Thief Breaks In Through Garage Window. Doesn’t Notice Door Is Wide Open

Thief Breaks In Through Garage Window. Doesn't Notice Door Is Wide Open

Today in ‘so much effort for nothing’, world’s dumbest thief tried to break into a garage through one of the windows. Except, he missed one key detail – the garage door was open and he could have just walked in.

Caught on surveillance camera, the thief, dressed in a hoodie and dark clothes is seen inspecting the property perhaps for an entry point. He tries to open a side door but unsuccessful, he moves on to the window. He then puts all his strength in removing a wooden board covering the window. The clueless burglar finally manages to get in through the window but is unaware that only disappointment awaits him on the other side. A few seconds later, the disappointed thief walks out of the main entry of the garage, perhaps feeling really stupid about what he just did.The thief walks away but not before checking the side door one last time.
Watch the hilarious break-in attempt here




Community Appliance owner started as a boy with a tool box

ASB 0616 Community Appliances

MIDDLETOWN – J.R. Zaleski had an early introduction to the world of appliance repair.

“Somebody would call in and ask for their dishwasher to be repaired, so my dad and I would go out to their house and fix their appliance,” said Zaleski. “At 7 or 8 years old, I would go along with him and carry his tool box.

“Even though I was very young, I made sure that I learned every part of the business,” said Zaleski. “I started dealing with customers at a very young age as well. Customers are somewhat apprehensive towards interacting with a kid over the phone, but they would talk to me and realize I knew something about the business and it would ease their worries.”

More: Livoti’s opening 3rd food market in Middletown

More: 5 big questions on Middletown’s town center project

His dad Alexander’s business, which started out of their house in 1970, grew to become Community Appliance, the Route 35 store that sells all different types of devices, particularly clothing washers and dryers, as well as dishwashers and refrigerators.

“The best thing we did at that time was just growing the business into a successful, good size business and putting the grind in everyday,” Zaleski said. “We did not take days off and we even worked when we were sick. We are able to make time for family, but still make the business do well because everything is in place from what we put in motion over the last 47 years.”

After his father worked out of their house for 13 years, the family opened their first retail store off Route 35 where Whole Foods is now located currently. They moved in 1990, and again in 2003, buying the property where they’re no located so rent is no longer an issue.

Finding those early customers was the toughest part. “The hurdle was getting the customers in the door in the beginning and being concerned about making it another year,” Zaleski said.

More: Wegmans is coming to Middletown

More: Middletown baker whips up gluten-free treats

His own boss

It was clear that Zaleski had a passion for this business from a young age and he never wanted to do anything else. He loved being his own boss and knew that it was something that just fit for him.

“My dad started me out on the delivery trucks and then I transitioned into retail,” said Zaleski. “Once I turned 19, I was working full-time on the sales floor. One thing that makes this business worth while is that it is always changing and there is a good amount of competition, not only form other small businesses, but from the big box stores. For me, I have been doing it for so long and it is just in my blood.”

One thing that really keeps Zaleski coming back is his interaction and relationship with his customers. He has built a good reputation in town and his customers know that he is always there, in case they need anything from him.

“We still have customers that we have dealt with for the last 30 or 40 years,” said Zaleski. “Some customers will call us on the phone and ask us to deliver and install a washer and they don’t even have to come into the store. It’s all about being a part of the community doing the business.”

New technology

Appliances have become more high-tech over the years. Smartphone apps enable customers to control and engage with the settings on their appliances remotely.

“It’s pretty much all major appliances,” said Zaleski. “With laundry, people shop at our store for bigger capacity, but with refrigeration, customers will go as far as shopping for appliances that have built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection, so they can use their phones to interact with the devices themselves.”

One new trend with appliances is a black stainless look, and this style can be applied to more than just one piece of equipment.

“There is a black pigment being put into the stainless,” said Zaleski. “It’s becoming very popular with customers because of the way it looks and has been selling very well for the last 15 years. Before that style became trendy, it was vanilla or white, which was always the go-to color for a long time.

“The reason that these colors and styles are so well liked is all because of the generation, meaning that the younger customers love to have all of the bells and whistles on their appliances,” Zaleski said.

As for the distant future of Community Appliance, Zaleski hopes that one of his three children will eventually take it over. His daughter just started working there a few weeks ago.

“Hopefully, one of my kids will take over the business,” said Zaleski. “We put so much blood and sweat into it that you don’t want to just turn the key and see the business go under. My daughter is learning the ropes right now and we are teaching her the ins and outs of things like answering the phones and learning to use the computers. There is a lot to learn, but I want to relay all aspects of this business to my children, just the way that I learned everything myself.”


