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Police met with council officials over items going missing

Created on 15/05/2019 @ 13:49
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Police have met with Powys County Council officials to discuss concerns that items have gone missing during council house clearances.

The practice is known as ‘voids clearances’ and PCC has a set number of days to clear the house and make it ready for new tenants, once former tenants leave or die.

This means that staff from the housing department or Heart of Wales Property Services (HOWPS) need to move all furniture and belongings from the property.

This is kept at council store depots and if there are no family to take the items home, after a time they can be given to tenants who need furniture.

A formal complaint was made to Dyfed-Powys Police that items had gone missing.

Claims were made that items even appeared for sale on internet auction site Ebay.

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson said: “Concerns have been brought to the attention of the police in respect of this issue.

“A meeting took place between Dyfed-Powys Police officers and members of PCC staff.

“But no crime reports have been received, and no victims have come forward.

“A formal investigation has not been launched, but any further information received will be assessed and acted upon accordingly.”

A spokesman for PCC said that no members of the staff had been “formally interviewed” by the police.

At a meeting of the audit committee, internal auditors told councillors they had looked at voids clearances.

Ian Halstead of SWAP, said that records were not being kept of what was taken out of houses and where it was being stored.

Mr Halstead said : “If there are any allegations of misuse and you don’t keep a record of where things are going you can’t defend yourself.

“So we have recommended certain controls to be put in place for that.”

He had been asked to look at the service following allegations made about the service.

By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

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