Police thank public who helped catch Camden fraudsters targeting elderly

Police commendations ceremony at Camden Town Hall on 20.09.13. Awards presented by Borough Commander

Police commendations ceremony at Camden Town Hall on 20.09.13. Awards presented by Borough Commander Ben-Julian Harrington and deputy mayor of Camden Cllr Lazzaro Pietragnoli. Awards to members of the public who assisted police, winner Mrs Christine Machin from Barclays Bank. - Credit: Archant

A fraud gang that preyed on vulnerable Camden residents was smashed thanks to the help of Selfridges and Barclays Bank staff, police said this week.

Det Supt Richard Tucker, Camden’s most senior detective, praised five workers at the famous department store and one at Barclays for helping to crack a “courier fraud” gang that conned elderly people across the borough.

The victims, who were mostly in their 80s and 90s and included a Hampstead actor, a Primrose Hill artist and a former politician from Hampstead, were tricked into handing over cash to courier drivers after receiving phony calls purporting to be from their banks.

The five Selfridges employees and one from Barclays, who were the only members of the public to be given awards, were honoured for their professionalism and determination in gathering evidence that helped bring the fraudsters to justice.

Det Supt Tucker said Chris Martin, of the Barclays fraud department, offered up-to-the-minute information on attempts to use victims cards and accounts.

Selfridges fraud team members David Joyce, Peter Radovanovich and Dean Rolls, along with the shop’s CCTV operator Cameron Maclachlan and control room supervisor Henrick Horwood, alerted officers when suspects were believed to be in the store and supplied evidence including CCTV footage and receipts.

Det Supt Tucker said: “Because of this work, we have stopped these offences.

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“These young men were driving around with flash cars and were recruiting more and more young men into this way of life and we have stopped that now.

“I don’t want anybody to understate how much these people helped us do our job.”