China’s traditional banks lose branding ground to internet rivals

Story image for Traditional from Financial Times

Please use the sharing tools found via the email icon at the top of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email [email protected] to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found here.

Bank branding was once non-existent in China; now it is growing rapidly © Bloomberg Share on Twitter (opens new window) Share on Facebook (opens new window) Share on LinkedIn (opens new window) 0 Save 8 HOURS AGO by: Don Weinland In the early 1980s, people in China had a one-stop shop for all their banking needs: the People’s Bank of China. It was, in fact, the only bank in China at the time, as well as the central bank. During the early years of economic reform in the country, citizens, government-owned enterprises and the first green shoots of private business had little choice about who to bank with. Marketing and branding for the state monopoly was virtually nonexistent. More than three decades later, branding for banks in China has taken on new urgency. The banking sector has opened up, adding thousands of new institutions. Choice has proliferated for consumers. Speed, efficiency and convenience in financial services has fashioned new household names, mainly for the internet companies that have experimented in finance. Meanwhile, the brands of powerful state banks are in an early stage of decline. “Beyond the bank’s traditional image, another important thing is convenience,” says Yang Cao, chief operating officer at Yirendai, one of China’s largest peer-to-peer lenders and one of the institutions competing head on with banks. “Younger consumers value convenience a lot. They will look at how convenient your mobile app looks and they pick the bank because of that.” The 2017 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking shows China’s top four state-owned banks losing ground in 2017. Bank of China, the oldest and most international of the four, tumbled 23 rankings to 94th, while Agricultural Bank of China fell 10 places to 72nd. China Construction Bank fared slightly better, losing eight positions to 54. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, one of the world’s largest banks by market capitalisation, fell one place to 28th, retaining its position over global competitors such as Citi, JPMorgan and ANZ. The four Chinese banks did not respond to requests to comment on the fall in ranking. By comparison, Tencent, an internet group that launched one of China’s first privately owned banks in 2014, is ranked eighth in global brand recognition, climbing three places in 2017 and trumping the likes of IBM. Alibaba, an ecommerce company that now runs the world’s largest money market fund, rose four places to 14th. Banks are late to the branding game because they have focused mainly on servicing state-owned companies, experts say, often ignoring the rapidly building wealth of Chinese people around them. In sharp contrast, companies such as Tencent and Alibaba founded their businesses on directly serving customers over the internet and have been much more in touch with the financial needs of ordinary people. Alibaba, for example, founded Alipay, an online payment service, in 2004. State companies such as China UnionPay followed that lead more than a decade later in December 2015. Alibaba’s Yu’e Bao became the world’s largest money market fund in March when its assets under management hit $165bn, a testament to how non-financial companies have enjoyed the same trust as banks.


Out of Africa: Furniture and accessories gallery

Patrizia Moroso's celebrated m'Afrique collection was launched in 2009, and new pieces have been added over time. Kiwis ...

Patrizia Moroso’s celebrated m’Afrique collection was launched in 2009, and new pieces have been added over time. Kiwis looking for a splash of bright colour and imaginative design can find m’Afrique items at Matisse.

1  of  12
« Previous Next »

In 2009, celebrated Italian furniture manufacturer Moroso launched the m’Afrique collection – a group of outdoor furniture designed by some of the biggest names in contemporary design, using sustainably sourced materials, hand-made in African communities.

Patrizia Moroso is the creative director of her family’s eponymous company and one of the most influential names in contemporary furniture.

Moroso’s husband, Senegalese artist and designer Abdou Salam Gaye, was a driving force behind the m’Afrique collection. Over the years, other designers have contributed to the line.

* Hot design tips to ensure your home is on-trend
* Trendspotting: We ask the experts how they do it
* Exhibit wears Africa on its sleeve

sign up for the homed newsletter

Last year, specialty book publisher Gestalten released Africa Rising: Fashion, Design and Lifestyle from Africa.

“Design is such an important and growing industry in Africa,” said writer and editor Katie de Klee, who contributed to the book. “In often challenging and resource-scarce environments, design in the Africa continent requires a certain type of creative alchemy that it doesn’t elsewhere.”

Patrizia Moroso said, at the 2009 launch of the m’Afrique collection: “Multifaceted, modern Africa deserves to be known and sustained for the originality of the creative languages with which it enriches global culture. The African continent is extraordinarily rich in creativity, materials and ideas that are sources of inspiration and nourishment for us.”

