Police Now officer leads case to convict offender who robbed Yorkshire pensioner
Thursday 13 April 2023
Trainee Detective Constable Alice Watson-Flowers, who joined South Yorkshire Police in 2022 via Police Now’s National Detective Programme, led an investigation involving an elderly woman who was violently robbed in her own home. Thanks to Alice and her team’s work, the offender was sentenced to 6 years in prison.
Last November, the offender forced their way into the 87-year-old woman’s house in Sheffield and attacked her, leaving her with a broken shoulder and head injuries, before stealing £30. Police were called to the scene after concerns were raised by the victim’s daughter who was on the phone to her mother immediately before the incident. She was found lying in her hallway and was rushed to hospital.
Alice was assigned Officer In Charge (OIC) of the case and, with the help of her colleagues in the Sheffield Criminal Investigation Department (CID), immediately began investigating and collecting evidence to track down the offender. The team examined hours of CCTV footage and swiftly identified the offender. They were interviewed, charged, and remanded in custody after Alice collated a comprehensive casefile of the key findings, which she presented to the Crown Prosecution Service.
Throughout the investigation, Alice kept in contact with the victim’s family, providing regular updates, taking statements, and referring them to external support agencies. Although the victim was so traumatised that she was unable to speak to officers about what had happened, CID was still able to progress the case and Alice often visited her in hospital where she spent six weeks recovering.
Earlier this year, the offender went to court where they pleaded guilty to robbery and received a six-year prison sentence.
Trainee Detective Constable Alice Watson-Flowers, who studied Geography at the University of Sheffield before joining Police Now’s National Detective Programme, said: “This was an awful crime, committed against a vulnerable member of the community. Knowing that the offender will serve a significant prison sentence is a silver lining to an otherwise heart-breaking case.
“As a police officer, it’s not only my duty to bring offenders to justice but also to support victims of crime through some of the hardest times in their lives. Being thanked by the victim’s family and seeing their relief after the offender was caught and convicted reinforces the positive impact policing can have.
“After spending time in other jobs, I realised that I wanted to have a more hands-on role supporting victims and solving cases and so decided to apply for Police Now’s National Detective programme. The programme is exactly what I hoped it would be and has given me an opportunity to help the community through tackling crime and put my skills and natural inquisitiveness to use.
“As part of the two-year programme, I’ll soon be moving to the Protecting Vulnerable People team, where I’ll continue to tackle cases like this one and provide justice for those most at need in society.”
Temporary Detective Sergeant Megan Pryce said: “I… commend the investigating officer for this investigation, newly trained [officer] Watson-Flowers, who joined our busy CID team around a month before the robbery. She has shown incredible compassion for the victim and her family, working diligently and tirelessly to gather evidence and put a case before the courts.
“I hope this case demonstrates to the public just how committed our officers are to seeking justice and protecting the most vulnerable in our communities.”
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