Belfast Telegraph

Watch: 'Business end' of major PSNI investigation as woman charged with 31 offences

Police in Craigavon have arrested a woman suspected of numerous offences including stealing £1,500 from an elderly woman who had lifted the money to pay for Christmas presents.

A video clip showing the alleged perpetrator was released through the PSNI's Operation Exposure in December urging members of the public to come forward and help identify the woman featured in the clip.

It showed a woman follow the elderly woman after she had withdrawn the money.

"Nine months later we are now at the point of actually going to that suspects address and arresting them," said Chief Inspector Jon Burrows in a Facebook video.

He said that over the course of the investigation they uncovered 30 other offences they suspected the woman of committing including that of a theft from a man in a wheelchair.

"So looking forward to showing you what's going to happen and seeing the business end of operation exposure in terms of building a case and bringing suspects to justice," said the senior officer in the video just before a police raid on the woman's home.

The woman was charged with 31 offences including theft, fraud by false representation, possession of articles for use in fraud and motoring offences. She is set to appear in court on Friday.

Here it is folks, the update from thismornings arrest and search Op. This is the business end of Op Exposure, and a mile...

Posted by PSNI Banbridge on Thursday, September 21, 2017

Operation Exposure was launched in 2010 and involves police publishing images online of suspects in their cases.

Although the CCTV did not result in a member of the public coming forward, a senior constable working on an unrelated case "saw some footage which rang a bell".

A spokesperson for PSNI Craigavon added: "It was a long haul with this, but we set our stall out when we began Op Exposure, long game or short game, we will do what we can to track down those who prey on the vulnerable."

In the past Operation Exposure has come in for criticism for publishing images of people under the age of 18, and the Policing Board's human rights advisor has said that pictures of children should only be used in exceptional circumstances.

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