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Police say charity collector alerted police to Copeland

Christopher Copeland from Devon has been told he faces a long prison sentence after defrauding the charity Help for Heroes out of £300,000. DCI Mike Robison from Devon and Cornwall Police spoke to ITV Westcountry outside court today and told us it was one of the charity collectors Copeland was using that became alerted the police.

"He used a lot of charity collectors who went all over the country using military vehicles that were liveried with the Heroes livery on them. And the public, seeing these types of vehicles, would have quite legitimately given their money believing it was going to the charity when actually it didn't."

– DCI Mike Robison

Man pleads guilty to defrauding charity out of £300,000

Christopher Copeland
Christopher Copeland Credit: Irving of Exeter

A man from Devon has been told he faces a long jail sentence after defrauding the charity Help for Heroes out of £300,000.

Garage owner Christopher Copeland organised charity supermarket collections across Devon with teams of volunteers, but failed to give the money to the charity.

The 51-year-old pleaded guilty. He will be sentenced on 15th September.

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National

Employment figures show record number in work

The Government received good news on the jobs front today with the latest unemployment figures showing a record number of people in work.

Men outside a Job Centre Plus branch
Men outside a Job Centre Plus branch. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Read: McVey says employment rise reward for country's resilience in downturn

Over 30 million people are now in work, which is an increase of almost a million in the past year - the best figures since records began in 1971.

There is an employment rate of 73.1%, with just over 78% of men and 68% of women in work.

More than 4.5 million people are self-employed, which is the highest since records began in 1992 after an increase of 404,000 over the past year, Office for National Statistics showed.

Read more: Unemployment falls by 121,000 to 2.12 million

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National

Cameron: Full employment key aim of economic plan

David Cameron has welcomed today's figures which shows there has been a fall in unemployment.

The Prime Minister tweeted that the figures "show more people have the security of a job than ever before".

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Today's figures show more people have the security of a job than ever before. Full employment is a key aim of our #LongTermEconomicPlan.

Read more: Unemployment falls by 121,000 to 2.12 million

National

McVey: Employment rise reward for country's resilience

The country's "resilience" during the economic downturn "is being rewarded" after figures released today showed a fall in unemployment, Employment Minister Esther McVey said.

Employment Minister Esther McVey
Employment Minister Esther McVey. Credit: PA

Read more: Unemployment falls by 121,000 to 2.12 million

She said: "An important milestone has been reached in our country's recovery. With one of the highest employment rates ever, it's clear that the Government's long-term economic plan to help businesses create jobs and get people working again is the right one.

"With an employment rate which has never been higher, record women in work and more young people in jobs, the resilience of the country during the downturn is being rewarded.

"We know there is more to do, and the best way to do so is to go on delivering a plan that's creating growth and jobs."

Read: Esther McStay - why has she missed out on a promotion again?

Unemployment falls nationally to 2.12 million

Despite the latest unemployment figures showing a rise of 3,000 in the South West, nationally unemployment fell by 121,000 to 2.12 million.

The number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance last month fell by 36,300 to 1.04 million, said the Office for National Statistics.

Average earnings increased by 0.3% in the year to May, 0.5% down on the previous month.

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