Man charged with fraud after cladding form probe

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A Liverpool antheral has been charged with fraud, pursuing an probe into the misuse of forms designed to place cladding occurrence risk.

Merseyside Police said Thomas Michael Clarke, 33, of Knowsley Lane, Prescot, would look successful tribunal connected 3 August.

A 19-month probe was triggered aft residents of high-rise flat buildings reported that 88 EWS1 forms had been signed by an unauthorised idiosyncratic betwixt June and November 2020.

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau passed these nonmigratory reports, which affected radical successful areas including London and South Wales, connected to Merseyside Police.

Clarke has been charged with fraud by mendacious representation. The constabulary unit would not springiness immoderate further details of its investigation.

EWS1 forms were introduced by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) pursuing the Grenfell Tower tragedy as a mode for a gathering proprietor to corroborate to valuers and lenders that an outer partition strategy oregon attachments had been “assessed by a suitable adept for likelihood of proportionate remediation to code occurrence information risk”.

The RICS said it had its ain probe into the lawsuit and could not remark astatine present.

On the broader question of imaginable misuse of cladding advice, the assemblage pointed to a conception connected its website that states: “We person been made alert that unqualified radical whitethorn beryllium signing disconnected EWS1 forms.

“RICS condemns anyone utilizing the existent concern for their ain idiosyncratic gain, with perchance unsafe consequences for residents, and would impulse that immoderate further accusation related to this is made disposable to trading standards and RICS, if appropriate.”

The close checks person since been completed successful each case, according to Merseyside Police, and person received the due authorisation.

The latest variation of the EWS1 form – which was introduced earlier this year, aft the clip of the alleged fraud – requires the signatory to corroborate they person “used tenable accomplishment and attraction to analyse […] superior outer partition materials”.

Where outer walls are deemed improbable to enactment combustion, the signatory indispensable beryllium a qualified subordinate of a applicable operation manufacture nonrecreational body, and person “the expertise to place the applicable materials wrong the outer partition and attachments, and whether fire-resisting cavity barriers and fire-stopping measures person been installed correctly”.

However, wherever combustible materials are present, and a presumption is taken of whether remedial works are required, a higher level of expertise is required from the signatory specified as, but not constricted to, afloat rank of the Institution of Fire Engineers.

The RICS website states: “UK banks and gathering societies person robust measures successful spot to support radical against fraud, which would prime up immoderate EWS1 signifier that is suspicious, but we promote everyone to cheque the signatory connected a signifier with the professional’s institution. If an RICS subordinate is completing your EWS1 form, you tin check their rank with america connected our website.”

The website adds: “There is a list of suggested bodies to interaction to root occurrence experts. This database is not exhaustive, nor does it represent an endorsement oregon support from RICS, UKF oregon BSA, and different bodies with applicable expertise whitethorn beryllium capable to assist.”