Police Now detective uncovers nation-wide fraud scheme
Friday 26 August 2022
Detective Constable Katie Jiggens, who joined Thames Valley Police in 2021 via Police Now’s National Detective Programme, led a case to uncover a nation-wide fraud scheme.
When Katie first came across the case in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, it appeared to be simply an isolated robbery. The victim was attempting to sell their phone online and went to meet with the three buyers, who handed over a fake envelope of cash and took the phone, before pushing over the victim and escaping in a car.
However, after digging further, Katie discovered that this incident was part of a broader operation. By tracking and seizing their car, Katie managed to link the incident to an almost identical incident in nearby Windsor. With the two incidents now connected, Katie contacted Action Fraud and uncovered that a group of criminals were behind these thefts and many more – an estimated £25k-worth of property had been stolen in the previous six weeks alone.
With the help of CCTV footage from a nearby petrol station, Katie was then able to identify all three suspects, all of whom had previous convictions. The main suspect and leader of the fraud scheme had a 10-year history of committing similar crimes across Europe, including in the Netherlands, France, Austria, and the UK, from where he had previously been deported.
Once the suspects had been identified, Katie headed the search of a residential property and seized further evidence, leading to the arrest of the main suspect who was immediately charged and remanded. The offender went to court late last year where he pleaded guilty to assault and two counts of fraud and was sentenced to serve time in prison.
For Katie, the case represents a significant milestone as it is the first case she has taken from initial investigation to final sentencing. Throughout the case, she tirelessly gathered large amounts of evidence – including CCTV footage, victim statements, call records, and forensics from the offender’s car – all of which were used in court to support the prosecution. In the process of the house search, officers also seized a large amount of cash which they were able to apportion as financial compensation to the victims.
Detective Inspector Simon Mountain said: “From the beginning of the investigation Katie was extremely thorough and detailed, exploring all reasonable lines of enquiry. These included conventional practices, like house-to-house interviews and CCTV trawling, and more specialist methods such as securing communication history from the offender. Because of the linked offence in Windsor, Katie took responsibility for this investigation as well which involved her travelling down to Windsor on numerous occasions to secure evidence.
“Throughout this investigation I was really impressed with Katie’s tenacity and determination. She was able to expeditiously investigate these offences and kept her victims updated throughout, providing a high quality of service. This was a great example of good detective work, and you could easily be fooled into thinking that Katie is a seasoned detective – the quality of the investigation was exceptional!”
Detective Constable Katie Jiggens said: “I joined Police Now’s National Detective Programme because I wanted to make more of an impact in my local community and support victims of crime. Before working for the police, I worked as a fraud analyst for a finance company; now I help put behind bars. Of course, both are valuable careers, but I find my work as a detective so rewarding, and the difference I can make is clear to see.”
Katie has another year left on the Police Now National Detective Programme and has chosen to use her intelligent, resourceful, and sensitive detective skills to help tackle domestic abuse cases.