Credit: Nottinghamshire Police

A newly established police team has been awarded a prestigious local award for its outstanding community work by the local college.

The Ashfield Operation Reacher team was established in October 2020 and the seven-person team has made nearly 80 drug seizures, collected more than £100,000 of suspected illicit cash off the streets and arrested nearly 200 suspects.

Additionally, they delivered food parcels to the Let’s All Eat foodbank, donated Easter eggs to children in the hospital and set up a weekly football session for local youngsters at Nottingham Forest.

Sergeant Paul Peatfield, team leader for the team said: ““The pandemic has been tough for a lot of people and we realised there was a considerable need in the area for things like food distribution.

“We really are thrilled to win this this award and would like to say a big thank you to our colleagues at Ashfield District Council who have worked so hard to put us in touch with worthy local causes.

“In doing so they really have helped us to provide a better policing service to local people.”

The Academy Transformation Trust Further Education College in Sutton-in-Ashfield awarded the police team the Community Impact Shine award.

The team increased their engagement through social media, such as getting their online audience to help name their new Skoda Octavia police car which was named Octavius Crime.

Principal Liz Barrett, of the Academy Transformation Trust Further Education College, said: “The Reacher team has given time to help support this work including playing a key role in delivering Easter dinners to food parcel recipients.

“The college really appreciates what team Reacher achieves on a day-to-day basis and the positive community impact that they have.”

Nottinghamshire Police has established 12 Operation Reacher teams since October 2020, and it total they have carried out more than 3,200 stop and searches, and seized more than nearly £580,000 in suspected illicit cash.