Police to review decision not to investigate Kensal Rise Library fraud claims

Police are to review decision not to investigate fraud claims

Police are to review decision not to investigate fraud claims - Credit: Archant

Police are reviewing a decision not investigate claims that emails supporting plans to develop an axed library branch were faked.

Days after the National Fraud Reporting Centre said they would not probe the allegations concerning Kensal Rise Library in Bathurst Gardens, they have now decided to look over the matter again.

A spokesman told the Times: “Police are currently reviewing the investigation and the initial decision not to further investigate.”

The Met’s specialist team were called in by Brent Council after they carried out an internal investigation into the claims.

The town hall’s IT officers scrutinised the supporting emails and their IP addresses which are exclusive to individual computers.

The council probe was launched following claims by campaigners Friends of Kensal Rise Library (FKRL) that false statements were made against its fight to retain the Bathurst Road building for community use.

A council report backed the claims after noting that when email notifications were sent to everyone who made a statement about the plans on the council’s website 78 were returned as being undelivered with 70 of those belonged to ‘supporters’.

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The plans by property developer Andrew Gilllick to convert the building into six flats, a cottage and a community space were rejected by the council last September.

Kirsty Slattery of Graceland Yards in Liddell Gardens, Kensal Rise, was shocked to discover her name and address had been used while she was away with her family.

She found out when she was confronted by an upset client,

She said: “I used the library and so did my children and I want it to remain as a library.

“I categorically do not support the development, I support my community and not the library being turned into flats.”

Margaret Bailey, chair of FKRL, said: “We welcome the police decision to review the decision to drop the investigation into the use of fraudulent emails.

“Fraud is illegal and the perpetrators of this fraud should be held to account for their actions.

This fraud affects our community and makes a joke out of democracy at a local level.”

Cllr Muhammed Butt, told the Times he will be writing to the police requesting them to launch an ‘appropriate investigation’, he added: “ When the future of the building affects hundreds of Brent residents and the entire Kensal Rise community, any issue of alleged fraud must surely be a priority in order to maintain the trust of local people.

“I am troubled that this investigation has not been carried out as a matter of urgency.”

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