Closer to home, furniture and accessories inspired by Africa are available from boutique and specialty homeware retailers.

Ad Feedback

These are two of the newest additions to the m'Afrique collection. Like the rest of the line, they're woven from ...


These are two of the newest additions to the m’Afrique collection. Like the rest of the line, they’re woven from polyethylene fibre, which is also used for fishing nets.

These oversized black-and-white prints would be a striking addition to an animal-loving child's room.


These oversized black-and-white prints would be a striking addition to an animal-loving child’s room.

Some of the original pieces from the m'Afrique collection.

Bosch home appliances proudly supports the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway as national sponsor

Story image for Appliances from The Telegraph

IRVINE, CA–(Marketwired – June 26, 2017) –

  • Bosch will donate high-quality home appliances for up to 45 beautifully designed St. Jude Dream Home houses across the country
  • The St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway gives local residents the opportunity to help support the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by purchasing tickets for the chance to win a St. Jude Dream Home house. All funds from the ticket sales support the hospital’s efforts to understand, treat and defeat childhood cancer and other-life threatening diseases

Bosch home appliances is honored to partner with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® as a national sponsor for the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway® program. As the first appliance brand to partner with St. Jude on a national level, Bosch will provide its high-quality appliances to complete the kitchens in the St. Jude Dream Home houses.

“Bosch home appliances and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital share a strong commitment to improving lives and we’re very passionate about this partnership,” said Anja Prescher, director of brand marketing for Bosch. “With our ‘Invented for Life’ cornerstone, Bosch is committed to enhancing lives through the high quality, performance and innovation of our appliances. Our partnership with St. Jude continues to build upon this commitment and we are delighted to support St. Jude in their quest to help find cures for childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.”

Beginning July 2017, a full suite of sleek Bosch appliances — from cooking appliances to refrigeration, laundry pairs and dishwashers — will be included in the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway houses in various cities across the United States. Each Dream Home Giveaway ticket costs $100, with all proceeds going directly to support the efforts of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Because of programs like the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway, families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

In addition to enhancing each of the beautiful kitchens with thoughtfully engineered Bosch appliances, Bosch will also provide a secondary prize of a dishwasher from the new Bosch dishwasher line featuring the new MyWay™ rack to additional winners of the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway in 10 select markets.

For more information about the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway, please visit And to learn about Bosch home appliances, please visit

About Bosch home appliances
Bosch home appliances is part of BSH Home Appliances Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, based in Munich, Germany. As part of the largest manufacturer of home appliances in Europe, and one of the leading companies in the sector worldwide, Bosch has been selling high performance German-engineered appliances in the United States since 1991. Known nationwide for raising the standards in quietness, efficiency and design for appliances, Bosch frequently receives top ratings in leading consumer publications and received awards from ENERGY STAR for eight consecutive years, from 2007-2014. With U.S. headquarters in Irvine, Calif., the company also operates manufacturing facilities in La Follette, Tenn. and in New Bern, N.C., housing state-of-the-art factories for dishwashers, ranges, ovens and cooktops.

About St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90 percent, and we won’t stop until no child dies from cancer. St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. Join the St. Jude mission by visiting, liking St. Jude on Facebook


A Cautious Supreme Court Sets a Modern Record for Consensus

People gathered outside the Supreme Court in Washington on Monday, the last day of the court’s term.CreditStephen Crowley/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court was shorthanded for most of the term that ended Monday, and it responded with caution, setting a modern record for consensus.

“Having eight was unusual and awkward,” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. told a judicial conference a few days after Justice Neil M. Gorsuch joined the court in April. “That probably required having a lot more discussion of some things and more compromise and maybe narrower opinions than we would have issued otherwise.”

As Justice Alito’s remarks suggested, the next term, starting in October, will be very different from the past one, which was defined by the long vacancy caused by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016 and the court’s strenuous efforts to avoid 4-4 votes.

The court has already agreed to hear cases on President Trump’s travel ban, a clash between gay rights and claims of religious freedom, constitutional limits on partisan gerrymandering, cellphone privacy, human rights violations by corporations and the ability of employees to band together to address workplace issues.

Continue reading the main story

“Chalk it up to pent-up demand,” said Pratik A. Shah, a lawyer with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. “The eight-member court dodged the most provocative or consequential cases, and the new nine-member court is making up for lost time.”

