Free beer sting

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Nineteen people suspected of committing crimes in Derbyshire have been arrested after being offered free beer by police as part of an undercover operation.

Officers sent letters to dozens of suspects who had evaded arrest for several months asking them to ring a marketing company to collect a free crate of beer.

A total of 19 suspects fell for the hoax and called the number which put them through to police officers based at Chesterfield Police Station.

A time and date was arranged for the free alcohol to be dropped off and the suspects were arrested.

The sting was carried out as part of Operation Rocky, a month-long campaign targeting serious acquisitive crime across north Derbyshire.

It is running across Chesterfield, NE Derbyshire, Bolsover and Amber Valley until Sunday, November 27.

Chief Inspector Graham McLaughlin, who is leading the operation, said: “These suspects are people who have managed to evade arrest for some time so we have used different tactics to find them.

“It has been very cost effective as it can take a lot of time and money to track people down.

“We use a variety of methods to arrest those suspected of committing criminal offences and we will continue to use new tactics when necessary.”

Alleged offences committed by some of those arrested range from burglary and robbery to a serious sexual assault.

Suspects were arrested from addresses in Somercotes, Chesterfield, Staveley and Ilkeston as well as Sheffield and Nottingham.

For more information about Operation Rocky visit www.derbyshire.police.uk.