News in brief


Councillor Sem Moema promoting the services Hackney Council can offer private tenants. Pic: Sean Pollock/Hackney Council

Private Hackney rentals out of reach of many locals, report warns

A report from Hackney council has revealed that than 3 per cent of private rental properties in Hackney are affordable to those reliant on housing benefit, according to the council – compared with 50 per cent six years ago.

Hackney Council created the Better Renting Campaign in Summer to promote a fairer renting system.

Croydon MP calls for new knife crime strategy

MP Sarah Jones has called for a 10-year multiagency approach to knife crime among young people, similar to one that led to fall in teenage pregnancy rates.

Jones said the government should be working with experts in health, education and social media to tackle a rise in crime.

Hoxton Oyster card scammer jailed for 18 months

A Hoxton man was jailed for 18 months for his part in an Oyster card scam that made £370,000 in illegal refunds.

Oliver Kassrongo was one of the six men involved in the fraud, in which hundreds of Oyster cards were cloned in Hong Kong. The cards, which have now been replaced by newer, more secure versions, were being used repeatedly at Oyster ticket machines to get multiple deposit refunds.

Croydon one of worst boroughs for TV licence evasion

Croydon is ranked second of all London boroughs for TV licence evasion according to the agency who issues the permits.

Some 28,000 people across London have been caught watching live TV or using the BBC iPlayer app without a licence between July 2016-July 2017 and 1758 of those came from Croydon.

Armed police in Croydon swoop on man

Police in Croydon were supported by armed officers when they stopped a man in London Road, near the junction with Bensham Lane, at about 6.45pm on October 20.

However, a Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said: “We are not prepared to discuss further for operational reasons.” She added it formed part of a wider operation.

Bethnal Green welcomes new Somali festival

A Somali festival opens this week in east London in a project aimed at helping a displaced community facing challenges in resettling.

The festival at Bethnal Green’s Oxford House centre, with its “home and displacement” themes, is part the arts and archive project being funded by Tower Hamlets council until February to show the community’s presence in the East End.

It is the brainchild of a Somali ‘task force’ set up by the town hall last year to help the families who the council says are “facing challenges” in education, community safety and finding work.

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