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Fraud investigator celebrates half a century of crime fighting

Posted on 7th March 2017

We’re proud to be celebrating one of our most decorated investigators, who has spent half a century fighting crime in Derbyshire.

Greg Dexter was one of the last constables to join Derby Borough Police in March 1967 before it merged with Derbyshire Constabulary a month later.

It was the year The Beatles releases Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Elvis married Priscilla and in British politics, Harold Wilson was Prime Minister.

A 20-year-old Greg was joining the force at a time when Panda cars were soon to be introduced and radios were not yet commonplace for bobbies on the beat.

PC Dexter started his career at Pear Tree police station where his first job, a collision, coincidentally happened on the corner of Osmaston Road and Dexter Street.

He said: “I remember my first job when I joined. I was out on my own with no radio. I was walking down Shaftesbury Street toward Osmaston Road and as I turned the corner I saw an accident.

“An elderly lady had been hit by a car and had a fractured femur. I was frightened at the time because I knew it could turn fatal and for a rookie cop, that was a big job. Thankfully, the lady survived.

“Pear Tree was a busy place to work. Even in the middle of the night, you were busy dealing with assaults of robberies.”

Young detective joins fraud squad

Greg became a detective in 1976 and joined the fraud squad two years after that.

Over the decades, Greg has worked on some of the biggest fraud cases in Derbyshire.

Between 1986 and 1992, he was seconded to the Britannia Park fraud team, who investigated the acquisition of a lease to land in Derbyshire and the subsequent construction of the theme park in Shipley. Just 12 weeks after opening, the park closed with total debts of around £9.5m. The major fraud investigation resulted in a 14 month trial at Nottingham Crown Court – the longest in British legal history at the time. The park’s founder was jailed for four years and the chairman sentenced to six months.

Greg’s work on the case gained him a commendation from the chief constable in 1992, where he was praised for the ‘painstaking and determined manner in which enquiries were conducted’ and a letter of thanks from the head of fraud division at the Crown Prosecution Service.

In 1998, Greg was awarded the force’s Walter Oliver Memorial Trophy, which is given annually to a detective who has ‘made outstanding achievements in the field of crime investigation.’

He retired as a constable in December 1999 and, keen to continue his work as a fraud investigator, took up the civilian role the very next day.

He was part of the team that led a large-scale, complex fraud inquiry into Denby Poultry Products in 2000. The inquiry investigated the introduction of massive amounts of poultry waste, rejected as unfit for human consumption from UK slaughterhouses, into the human food chain.

Ringleader Peter Roberts was convicted of conspiracy to defraud, along with five other men, in 2003.

Greg received another commendation from the chief constable for the excellent work he did as part of a £15m investment fraud. Ian David Shakespeare, from Sheffield and Charles Ernest Frisby, of Rotherham, were both found guilty of fraudulent trading.

The pair, who ran Zoemack Ltd in Barlborough, defrauded private investors out of millions of pounds. The company entered administration in 2008 and at the time, owed more than £7m to 90 private investors and more than £7m to four high street banks.

Shakespeare was jailed for seven years while Frisby was handed a two-and-a-half-year sentence.

When presented at court, Greg’s detailed financial analysis helped to secure the convictions in 2015.

Attention to detail

Fellow fraud investigator Nigel Thorpe, who is also a retired officer, first worked with Greg in 1979. He said: “His attention to detail and retentive memory for this type of work has helped no end of our investigations. He is very highly thought of in legal circles because of the quality and thoroughness of his work.”

Chief Constable Mick Creedon said: “Greg has had a long and successful career with us and he is a real asset to the force.

“I have no doubt that his investigations have played a substantial role in securing convictions and his milestone of 50 years’ service should rightly be celebrated.”

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