Housing bosses apologise after South Shields business woman’s ‘heavy handed’ complaint

Carolyn McManus of Northern Flame is angry after a council officer and police officer turned up at her business.
Carolyn McManus of Northern Flame is angry after a council officer and police officer turned up at her business.

A business owner has received an apology from “heavy handed” housing bosses who, she claims, have damaged her firm.

A South Tyneside Homes officer - accompanied by a police officer - turned up at Carolyn McManus’ shop and accused her of sending a fake letter to a neighbour.

Carolyn McManus of Northern Flame is angry after a council officer and police officer turned up at her business.

Carolyn McManus of Northern Flame is angry after a council officer and police officer turned up at her business.

Mrs McManus, who runs Northern Flame, on Sunderland Road, South Shields, says she knows nothing of the letter - which purported to come from South Tyneside Homes - and says there was no reason for the official to have a police offier with her when she called at her business.

Miss McManus, 44, who lives at Gorse Avenue, South Shields, said the incident took place on October 13, but says she had been waiting months for an apology from South Tyneside Homes ever since.

She has complaining to the council on numerous occasions.

She said: “They parked the police car right outside, came in the front of the shop and started questioning me while a client was there.

Carolyn McManus of Northern Flame is angry after a council officer and police officer turned up at her business.

Carolyn McManus of Northern Flame is angry after a council officer and police officer turned up at her business.

“I was so angry. I told them that I was at work and was busy.

“It could have been detrimental to my business as the client heard everything that was said. There was no reason to have a police officer there.

“I know nothing about this letter, have spoken to this officla before but this is the first time a police officer has been called in.

“I don’t know why.”

She added: “I was shocked that a housing officer and police officer would come to my place of work. They should never have done that.”

“All I want is an apology and an admission that what they have done is wrong.”

A spokeswoman from South Tyneside Homes said: “We are sorry that Ms McManus was unhappy at the visit and apologise to her for any upset caused.

“The visit to her premises was made in good faith as that location had been previously requested by Ms McManus.

“In future, should a visit be necessary, she will be contacted in writing to make suitable arrangements.

“We regularly work in partnership with the police and carry out a number of joint visits.”

A Northumbria Police spokeswoman said police officers attending visits by council officers was common practice, adding that the force “quite often supports its partner agencies.”

A statement said: “An officer attended to support the council.”