The last term was marked by a level of agreement unseen at the court in more than 70 years. That was a consequence of a lack of divisive disputes on social issues and hard work by the justices, who often favored exceedingly narrow decisions to avoid deadlocks.

The court issued “a lot of what I’d call cautiously unanimous opinions — that is, opinions that are carefully written to decide cases on relatively narrow grounds and to steer clear of big jurisprudential tar pits,” said Jeffrey L. Fisher, a law professor at Stanford.

The court did deadlock twice, in two immigration cases. Those cases will be reargued before all nine justices in the court’s next term. The court also sent a case on a cross-border shooting back to a lower court for further consideration.

Recent terms have ended with blockbuster decisions on gay rights, abortion, affirmative action, health care and voting. “We got used to the idea that every year the court decides several of the biggest national political issues — six or seven consecutive ‘terms of the century’ — but this year saw a regression to the mean,” said Ilya Shapiro, a lawyer with the libertarian Cato Institute.

Continue reading the main story

Continue reading the main story

Record Agreement in the 2016-17 Supreme Court Term

The share of votes in support of the majority opinion was the highest in at least 70 years.

The share of cases decided by a 5-3 or 5-4 margin continued to be far below average.

The term had nearly the highest share of unanimous cases, with the exception of 2013.

Less consequential cases seemed to produce consensus. According to data from Lee Epstein, a law professor and political scientist at Washington University in St. Louis, the percentage of cases decided by a 5-to-4 or a 5-to-3 vote was 14 percent, compared to an average since 1946 of 22 percent.

Professor Epstein also devised another measure of consensus, dividing the number of votes in support of the majority or plurality opinion by the total number of votes cast. The last term’s rate, 89 percent, was the highest in at least 70 years.

“This term showed that there is broad agreement across ideological lines, sometimes surprisingly broad, on some important areas of the law,” said William M. Jay, a lawyer with Goodwin Procter. For instance, he said, “the court continues to read the First Amendment to provide robust protection for free speech, even for unpopular speech or unpopular citizens.”

There were, of course, major decisions that revealed deep divisions. One of them, Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer, lowered the wall between church and state by a 7-to-2 vote.

“This case is about nothing less than the relationship between religious institutions and the civil government — that is, between church and state,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in her dissent, which was joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “The court today profoundly changes that relationship by holding, for the first time, that the Constitution requires the government to provide public funds directly to a church.”

In Ziglar v. Abbasi, the court ruled by a 4-to-2 vote that high-level officials in President George W. Bush’s administration could not be sued for abuses they were accused of committing after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. In his dissent, Justice Stephen G. Breyer likened the decision to the Supreme Court’s “refusal to set aside the government’s World War II action removing more than 70,000 American citizens of Japanese origin from their West Coast homes and interning them in camps” in Korematsu v. United States.

But the justices also avoided hearing important disputes by dismissing an appeal in a case on transgender rights after the Trump administration shifted the government’s position and by turning down appeals in cases concerning restrictive voting laws in Texas and North Carolina.

In addressing racial discrimination, the court issued a series of decisions that heartened liberals.

In Buck v. Davis, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote a forceful majority opinion siding with a Texas man who had been sent to death row based on testimony laced with what the chief justice called “a particularly noxious strain of racial prejudice.” In Peña Rodriguez v. Colorado, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the majority, said courts must make an exception to the usual rule that jury deliberations are secret when evidence emerges that those discussions were tainted by racism. “Racial bias implicates unique historical, constitutional and institutional concerns,” he wrote.

In Bank of America v. Miami, Chief Justice Roberts provided the crucial fifth vote, joining the court’s four-member liberal bloc, to allow Miami to sue two banks for predatory lending under the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

The decisions amounted to a small but significant trend, said Elizabeth Wydra, the president of the Constitutional Accountability Center, a liberal group. “Just as we have recently seen Justice Kennedy more willing to acknowledge systemic racism in his recent affirmative action and fair housing opinions,” she said, “this term saw Chief Justice Roberts vote in a rather surprising — but welcome — way to acknowledge racial bias in the criminal justice system and make it easier for cities to sue over discriminatory mortgage lending practices.”


Found: A Viking Toilet, the Oldest Bathroom in Denmark

The recreation of a Viking settlement in Denmark.

AT A ROUTINE ARCHAEOLOGICAL DIG at a Viking site in Denmark, archaeologists stumbled upon a feature they weren’t expecting: a bathroom.

