Police statement on Property Care criminal charges

Lothian and Borders Police have issued a statement this afternoon as follows:

A Lothian and Borders Police investigation into alleged corruption and fraud involving former employees of City of Edinburgh Council's Property Care Department has resulted in a number of individuals being charged. The four former employees, who are all male and aged 42, 45, 59 and 62, have been charged with alleged corruption and fraud with regard to repairs carried out at Council buildings in Edinburgh.

In addition, and as part of the same enquiry, nine men and two women aged between the ages of 30 and 64 have been charged with alleged fraud, corruption and money laundering offences. The Procurator Fiscal has been briefed and a full report will be submitted in due course.

Be advised that these charges are not connected to the Statutory Repair Notices scheme operated by the Property Conservation Department at City of Edinburgh Council. A report has been submitted to the Procurator Fiscal following an investigation into the operation of the scheme, however no charges have been brought.

The Council has responded to media enquiries about this with the following comment from Mark Turley, the Director of Services for Communities:

"The Council's investigation has identified major concerns in both Property Care and Property Conservation. As a result, seven staff have been dismissed so far with a number of cases still under consideration. This shows that since this service became my responsibility in March 2011 these concerns have been taken very seriously. We are working hard to deal with the significant numbers of customer complaints and to ensure that in future services are accountable to customers and that the necessary checks and balances are built-in. I would thank people for their patience and re-assure them that we will deal with their complaints thoroughly and as quickly as we possibly can."

Please note that, in general, the Property Care service dealt with maintenance of Council properities and the Property Conservation service dealt with non-Council properties.

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