Blue Line


August 29, 2012  By Canadian Bankers Associatin

534 words – MR

Officers recognized by Canadian Bankers Association

Every year the recognizes outstanding police performance in fighting crime against Canadian banks. Recipients of this prestigious award have gone above and beyond the call of duty while preventing and investigating crimes against Canada’s financial institutions.

Since 1972, the Canadian Bankers Association has honoured 223 Canadian police officers. The Award is presented annually at a formal ceremony at the annual conference of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.


2012 Honourees

The 2012 Canadian Banks’ Law Enforcement Award (CBLEA) was presented to the following outstanding officers:

Detective Brian Hollingsworth, Calgary Police Service, Robbery Unit

Det. Brian Hollingsworth was awarded the CBLEA in recognition of his role as the primary investigator in a string of aggressive and violent, “take-over style” bank robberies.

From January to March 2011, three financial institutions in the Calgary area were held up by a gang of armed and dangerous bank robbers. There was a lull in activity until four more financial institutions in Calgary were held up in August and September of the same year. The bank robbers were extremely violent to both staff and customers.

Hollingsworth was assigned as the primary investigator in the case. Hollingsworth’s breakthrough came from DNA found in a stolen car used in one of the robberies. Armed with the identity of one suspect, Hollingsworth and his team were able to apprehend the suspects.

Hollingsworth apprehended and charged the suspects with mainly circumstantial evidence, which speaks volumes of his investigative ability and dedication. His commitment over the eight month period of the operation led to the arrest of dangerous criminals and brought an end to the violent string of bank robberies.

Constable Derek Wickett, Ontario Provincial Police, Bracebridge Detachment

Cst. Derek Wickett was awarded the CBLEA in recognition of his role in uncovering a sophisticated cheque fraud scheme and apprehending the criminals involved.

In September 2011, a call came into the Bracebridge Detachment of the OPP, reporting a suspicious cheque that was deposited for a large sum of money. Wickett responded to the initial call: a woman was depositing a cheque and claimed to be starting a new business, having all the paper work and proper documents. The bank’s security team quickly determined that the cheque was stolen, the business was fictitious and the woman was using false identification and papers. In total, five banks in the area reported similar incidents.

Despite the fact that no other specialized police investigators were available to assist in the case, Wickett was able to quickly determine that all five bank frauds were committed by the same woman. The break in the case came when a bank manager called to say the woman had set up an appointment to open an account. Wickett apprehended the woman as she was leaving the bank.

What made the case so extraordinary was that a lone school liaison officer was able to crack the case, using a high degree of resourcefulness and investigative ability. Wickett’s perseverance and commitment to the case led to the apprehension of a well-organized criminal group and ended a complex, multi-jurisdictional fraud scam.

Contact: Vanessa Carr at (416) 362-6093 x234 for more about the award.

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