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Alumni Impact Awards: Brilliant Investigation, Thames Valley Police

Alumni Impact Awards: Brilliant Investigation, Thames Valley Police

Wednesday 4th October 2023

Police Constable Jake Farrell has been recognised at Police Now’s national Alumni Impact Awards for successfully leading an investigation into the professional, targeted theft of boilers by an Organised Crime Group in the South East of England.

The annual Alumni Impact Awards celebrate the achievements of officers across England and Wales who have graduated from Police Now’s two-year programmes and have gone above and beyond to reduce crime, support their communities and build public trust and confidence in policing.

Eight officers from forces across England and Wales were recognised at the awards ceremony on Friday 22nd September, at Cutler’s Hall in Sheffield. The awards were presented by Police Now’s Chief Executive Officer Kurtis Christoforides and members of the Police Now HQ team.

RUNNER UP: Brilliant Investigation, Police Constable Jake Farrell

PC Jake Farrell led a successful investigation into the professional, targeted theft of boilers by an Organised Crime Group (OCG) in the South East of England.

Jake joined Thames Valley Police in 2018 via Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme and thanks to his work to arrest a key offender, the OCG has been disrupted in Thames Valley and the surrounding areas. 

Despite starting with no known information about the suspects, Jake’s thorough investigation saw him identify and arrest a key individual in just ten days. The suspect had expressed intentions to leave the country, putting a large time pressure on the investigation and meaning Jake had to act as swiftly as possible.

The suspect was charged with 89 offences of targeted theft of boilers worth up to £171,000 including damages and sentenced to almost six years in prison. Thanks to this disruption to the OCG, other potential offenders have been deterred from becoming involved with the thefts and the force has not seen any similar offences across Thames Valley, Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex since.

Jake used a complex forensic strategy and a creative approach to analysing over 300 hours of CCTV and extensive Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) data. Working collaboratively with other forces, he obtained crucial evidence for the case as well as for several others.

He demonstrated strong leadership, taking ownership of all the investigations and collaborating with partner agencies to share intelligence on the individuals exporting the boilers. Jake also spent hours at each scene, rebuilding relationships with the victims and offering them the latest advice on how to protect their homes.

Jake’s team has commended him for his investigation, and his diligent approach to reviewing CCTV has transformed the way his team now approach investigations. A colleague who nominated Jake for the award said: “Jake should take great pride in having delivered justice to the victims and restoring their confidence. I don’t believe others would have achieved the same result.”

PC Jake Farrell said: “This was a challenging case to work on, as forensic evidence was initially very limited and the offender’s crimes spanned a large area, across multiple force boundaries. It was a problem which was affecting my community however, and I was determined to secure justice for the victims affected. Through investigating, it became apparent that there was a larger operation at play to sell the stolen goods on an international market. Although there is always more work to do to reduce crime and improve the quality of life for residents in my neighbourhood, I am pleased to see the positive effect that disrupting this operation has had so far.”

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Scott Chilton - Dorset Police Chief Constable

Scott Chilton

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