Two kind-hearted police officers from Lambeth raised over £5,000, for an elderly man who had his life savings stolen by criminals posing as bogus police officers.
Police Constables Ben Ings and Simon Cracknell were so moved by the incident in which two men bullied their way into the Lambeth home of 84-year-old Stan that they set up a collection for him.
Supported by colleagues from the CID and response teams at Lambeth Borough, a grand total of £5,500 was raised.
On Thursday, 22 October at about 16:00hrs, police were called to Stan’s home in Lambeth after two men posing as police officers bullied their way inside, pushed him over and stole £8,000. He was not seriously injured.
Stan, who has no family nearby, later told the officers who were first on the scene that he was saving the money for his own funeral. They were so moved that they wasted no time relaying this to colleagues back at Brixton Police Station, prompting the fund to be set up.
On Monday, 21 December – which was also Stan’s 84th birthday – he was invited to Brixton Police Station where he met the Borough commander, Chief Superintendent Richard Wood, PCs Ings and Craknell – the two officers who were first on the scene – and the investigating officer, Detective Constable Sinem Sari, who presented him with a cheque for £5,500.
Tie-enthusiast and artist Stan was also presented with a tie-themed birthday cake, which was specially baked for him by another Lambeth police constable who was moved by his experience.
Speaking today, Stan said: “I received a wonderful service and help in my time of need from police in Lambeth, after I was brutally assaulted and had my life savings taken from me. Our police live up to the most reputable force in the world and they are an example for the rest of the world to follow.
“I thank them for the human kindness they showed me in all contact I had with the police officers from Brixton Police Station – it was a wonderful tonic.”
PC Ben Ings, said: “We are used to dealing with some very difficult situations, but we were particularly touched by this case.
“The fact that the perpetrator impersonated a police officer made it all the worse – people look upon an officer as someone they can trust, so for Stan to lose his life savings in this way, so close to Christmas, is something that really resonated with us.”
Chief Superintendent Richard Wood, Lambeth Borough commander, said: “It is particularly sad to see the most vulnerable members of our community being targeted in this ruthless way, and I would take this opportunity to reiterate previous appeals for anyone who may have information about who committed this crime to contact the police.
“Everyday, but particularly today, I am immensely proud of my officers who come into work every day not knowing what they are going to be faced with, but never faltering in their dedication to Lambeth and everyone who lives and visits here.”
An e-fit has been released of the main suspect who entered Stan’s home.
He is described as white man of medium build, with dark hair and a dark moustache. He was wearing dark clothing with heavy boots and walked with a limp.
It is thought he spoke with a Midlands accent, possibly Birmingham.
The second suspect is described as white with dark hair of medium build.
Police are asking for anyone with information, or anyone who recognises the suspects to call Lambeth police on 101 or 020 8649 2131. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via crimestoppers-uk.org.