Middens and other waste pits are common features of archaeological digs. But students of Denmark’s Viking age tend to think that countryside settlements like this one didn’t have dedicated bathrooms for humans. Instead, they believed that people probably used their feces as fertilizer for fields and may have used their barn as a toilet, mixing their own waste with animal waste.

But Anna Beck, a PhD student working with the Museum Southeast Denmark, found a pit with a layer that, after analysis, they determined was human feces. The layer had high concentration of mineralize seeds, pollen, and fly pupae—all signs that this layer had formed from feces. The pollen indicated that it was human waste, since that high of a concentration of pollen would have come from honey, used as human food, not animal food.

Beck also found two postholes, indicating that the toilet was in a stand-alone building. Dating the layer, the archaeologists found it was about 1,000 years old, which would make this the oldest known bathroom in Denmark.

As Ars Technica writes, though, there’s controversy around this find. Not everyone believes the evidence adds up definitely to a toilet, and the director of another Danish museum argues that the first countryside toilets didn’t appear until the 1800s, according to other sources.


How Appliances Catch Fire

Grenfell Tower fire in London.

A Hotpoint refrigerator is the suspected cause of what the New York Times is calling Britain’s deadliest fire in a century, the Grenfell Tower fire in London, which killed at least 79 people earlier this month. Fire investigators are still examining the refrigerator to see what sparked the fire but have asked anyone who owns the European-made white Hotpoint FF175BP or graphite Hotpoint 175BG to contact Hotpoint.

The bottom-freezer refrigerators, which were not sold in the U.S., were made between 2006 and 2009, and then discontinued. In that period, 64,000 models were sold, though it’s unlikely that all are still in service. The refrigerators were made by the Italian company, Indesit, which was acquired by Whirlpool in 2014.

“We are working with the authorities to obtain access to the appliance so that we can assist with the ongoing investigations,” said Kristine Sherman, Whirlpool’s senior manager of global media and public relations. “Under these circumstances, we are unable to speculate on further details at this time. We are addressing this as a matter of utmost urgency and assisting the authorities in any way we can. We will provide additional updates as our investigations progress.”

Refrigerators are one of the leading causes of kitchen fires after ranges and microwaves. Consumer Reports analyzed appliance fires in a 2012 report, “Appliance Fires Pose a Safety Hazard.” Experts told us then that as appliances become more complex, more things can go wrong.

Refrigerators run continuously, and once the electrical components catch fire, plastics in the rest of the unit provide more fuel. (Complicating matters in Europe, regulations allow manufacturers to use flammable refrigerants, though, again, there is no indication yet as to how the Hotpoint appliance caught fire.)

From 2006 to 2010, the latest statistics available for the U.S., refrigerators and freezers were the cause of 1,710 home structure fires that resulted in two deaths, 19 injuries and $23 million in property damage. Typically the fires were caused by the relay switch short-circuiting or the lightbulb remaining on when the door was closed, according to the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Incident Reporting System.

“Appliance fires strike without warning,” says Don Huber, director of product safety at Consumer Reports. “The best defense for consumers is to register new appliances so they can be notified of any safety recalls or other problems.” For appliances already in use, you can check the list of U.S. product recalls continually updated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

The Hotpoint FF175BP and FF175G

The Hotpoint FF175BG

Modern slavery: the next social care scandal?

Woman looking out of window

Acare home is raided by the Border Agency. Staff are removed as they have no identity documents and are working long hours in poor conditions. The home, it turns out, is being used as a conduit for trafficking women into the UK.

This is a true story, told recently by a social care professional to Gary Craig, emeritus professor of social justice at the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation at Hull University. The agency that supplied the workers to the care home, he was told, has not been properly investigated by the authorities.

Craig has heard a number of similar accounts from social care professionals that could indicate foreign nationals working in the sector – in both residential care homes and private residences – might be victims of exploitation, forced labour and modern slavery.

Another example related to a large care home provider. During a routine inspection, concerns were raised about the treatment of care staff who lived on the premises. Some were registered nurses sponsored to come to the UK by the care home as their employer. The care workers felt unable to talk about working practices in the home until they were guaranteed anonymity. The conditions, Craig was informed, amounted to forced labour. In this case, the local authority cut ties with the provider, but the business still operates as a private provider.

The International Labour Organisation estimates that around 21 million people around the world – including 5.5 million children – are in slavery. Modern slavery can include being forced unwillingly into labour, bonded labour where people are compelled to work to pay off debts they may have unwittingly incurred, and human trafficking, where people are recruited and transported within and between countries and then exploited through violence, threats or coercion.

