Police swoop on paving contractors in Devizes

This Is Wiltshire: Workers at the house in Roundway Gardens where police and trading standards swooped because they feared, wromgly, that the homeowner was being conned Workers at the house in Roundway Gardens where police and trading standards swooped because they feared, wromgly, that the homeowner was being conned

Pensioner Marjorie Rawlings spoke of her shock after five police cars pulled up and arrested the men who were resurfacing her driveway.

Mrs Rawlins, 80, was one of a number of householders in Roundway Gardens, Devizes, to use DriveForce Paving Limited of Swindon to resurface her driveway with paving blocks.

Earlier last Thursday the company’s employees had taken her to NatWest in Devizes to get the cash to pay for it.

Mrs Rawlings said: “I don’t drive any more and it costs me £8 return to get a taxi so they very kindly took me to the bank. “The bill was £7,000 but the bank said they could only let me have £2,000 because they didn’t keep that amount of cash on hand.”

Mrs Rawlings’ request had rung alarm bells at the bank and the cashier had rung the police who arrived with officers from Wiltshire Trading Standards.

Mrs Rawlings said: “They just swooped in and took them all away. I couldn’t believe it. I thought the work would not get done but they came back the next morning and finished off. I am very happy with what they’ve done. It is such an improvement.”

DriveForce boss William Connors was among the workers arrested. He said: “This was a shocking thing to have happened. “It not only stopped us working but has affected our reputation. I have contacted our solicitor about this.

“We were interrupted in our lawful work and kept in custody from 5pm to midnight. I think we are due an apology at least.”

Trading standards officer John Devlin said that Mrs Rawlings’ request for such a large quantity of cash and the fact that the workmen had taken her to the bank gave the signs of something untoward.

He said: “Certainly there was a company undertaking work on several drives in the street, but all the residents we talked to were quite happy with the standard of the work and the price they were charged.

“We are now satisfied there was no fraud involved.”

The contractors were all arrested and taken to Melksham police station where they were interviewed. They were released without charge some hours later and police said that no further action would be taken.

Comments (7)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

2:32pm Fri 12 Oct 12

hitro says...

What a nice change to hear that some one at the bank is looking out for the oldies.
What a nice change to hear that some one at the bank is looking out for the oldies. hitro
  • Score: 0

3:48pm Fri 12 Oct 12

lordbuckethead says...

So plod, another "proportionate" and "intelligence led" investigation?

Perhaps someone should have just had a discrete word with the residents before turning up mob-handed, arresting en masse.

Yes I know the police do a very difficult job, but in my experience they do it very poorly.
So plod, another "proportionate" and "intelligence led" investigation? Perhaps someone should have just had a discrete word with the residents before turning up mob-handed, arresting en masse. Yes I know the police do a very difficult job, but in my experience they do it very poorly. lordbuckethead
  • Score: 0

6:03pm Sat 13 Oct 12

HopeEternal says...

Nice bit of free advetising for DriveForce paving!! And Ace reporter sorry but it doesn't say anywhere that the company INSISTED on cash (perhaps you should drop the Ace bit!) and also £7000 would most likely be in a savings account which would not have a cheque book issued with it.
Nice bit of free advetising for DriveForce paving!! And Ace reporter sorry but it doesn't say anywhere that the company INSISTED on cash (perhaps you should drop the Ace bit!) and also £7000 would most likely be in a savings account which would not have a cheque book issued with it. HopeEternal
  • Score: 0

6:13pm Sat 13 Oct 12

Grumpy & Old says...

Maybe the G&H should consider re-writing the article to remove to identity of the lady in question in case any of the other "readers" get designs on any of her money - is there any need to draw attention to the fact she has a sum of money whether it's kept in the bank or not?
Maybe the G&H should consider re-writing the article to remove to identity of the lady in question in case any of the other "readers" get designs on any of her money - is there any need to draw attention to the fact she has a sum of money whether it's kept in the bank or not? Grumpy & Old
  • Score: 0

8:57pm Sun 14 Oct 12

Mr.Dan says...

Ah but she doesn't have the money any more... she used it to pay for a drive way :-)
Ah but she doesn't have the money any more... she used it to pay for a drive way :-) Mr.Dan
  • Score: 0

8:20am Mon 15 Oct 12

notscot says...

lordbuckethead wrote:
So plod, another "proportionate" and "intelligence led" investigation?

Perhaps someone should have just had a discrete word with the residents before turning up mob-handed, arresting en masse.

Yes I know the police do a very difficult job, but in my experience they do it very poorly.
So, let's blame the police here, shall we?
They receive a call from a bank - the staff are CONCERNED that an elderly, vulnerable customer may be being fleeced by the theiving ratbags that do this kind of thing FOR A LIVING - the police & TS react as quickly as they can - and it turns out to be a genuine company.
Big deal.
Talk to the victims of this kind of crime - like the repeat victims who are fleeced 3 or 4 times - and see if they would rather risk the police making a mistake - or just "letting it go" in case they upset someone.
Get real people - come on.
[quote][p][bold]lordbuckethead[/bold] wrote: So plod, another "proportionate" and "intelligence led" investigation? Perhaps someone should have just had a discrete word with the residents before turning up mob-handed, arresting en masse. Yes I know the police do a very difficult job, but in my experience they do it very poorly.[/p][/quote]So, let's blame the police here, shall we? They receive a call from a bank - the staff are CONCERNED that an elderly, vulnerable customer may be being fleeced by the theiving ratbags that do this kind of thing FOR A LIVING - the police & TS react as quickly as they can - and it turns out to be a genuine company. Big deal. Talk to the victims of this kind of crime - like the repeat victims who are fleeced 3 or 4 times - and see if they would rather risk the police making a mistake - or just "letting it go" in case they upset someone. Get real people - come on. notscot
  • Score: 0

9:45pm Tue 16 Oct 12

freddie_W says...

Shouldn't be to hard on Plod, all things considered it was a good call, some of these drive laying gangs will fleece you.
Shouldn't be to hard on Plod, all things considered it was a good call, some of these drive laying gangs will fleece you. freddie_W
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree