A specialist team dedicated to investigating crimes that affect the elderly will be featured on Crimewatch tonight.

Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Operation Manhunt team was set up twelve years ago to investigate distraction burglary, large scale rogue trading fraud offences and burglaries where the victim is aged 70 or over.

The team has reduced distraction burglary by 58 percent since April last year, compared to the previous year, and 70 percent of crimes committed during this time have resulted in an arrest and/or conviction.

The feature shows detective inspector Kay Lancaster highlighting the work of the team, specialist techniques employed to catch criminals and the support given to victim by the older person liaison officer, a role which is unique to Hertfordshire.

It also features a case of a prolific criminal who was convicted of 42 crimes, after he systematically targeted elderly residents in Baldock and Letchworth.

Chief constable Andy Bliss said: "The Operation Manhunt team is highly specialised in investigating criminals who deliberately target older people in our community. They provide exemplary victim care, using their expertise in supporting older victims who are often left extremely traumatised by these crimes.

"Taking a specialist approach to catching those responsible and bringing them to justice has also paid dividends in reducing this type of crime, meaning fewer victims and making Hertfordshire virtually a no-go area for those who commit these particularly nasty offences.

"I am very proud to see their great work highlighted on Crimewatch."

The BBC1 programme will be aired tonight at 9pm.