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Three jailed as Police Now detective co-leads attempted murder investigation

Three jailed as Police Now detective co-leads attempted murder investigation

Thursday 12th December 2023

Police Now detective Charlotte Smith acted as Co-Officer-in-Charge for Operation Pollon, which has seen three men sentenced in Birmingham Crown Court this week (Wednesday 20th December) for attempted murder and aggravated vehicle taking.

The major investigation was launched after two children – aged 11 and 15 – were hit by stray bullets at a playground in Bushbury, Wolverhampton. The bullets were fired from a stolen Ford Focus in what is believed to have been a violent feud between rival gangs in the area.

Shots are fired from the stolen Ford Focus (photo - West Midlands Police)

Shots are fired from a stolen Ford Focus – West Midlands Police photo

Kian Durnin (22, of Milton Road), Martino De-Sousa (24, of Deansfield Road), and Tireq McIntosh (23, of Valley Road) – all from Wolverhampton – were sentenced to 23 years each for their crimes. They were also all banned from driving for five years for aggravated vehicle-taking, and will have to serve two-thirds of their 23 year sentences before being released on licence.

DC Smith worked alongside her force colleagues to bring the offenders to justice. She joined West Midlands Police last year via Police Now’s National Detective Programme, which supports graduates to become outstanding frontline investigators across England and Wales. Despite having only joined the service last year, she used her excellent investigative skills to take a leading role in the case and help secure the charges.

DC Smith, based on one of the force’s Major Crime Teams, helped coordinate a large team of officers and investigators working on the case. She conducted a total of nine interviews between two of the suspects, compiled key evidence into a report for the Crown Prosecution Service and assisted with preparations for the four-week trial which took place across November and December.

She said: “I am incredibly relieved that the two children injured in this awful incident are recovering well, but the horror they and their families have been subject to will no doubt affect them for the rest of their lives.

“This reckless act of violence sent shockwaves through the community, and we poured a huge amount of resource into the investigation to make sure the dangerous individuals were apprehended and brought to justice. A large team of colleagues across the force worked together to take witness statements, investigate multiple lines of enquiry, interview suspects and review more than 2,000 hours of CCTV footage, digital evidence and forensics.

“We believe the attack was linked to tensions between gangs in Wolverhampton and would encourage anyone who may have more information about illegal activity in the area to come forwards and assist in our continued efforts to make the West Midlands a safer place to live – you will be heard. We have seen 40 fewer shootings compared to 2022, having made a number of key arrests and weapon seizures this year, but there is always more to be done to protect innocent people in the community.”

Detective Inspector Francis Nock, Senior Investigating Officer for the case, said: “Charlotte’s painstaking work has been integral to this investigation from the start. She has developed an understanding of multiple complex and interlinked lines of enquiry to provide key evidence that has taken the case to conviction. She has worked with an accuracy and skillset far beyond her experience and has made sacrifices to dedicate herself fully to the enquiry, working extremely well within the team around her. She should be immeasurably proud of her achievement.”

DC Charlotte Smith joined the force in 2022 via Police Now’s National Detective Programme. She said: “This has been a complex investigation, and I am pleased to have been able to play a leading role alongside my experienced colleagues. I don’t think I’d be here were it not for Police Now’s National Detective Programme, which allowed me to smoothly transition from my previous role in the legal sector to frontline detective and equipped me with the skills I needed to help secure this conviction. I look forward to continuing my training and detective work, so we can bring more offenders to justice and safeguard the public.”

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