Ashfield police team honoured for community work during pandemic
A new Ashfield police team which targets organised crime has received an award marking its ‘outstanding’ community work during the pandemic.
Ashfield Operation Reacher is one of 12 pro-active police units nationwide charged with disrupting organised crime, responding quickly to community concerns and building relationships with residents and businesses.
And since the seven-strong team was set up nine months ago, it has made nearly 80 drug seizures, taken more than £100,000 of suspected illicit cash off the streets and arrested nearly 200 suspects.
It is now being recognised by a college for work carried out during the coronavirus crisis, including delivering food parcels for the Let’s All Eat food-bank, donating Easter eggs to hospitalised children and arranging football sessions for youngsters with Nottingham Forest.
The team was honoured with the Community Impact Shine award by the Academy Transformation Trust Further Education College in Sutton.
Team leader, Sgtt Paul Peatfield, said: “Since the team was formed, we’ve had some really fantastic results and taken some very bad people off the streets.
"We’re equally proud of the work we’ve been doing to build stronger relationships in our community all of which has been made possible through the amazing support of our teams and partners both internally and externally.
“Being a police officer is not always about executing warrants, driving high-performance cars and arresting people; it is also about doing the little, often unnoticed things that help to build up and maintain genuine working relationships with the people we serve.”
The team has developed a significant following on social media – including asking its online audience to help name its new Skoda Octavia police car – now called ‘Octavius Crime.’
Principal Liz Barrett, of the Academy Transformation Trust Further Education College, said: "The Reacher team has a strong, positive and consistent presence within the community of Sutton, very much appreciated by residents.
“The college really appreciates what team Reacher achieves on a day-to-day basis and the positive community impact hey have.”
Chief Constable Craig Guildford said the award was ‘testament’ to the hard work and commitment the team puts in every day.
"I look with great interest at the work all our Reacher teams are doing and really think the Ashfield team has found the perfect balance between proactive policing and community engagement,” he said.