Retailers Sign Up to Voluntary Ban on Acid Sales

Some of the UK’s largest retailers have agreed to voluntarily stop sales of acids to customers under 18 years old.

A number of DIY stores and supermarkets have signed up to the ban, which will apply to drain cleaners and domestic products with high acid concentrations.

The Home Office has already proposed new laws to limit the sale of corrosive substances amid continuing concern over rising numbers of acid attacks.

A fifth of acid attackers identified in 2016-17 were under 18 years old.

The proposed legislation would make it unlawful to sell the substances to under-18s, and also make it a criminal offence to be in possession of acid in a public place without good reason.

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Blue UK Passport to Return after EU Exit

After Brexit, the UK travel document will no longer be required to conform to EU standards.

So in a move to symbolise our national identity, the cover will be changing from the standard EU burgundy colour to a blue and gold design.

The new, unique blue passport will be one of the most secure travel documents in the world, with a raft of new and updated security features and technologies to protect against fraud and forgery.  For example, the current paper-based picture page will be replaced with a new, super-strength plastic polycarbonate material that will be more difficult to alter.

Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis said, “Leaving the EU gives us a unique opportunity to restore our national identity and forge a new path for ourselves in the world.  That is why I am delighted to announce that the British passport will be returning to the iconic blue and gold design after we have left the European Union in 2019.

“It will also be one of the most secure travel documents in the world, with a raft of new security measures to protect against fraud and forgery.”

To save the taxpayer money, the newly designed passports will be introduced in a phased approach.

After the UK leaves the EU, burgundy passports will continue to be issued but with no reference to the European Union.

New blue and gold passports will be issued from October 2019, when the new passport contract begins, to those renewing or applying for a new passport.

There is no need for British passport holders to do anything ahead of their current passport renewal date.

The blue cover is a return to the original appearance of the British passport, with the colour first used in 1921.  It remained the colour of choice until the UK joined the EU and the burgundy common format colour was agreed and adopted.

More details about the new passport will be announced when a supplier is appointed in spring next year.

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Purse Thefts in the Tamworth Area

Over the recent weeks, there has been a rise in purse and wallet thefts in Tamworth town centre and Ventura Park where organised groups are targeting unsuspecting victims in those areas.

Staffordshire Police are appealing to residents to be more vigilant when in those areas and to keep an eye on your personal items.

If however you do find that you have misplaced your purse or wallet please contact your respective banks straight away so your cards can be cancelled and no further transactions can be made by any potential offenders.

All incidents of this nature can be reported to Staffordshire Police on 101.

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Fraudulent HMRC Calls to the Tamworth Area

Staffordshire Police are reporting that there has been a current trend of calls being reported from Tamworth residents stating they have received calls from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

Criminals are trying to obtain people details over the phone stating that they are trying to collect money owed to HMRC.  Criminals have seemed genuine and have convinced people to pass personal details over the phone.

There has also been incidents where again someone posing as a HMRC official will call residents and state that they are entitled to a rebate of so much money.  However, to obtain this they must go to a Supermarket and purchase an amount of iTunes vouchers and then pass the codes from them onto HMRC to release the money the person is entitled to.

Both of these practices are fake and unfortunately these criminals are being successful in their actions.

Staffordshire Police are appealing to Tamworth residents to be most vigilant and do not provide these callers with any details. If you receive any similar calls please hang up and contact HMRC directly on 0300 200 3319.

If anyone does experience any calls of this nature please report to either Staffordshire police on 101 or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

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Birmingham Airport Fined After Young Child Injured

Birmingham Airport Limited has been fined after a six-year-old boy became trapped in a baggage conveyor.

Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard how the boy was trapped by machinery when he found his way into the mesh cage of the ‘out of gauge’ conveyor, which was used for delivering oversized baggage to the public baggage reclaim area.  The conveyor started whilst he inside.  He suffered a crush injury to his leg and had to remain in hospital for two nights for observation.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident, which occurred on 4 September 2016, found the airport management had removed a safety device and its replacement did not provide the same level of protection.

Birmingham Airport Limited of Bickenhill, Solihull, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and have been fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,251.23.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Geoffrey Brown said, “This case will serve as a reminder that risk assessments and guarding of machinery requires regular review and monitoring especially where arrangements are altered or removed.  Had the airport assessed the changes properly these injuries could have been avoided.”

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