Neighbourhood Policing Week: Police Now in Sussex
Tuesday 24 January 2023
This week is Neighbourhood Policing Week of Action, which celebrates community policing and the achievements of neighbourhood officers across the UK.
Police Constable Oli Dalgleish, who joined Sussex Police in 2020 via Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme, led the investigation to convict a shoplifter who was targeting a grocery store up to four times per day. Oli saw the investigation through from initial response to final conviction and worked with the business community to achieve the result.
The offender was targeting a Co-op in Brighton, emptying shelves of high-value meat products, and returning hours later to raid the shop again. When confronted by staff, the offender would become physically and verbally aggressive, leaving them feeling intimidated and afraid to return to work.
The rate of offending meant Oli had to act quickly and decisively to address the problem. Over the coming days, he collected a full casefile of evidence, including witness statements, CCTV footage and extensive documentation. With the evidence gathered, Oli then arrested the offender, who was charged with 32 counts of shoplifting and held on remand until the court hearing.
Oli presented the 100-page document of evidence at the final Crown Court hearing, demonstrating the severity and extent of the shoplifting. The offender subsequently pleaded guilty to all 32 counts and was sentenced to 16 months in prison in addition to a five-year Criminal Behaviour Order, barring him from entering any Co-op stores in the area. Should he breach these conditions, the offender could receive an unlimited fine or up to five years in prison.
PC Oli Dalgleish said: “The staff were hugely relieved to hear the sentencing and to know that the offender will no longer be returning to their shop. They just wanted to be able to focus on their livelihoods without being undermined by crime. I hope that the service we provided enables them to get back to business as usual and shows the community that we can be relied upon to address their concerns.
“This is what neighbourhood policing is all about. I was raised in Sussex and have lived here almost all my life, so I know the area well. I’ve always wanted to be a police officer and serve the community here, so after graduating from the University of Reading with a degree in Law, I joined the service via Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme. The programme has given me the opportunity to make a real difference in my hometown and to use my skills and experience to drive change from the roots up.”
A/Inspector Ben Hearth said: “I have found PC Dalgleish to be a tenacious officer throughout his time with the Neighbourhood Policing Team in Brighton & Hove. I was very pleased to see the result from his hard work on this case but more importantly how we were able to provide a resolution to the business community that had been targeted by this prolific offender.”
Applications for Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme are currently open for talented graduates who want to positively transform communities and become leaders in policing and in society.
For more information on the stats referenced above, please see Police Now’s latest Impact Report here.