All Residents, Other

Free Fob Key Without ID Check

UPDATES – Original Story below

18-01-2010 at 12:27 John Hail sent us his decision regarding the Fob Keys complaint. In brief he uphold our complaint. Read the complaint outcome here.

09-12-2009 at 11:20 John Hail sent us the reference number for this complaint REF:5690940.

07-12-2009 at 21:06 An e-mail was sent to John Hail (Complaints Investigation Officer) requesting a UNIQUE reference number for this complaint.

07-12-2009 at 16:51 Mr John Hail (Complaints Investigation Officer) provided us with the WRONG reference number regarding this complaint and stated that “We hope to send you a full reply before 18 January 2010. We sometimes require meetings with the people involved or complex file searches. If we do, they may delay our reply. We will let you know if any delay is likely. Your investigating officer is currently unallocated (we will let you know soon).”

07-12-2009 at 12:43 We tried to speak with Stewart Holmes but he was out of the office for his lunch break. Mr John Hail offered to help us. In our telephone conversation he admitted that a reference number was never issued by the Camden Council regarding this issue against their procedures. He promised to send us a reference number.

07-12-2009 at 11:30 Trevor Chambers replied to us saying “…sorry that I did not reply to your e-mail dated 25 November. I should have made it clear to the Central Complaints Team at that time that your complaint now needed to go to the next stage of the complaints procedure which is the “Review” stage. This is because I took the view that the reply you received from Sylvia Clark by e-mail on 24 November was the reply to the local resolution stage of your complaint.

I am now asking Stewart Holmes in the Central Complaints Team to log your complaint at the “Review”stage of the Council’s complaints procedure.

However, it would be helpful if you could add to your e-mail dated 25 November. In particular could you explain why you are unhappy with the contents of Sylvia’s email of 24 November and Raychel Aldred’s e-mail to you dated 13 November which outlined the findings of her investigation into your complaint.

Please send any further information to Stewart Holmes.

Yours Sincerely
Trevor Chambers
Housing Complaints Officer
Telephone: 020 7974 1972”

07-12-2009 at 11:02 An e-mail was sent to Trevor Chambers requesting an update.

25-11-2009 at 06:44 An e-mail was sent to Camden Council saying:

“Dear Mr Holmes and Mr Chambers ,

On the 16th November 2009 I have sent a formal and official complaint (see attached e-mail) regarding the distribution of fob keys in Goldthorpe.

This complaint was addressed to the Complaints Department and Peter Swinger because:

– the response/statements from Ms Rachel Aldred were incorrect and misleading
– the correct procedures in Ms Aldred’s and Ms Clark’s department have not been followed regarding the distribution of fob keys.

Could you please provide me with the following information?

1) What is the reference number for this complaint?
2) Who is currently investigating this complaint?
3) When shall I expect to receive a formal/official reply? Would that be 07th December 2009 (20 days)?
4) At what stage in the Camden Council’s complaints procedure is this currently at (e.g. Stage 1 or Stage 2)?
5) Whatever stage my complaint is at, please could you provide your official and formal response for the relevant stage? In addition please provide the name(s) of the person who has dealt with the response.
6) What is the official procedure and stages for making a complaint against Camden Council?
7) What are the guidelines for each stage of the investigation (I could not find this information on your website)?
8) What is the role within the complaints department of Sylvia Clark (Senior Customer Services Officer) and why has she responded (see attachment) to an e-mail which I specifically send to Peter Swinger?”

24-11-2009 at 12:59 Sylvia Clark (Senior Customer Services Officer) informed us that:

“In my view this deals with all of the issues you have raised about the issue of the key fob to your friend.

After speaking to Raychel, I confirm that I have nothing further to add to Raychel’s e-mail to you.

If you are unhappy with this reply you do have the right of appeal under the Council’s complaint procedures. If you wish to appeal please write to Peter Swingler at the following address.

