Police Now officer in Avon and Somerset Police leads successful investigation into ‘mate crime’ case
Thursday 11 August 2022
Police Constable Amy Loizos has successfully led a complex investigation to support a vulnerable member of her community, who had his car, phone and thousands of pounds stolen in a ‘mate crime’ case.
PC Loizos joined Avon and Somerset Police as a neighbourhood police officer in 2020 via Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme, after 15 years working in the utilities industry where she became a company director.
The first ever witness statement she took when she joined the force was from a disabled member of the community, who had been taken advantage of by a woman he believed was his friend. The offender used her position of trust to siphon money from his bank account and, when confronted, fled with his car, phone and bank card.
PC Amy Loizos, who is stationed on the Bristol East Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “This was a complex case as the victim did not want to push charges at first, he clearly still had fond feelings for the offender who had appeared to act as a friend for so long, and he just wanted his car back. It wasn’t until he received his monthly bank statement and realised his bank card had also been taken, and that she had stolen thousands of pounds, that he decided to proceed.
“In this time, myself and my colleagues on the neighbourhood policing team had conducted several welfare checks and worked hard to build a positive relationship with him and offer the support that was needed, and he ultimately felt more confident to push charges.”
The offender was found with the vehicle and arrested by police. She appeared in Crown Court in September 2021 charged with three counts of fraud by false representation and was found guilty on all three charges.
PC Loizos said: “The case required a lot of back-and-forth with the bank and with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), to establish exact timelines and acquire all the necessary evidence to secure a conviction. I built a strong case file and knew the details of the case inside out so I could testify in Court. It was my first time in Crown Court but I ended up acting as an advisor to the prosecution and provided several key pieces of evidence during the five-day trial.
“At one point there was a risk that the offence would be downgraded to ‘handling of stolen goods’ but I pushed for the stronger fraud conviction instead, determined to get justice for the victim I had worked hard to build trust with. The stronger conviction would have harsher penalties for re-offending, and I wanted to protect potential future victims as much as I could by deterring the offender from committing similar crimes ever again.”
PC Amy Loizos has also been working with youth organisations in the local community to build positive relationships with young members of the public and secure funding for youth engagement and sporting initiatives.
PC Amy Loizos said: “The beauty of neighbourhood policing is that you can build strong relationships with members of the public in order to provide long-term support, tackle problems at their roots and build public confidence in the police service. This aids us in collecting intelligence and safeguarding vulnerable people in the community.
“I had always wanted to be a police officer but I accepted a job out of university and started being offered roles I felt I couldn’t turn away. When I had my son and turned 40 I realised it was now or never, and I decided to apply to Police Now’s programme to see if I could make it as an officer. Two years later and I couldn’t be happier with the decision I made.”