Merseyside - Fraud

DI Graeme Towndrow

DI Graeme Towndrow, Merseyside Police

Detective Investigation of the Year

Merseyside: DI Graeme Towndrow and Operation Starling Team


A team of detectives who investigated a group of travelling rogue traders who preyed on elderly victims have received a nomination for this year’s National Detectives Awards, which will take place in October in Manchester.

The team of three officers and one analyst, led by Detective Inspector Graeme Towndrow, were part of Operation Starling, a complex investigation which saw a group of travelling rogue traders, prey on a series of the most lone, vulnerable and elderly people who were not able to defend themselves.

Such was the extent of their deceit, that one victim suffered losses of nearly £400,000 becoming a recluse in his own home and severed all contact with the outside world.  The offenders lulled him into a false sense of security, taking on his persona with banks and on the internet to gain access to accounts.

The investigation culminated in convictions for all three men, with two of the offenders receiving sentences of 3 years and 2 months and the other offender receiving 4 years and 10 months.  

DI Graeme Towndrow said he and the team were overwhelmed and surprised to have been nominated for the award.

“The work that we, as Detectives, carry out is very much behind the scenes but the sense of achievement and pride we feel when we bring criminals to justice, especially for the victims, makes it all worthwhile.

“We feel honoured to be able to do the job that we do and appreciative that our work, and the work of my detective colleagues up and down the country, is being recognised.”

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