Peter Swingler
Central Complaints
Town Hall
Judd Street

Tel 020 7974 5776

Yours Sincerely

Sylvia Clark
Senior Customer Services Officer

Telephone: 020 7974 1622”

20-11-2009 at 10:39 John Hail (Complaints Investigation Officer) informed us that:

“I respond in Mr Peter Swingler’s absence.

With regard to your e-mail of 16 November 2009. I have checked the complaints records and cannot find any Local Resolution stage complaint regarding this issue.

As there is no Local Resolution complaint to bring to Review by the Central Complaints Unit I have passed on your e-mails on this subject to the Housing Complaints Unit for consideration for a Local Resolution Stage complaint investigation.

I hope that this explanation is of help.


John Hail
Complaints Investigation Officer
Customer Services
Customers Strategy and Performance
London Borough of Camden

Telephone: 020 7974 5644
Fax: 020 7974 5589
Camden Town Hall (General)
Judd Street
London WC1H 9JE”

19-11-2009 at 10:22 Peter Swinger read the e-mail but he did not respond.

19-11-2009 at 09:28 An e-mail to Peter Swinger was sent asking one question: ” When shall we expect to receive an answer to our complaint?”

16-11-2009 A formal complaint has been filled regarding the distribution of the fob and keys. More information soon.

13-11-2009 Ms Raychel Aldred replied to us today. She answered only some of our questions. However this time she was able to identify the officer who issued the resident with a replacement key fob in contradiction with her first e-mail on the 22-10-2009.

Apparently, the person who provided the fob key had a clear recollection of the event. However he forgot to complete the “key receipt book” and “the reception reporting system” which is against the Camden Council internal procedures. See Ms Aldred e-mail on the 22-10-2009 further below.

She also added that: “I did not request the CCTV footage for this date as I do not consider that it would contribute anything to my investigation.”

E-mail from Ms Aldred on the 13-10-2009 (without some names):

“Dear Mr xxxxx,

Thank you for your e-mails on the 11th and 13th November.

I was able to indentify the officer who issued your friend with a replacement key fob. This was Mr xxxx xxxxx. Mr Xxxx had a clear recollection of the event and he has told me that your friend produced a letter addressed to you at Goldthorpe as identification. Mr Xxxxx considered that your friend was a bona fide person acting on your behalf. Mr Xxxxx took the damaged fob from your friend and issued a replacement fob free of charge.

I assume as you are clearly aware that your friend would have been required to produce identification, and that this was his second visit to our offices to obtain a replacement fob, that you would have provided him with identification in order to obtain a replacement fob.

I am of course mindful of the fact that you state that your friends account of this is different and that he was not asked to produce identification.

I think it is important to note that Mr Xxxxx did not issue a replacement fob to someone who was not entitled to have one, and took the original fob from your friend.

I have already given my assurances that all staff have been reminded of the importance of ensuring that residents show appropriate identification before replacement keys are issued and will ensure this occurs on all future occasions..

My investigation into this matter is therefore concluded and I do not intend to take any further action.

In regards to your other questions, there were no other officer witnesses to this event and therefore providing you with a list of officers who were at work on this day will serve no purpose and I will not be providing you with this.

The fobs that we issue do not have a unique number, however we do operate a colour coding system.

I did not request the CCTV footage for this date as I do not consider that it would contribute anything to my investigation.

In respect of the other issues you have raised please refer to Mr William’s response to your freedom of information request which I believe will be sent to you within the next few days.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of my investigation you can make a formal complaint. The details of how to do this can be found on our website:

Yours Sincerely

Raychel Aldred
Senior Customer Services Officer

Telephone: 020 7974 1622”

11-11-2009 at 15:49 An e-mail was sent to Ms Raychel Aldred requesting the results of her 19 days investigation plus the following:

1) What have you done in order to investigate the matter?
2) What is the procedure for issues like that?
3) Who did you interview?
4) What did the people said on those interviews?
5) Who was working on that particular day?
6) How many keys are missing according to your files?
7) How many keys have been given on that particular day?
8) Do the keys have a unique number?
9) Did you check the CCTV cameras?