Although the situation of foreign care workers has received nothing like the level of scrutiny of food production, Craig believes the adult social care sector holds significant dangers. The vulnerability of workers employed in settings that may be out of sight is a clear red flag when it comes to the potential for exploitation.

“The risks are about isolation, lack of frequent and effective regulation, and lack of staff training,” he explains. “Levels of exploitation of employees in the social care sector are already very high, and union organisation is very weak.”

There is also intense pressure on care home providers, who are struggling with a recruitment crisis. “You’re managing a care home and desperately need people to work in conditions that are challenging,” Craig suggests. “It’s Friday night, you’re desperate and an agency pops up and says, ‘I can supply labour’.” The temptation to cut corners, he says, is obvious.

“It is low-skilled, low-paid work,” notes Justine Currell, executive director of anti-slavery charity Unseen. This means the barriers to employment are low for vulnerable foreign workers who may find themselves coerced or threatened into handing over their wages to a trafficker. The Modern Slavery Helpline has received calls from individuals worried about the welfare of their care workers, as well as inquiries from concerned social work professionals who sense that something may not be quite right with a set-up they have observed.

The social care regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), says it has not come across any evidence to date that any registered adult social care provider in England is illegally transporting people into the country for the purposes of forced labour.

The office of Shaun Sawyer, chief constable of Devon and Cornwall and the national police lead on modern slavery, also says that current police intelligence is not coming across cases of this kind. “While the team have no doubt that isolated incidents do occur, there is a lack of evidence to suggest that this is one of the primary arenas for exploitation nationally at present,” said a spokesperson.

This, says Craig, is to miss the point. “It’s a very familiar tale: people don’t believe that anything exists until they start looking. And then it comes out.” The police, he says, suffer from a lack of training: it was only last year that forces were required to insert a line on modern slavery into their categorisation of crimes.

Craig believes there is enough evidence of organised exploitation in the sector to justify a formal investigation. When the remit of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) widens later this year to cover exploitation across the whole of the UK labour market, he is urging it to mount an inquiry.

Two years on from the Modern Slavery Act 2015, Craig says: “More is going to come out. In social care, it’s going to be more hidden, and very difficult [to uncover], but that’s what this business is about. The GLA claim they want to run an evidence-led organisation, but if you don’t follow your hunches, you won’t get your evidence.”

It is sometimes difficult for concerned professionals to speak out when they’re unsure about quite what it is that they’re seeing. It’s hard to be sure that something is wrong, and people may not know who to tell.

Andrea Sutcliffe, the CQC’s chief inspector of adult social care, is clear. “Any form of exploitation is an abuse of a person’s basic rights but it may be hidden, which is why it is so important for anyone who is concerned to speak out so it can be stopped.”

It is also, says Sutcliffe, the responsibility of those in charge of running care services to live up to their legal responsibilities and carry out robust recruitment and identity checks on staff. “Should my inspection teams find that this is not happening, we will always take action that holds providers to account.”

Craig advises that anyone with concerns that a worker in an adult social care setting is being subjected to coercion, threat or forced labour should in the first instance consider contacting a charity specialising in these issues.

“If I had anxieties about what was going on in a care home, and whether management was colluding with trafficking in any way, I would talk to a local charity first of all – charities have often taken the lead in bringing this to the public domain – and ask them to investigate. Or possibly even report it to the CQC inspector and ask for anonymity. Then follow it up with an MP if nothing happens. They will have to respond.”

Many people who have been trafficked, Craig warns, will have little trust in the police and may be so frightened that they won’t cooperate. “If you involve the police you need to be sure they are going to take it seriously,” he says. “That would only be my second line of attack. You don’t want a policeman going in who doesn’t know what he’s looking for.”

Gary Craig is asking anyone with concerns about possible instances of modern slavery and trafficking in adult social care to contact him in relation to a research project on forced labour.


Dim-witted burglar breaks into doorless garage through window

Security footage has captured what appears to be the world’s dimmest burglar in action.

The video shows the man, dressed in dark jeans and a hoodie, approach a garage and try to find a way in.


First he checks the door, only to find it locked. He then begins prying open one of the windows and makes his way inside.

However, he somehow fails to realise that the garage is actually open, and if he had just looked around the corner he would have been able to walk straight in.

After realising his embarrassing mistake, the burglar strolls out again empty-handed.

He tries the side door one more time, only to find that – strangely – it’s still locked.

Realising his efforts were a waste of time, the would-be thief walks away from the property.