Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa fielded topical questions on policing and crime during an online Q&A event with the public.
The Commissioner, joined by Derbyshire’s new Chief Constable Rachel Swann, welcomed 27 members of the public to the virtual chat where they responded to questions on a broad range of subjects from Covid-19 health restrictions through to concerns over national increases in fraud.
Commenting after the Q&A session, Mr Dhindsa said: “This was a hugely beneficial exercise helping us to keep in touch with our communities during these uncertain times and address pressing concerns on crime.
“The feedback has been really positive, and the residents who took part valued the opportunity to put their pertinent questions to myself and Mrs Swann.
“A number of subjects were covered during the session and I was grateful for the expert input of Mrs Swann who was on-hand to discuss some of the work going on behind-the-scenes to tackle key priorities. I would like to thank the Chief Constable and Chief Officer Team for their detailed responses and support on this event.”
Among a wide range of topics, the PCC and Chief Constable were asked about the force’s strategy for tackling the cuckooing of vulnerable adults in Derby – the term used to describe a situation in which drug dealers take over the home of a vulnerable person in order to use it as a base for ‘county lines’ drug trafficking.
In response, the Chief highlighted the work of Operation Trapped in the South Division, which covers Derby and was launched by the County Line Disruption Team to specifically tackle the risk of cuckooing. This work has resulted in prosecutions of offenders and the safeguarding of vulnerable people.
Following a question on the growth in fraud, the Chief highlighted the launch of the force’s new Vulnerability Fraud Investigation Team, which reviews every report made from Action Fraud to Derbyshire containing viable lines of enquiry and implements an investigative strategy.
The session heard how since the start of the pandemic, Derbyshire’s Fraud Protect Officer, supported by a Police volunteer, had recovered more than £400k of defrauded money.
Other questions focused on the police’s response to drink driving, parking problems, the non-emergency police 101 number and speeding motorists.
A recording of the meeting can be found here:
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Posted on Thursday 27th August 2020