11-11-2009 at 11:37 Ms Raychel Aldred (Senior Customer Services Officer) informed us that:”This is now being investigated under freedom of information at your request.

All information from this investigation will be provided to you by Peter Williams.

I have reminded all staff that procedures must be adhered to at all times; valid ID must be requested and seen before issuing keys and fobs.

Again I would like to reassure you that every precaution is followed by Customer Service staff to ensure residents are safe in their home environment.

Please feel free to contact me if I can be of further assistance to you.

Kind regards

Raychel Aldred
Senior Customer Services Officer
Telephone: 020 7974 1622″

08-11-2009 at 22:40 An e-mail was sent to Ms Raychel Aldred (Senior Customer Services Officer) asking for an update. We received a response saying that she is out of the office as she does not work Mondays and Tuesdays.

23-10-2009 at 17:31 Ms Raychel Aldred (Senior Customer Services Officer) informed us that “…Myself and my colleague/job share Sylvia Clark will now look into the matter further, and will update you as soon as possible.”

23-10-2009 at 17:15 Ms Vicky Morris informed us that: “Reception is managed by Raychel Aldred and Sylvia Clark and they will reply.”

23-10-2009 at 12:44 We requested from Ms Raychel Aldred to check the footage of the CCTV cameras in the Crowndale building in order to verify what happened.

22-10-2009 at 22:29 Another e-mail was sent back requesting a proper investigation. In that e-mail we agreed with Ms Aldred’s statement. There is no indication of any fob keys given because nobody keept any records. They don’t even know how many fob keys are in circulation.

We also sent her a description of the young man who gave the fob key without chekcing. Formal e-mails have been sent to her from some of the people involved.

22-10-2009 at 16:16 Ms Raychel Aldred (Senior Customer Services Officer) sent the following e-mail:

Ms Aldred e-mail on the 22-10-2009:

“Dear Councillor Robinson

Thank you for your email received yesterday regarding security keys for Goldthorpe on the Curnock Street estate and your concern that correct procedures are being followed when issuing residents with replacement fobs or keys.

Keeping properties secure is a high priority for the Council and one that the Customer Services team endeavours to ensure is met.

I agree with your concern, that it would be considered a breech of security if procedures were not followed by housing staff when allocating fobs and keys.

At all of our district housing offices we are very vigilant with our security, and do request identification from customers and contractors alike when issuing any keys or fobs.

I have spoken with all individuals who worked on reception yesterday, and no keys or fobs were given out for Goldthorpe.

I have checked our key receipt book, which details all keys/fobs that are given out, and which staff member has given them. In addition to this I have also checked our reception reporting system, this system logs the information of all customers who come into the reception point and the type of enquiry they had.

In checking all of these systems, there is no indication of any keys or fobs being given out for Goldthorpe yesterday.

I would like to reassure that every precaution has been followed to by Customer Service staff to ensure residents are safe in their home environment.

In order to look into this any further I may need to speak to Mr Xxxxx and get more detailed information. I will contact Mr Xxxxx today to progress this matter. I will keep you informed of the outcome

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance to you

Raychel Aldred
Senior Customer Services Officer

Telephone: 020 7974 1622″

21-10-2009 at 19:17 Cllr Roger Robinson requested from Vicky Morris for this matter to be looked into.

Original Story 21-10-2009

Today a resident with his friend visited the Camden Council office in Crowndale Road in order to buy a new fob key. A young man around thirty was there alone. He served the residents without requesting a fee or any form of ID. The resident wasn’t even asked to sign for taking receipt of the key.

This suggests that the Camden Council does not have any control over the number of fobs in circulation or even who has them. Not even a simple check is being made to stop the misuse of the system.

A simple ID check (i.e. recent utility bill) could help to prevent the misuse of the fobs and increase the security which at the moment is of little significance.

A formal complaint has been sent to Camden Council and Councillors at 16:45.

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