Letter To My Local MP – Chloe Smith

Hi Chloe,

My name is Tom, I am a self employed videographer based in Norwich.

Times are hard as we all know and to supplement my income, which can be quite unstable, I thought I would rent out some of my photography / videography equipment.

Recently I rented a number of items to a man called Norman Fowler, it wasn’t the conservative MP, but a chap who seemed very trustworthy and knowledgeable about photography. He provided me with his driving license, passport, a signed rental agreement and £300 in cash to rent one of my cameras and also a lens which I had saved for a lengthy period of time to pay for.

Later on in the week, Norman asked if I had any more equipment. I provided him with details of various lenses and camera equipment, some of which a friend owns, and he asked if I would allow him to rent a few more bits of equipment, which I was more than happy to do. So we arranged another meet up, and exchanged another £250 for various other bits.

During the rental period he asked to extend his booking, but he didn’t pay.

After searching his name on the internet I was horrified to find a mass of information about how this man had left a trail of people who’ve been conned using a number of aliases:
http://www.gazette-news.co.uk/news/9485901.Wanted_man_spotted_in_Colchester/
http://www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk/Fraudster-pocketed-30k-web-scams-sites-including/story-16439146-detail/story.html
http://www.driffieldtoday.co.uk/news/local/humberside-police-appeal-to-trace-wanted-man-norman-fowler-1-2162689
http://www.avforums.com/forums/general-chat/592669-con-man-hull.html
http://www.driftworks.com/forum/drifting-chat/162134-scammer-evo_ant-norm-nicksterrr-dssd-mike_uk-other-aliases.html
http://www.rolexforums.com/showthread.php?t=170570

When this happens, I expect most people think they need to go to the police, which I did. I was however told at the police station that they couldn’t help as this wasn’t criminal and in fact a civil case – which I understand. However, looking at Norman Fowler’s history it would suggest that this is not a civil matter and in fact he is a criminal with a history of conning people out of large sums of money, expensive watches, valuable electrical goods and also high end sports cars and associated parts.

I saw on your website that you do not become involved with legal matters, I am not asking for assistance in this way.

What I would like for you to do is to look at the policy that surrounds matters like this and how someone can get away with stealing if you’ve given something to them. I consented to this man using my equipment for one week, I didn’t consent to him stealing my property, but due to policy the police told me they can’t help.

In fact, the police officer advised that if they were in my position they would be going to Norman Fowler’s house with some intimidating people, but included the disclaimer “but you can’t threaten anyone”.

Please get in touch with me as this is something which can’t be allowed to happen. I am absolutely devestated to say the least, this is thousands of pounds of equipment, this is my work which I love and enjoy and use to support myself and the police have told me that they are helpless.

Regards,

Tom