it

I looked into the small print of their protocols . They have a duty to try and call the owner / landlord first. In both case they had my number but failed to call me . I had both invoices waived. One took one phone call. The other one took almost a year. It went through 3 layers of management who refused to budge. Finally it got referred to their legal team and shortly afterwards the solicitor agreed with my position and was exasperated that the police hadn't passed it on to him at a much earlier stage. They refused to change their policy though.

by Robert Mellors

20:08 PM, 20th October 2016, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jonathan Clarke" at "20/10/2016 - 19:42":

"They treat you almost as if your fault for having rented to the tenants who break the law."

This is the attitude I get from the police all the time. Unfortunately not everyone has the luxury of renting to "perfect" tenants who have assets and an income and have paid a deposit etc. Just because we accept on tenants that are on benefits that does not mean that we should be victims of criminal damage, and it definitely does not mean that the police should try to avoid recognising the damage as a criminal act and recording, investigating, and prosecuting it as such.

Well done for challenging them on the boarding up costs, and getting these charges written off.

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