‘Free beer’ sting nets suspects - exclusive

SNEAKY crime suspects had a taste of their own medicine when snared by an undercover police sting offering free alcohol.

Those wise to normal police approaches received a letter saying they’d been chosen to get a crate of booze – but when they arranged a delivery it was police that turned up to arrest them.

In total 19 men and women who had been wanted for some time – in connection with offences including rape, serious assaults, theft and harrassment – are back in the justice system thanks to the exercise as part of Operation Rocky.

“These are Chesterfield’s dumbest criminals,” said Chf Insp Graham McLaughlin, who is leading Rocky, a campaign hitting back at criminals in north Derbyshire.

“This operation shows we think outside the box, that we really care about getting criminals off the streets and reducing the amount of offences that occur.”

Suspects, most of who had previous convictions, were unaware of the sting until the last second as plain-clothes police parked delivery vans outside their homes.

Insp Glyn Jones, who led the exercise, said: “One man got to the cells, he was actually getting booked in by the custody officer and he was still asking ‘When am I going to get my free crate of beer?’”

For more on this story see this week’s Derbyshire Times.

By Ellen Beardmore