Record number of New Year's Honours
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A record number of Essex Police officers and staff have been recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List for 2021.
One member of police staff and five police officers have had honours bestowed upon them, with stories varying from hostage negotiation to supporting potential police officers of tomorrow. And there are three, unique stories from the biggest investigation Essex Police has ever undertaken.
“This has been a challenging year in many respects and it’s amazing to kick off 2021 with our officers and staff getting recognition for their dedication to the communities of Essex and beyond.
“Our officers, staff and volunteers go above and beyond every day of the year to protect victims, support the vulnerable and bring criminals to justice. It’s a privilege to see these six individuals honoured in this way – they’re an inspiration to us all, and stories like these make me especially proud to be their Chief Constable.
“Essex Police is filled with hard-working, innovative and supportive people. Whether you want to be a police officer, a detective, a member of our staff or you want to volunteer to protect your county, you can find your place here.
“We value difference and if you’re looking for something new – or think your name could be on this list in a decade or two – I’d encourage you to join us. Just visit our Fit the Bill webpage to hear more inspirational stories of those I have the pleasure of working with every single day.”
Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington
An exceptional member of police staff, who oversees all of our volunteer police cadets and volunteers, will receive the British Empire Medal for her voluntary and charitable services.
In 2008, Jenny Brouard created an annual Volunteers Awards evening to ensure all those who gave up their time for the force were recognised in a dedicated ceremony. As the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS) Officer, she now oversees the biggest CSAS scheme in the country with 46 organisations and 545 people taking part in the scheme.
In 2015, she devised the concept of Active Citizens, volunteers who were to support teams with house-to-house enquiries, reassurance visits and other community-based activities. Numbers now stand at 148 Active Citizens, and this practice was used as a case study at the 2018 National Police Chiefs’ Council Conference.
She assumed responsibility for the Volunteer Police Cadets that same year - 260 cadets and 60 leaders across 10 cadet units. She took the time to visit all units personally and the cadets now stand at more than 400 in number, with three new units having been introduced.
Jenny has already received numerous awards for her work – including an Essex Police Award in 2009 for developing volunteering and a Community Safety Award in 2015. Her work continues to inspire people across the country, and we’re pleased she’s receiving this recognition as well.
Five officers will receive a Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) for their services to policing. The first is Detective Inspector Caroline Williams, who is an influential figure in preventing and investigating child and adult sexual exploitation.
As an experienced detective with a 26-year-career behind her, she works on complex cases of sexual exploitation and abuse to support survivors and bring perpetrators to justice.
She is a dedicated advocate for survivors. Not only has she been the police lead for the Sexual Assault Referral Centre Pathway since 2014, she also works closely with survivor groups and support helplines and charities to ensure a holistic approach to supporting those in need.
DI Williams also works closely with various communities across the county to raise awareness of the harm of Female Genital Mutilation. She has led force training to ensure that vulnerable children are removed from harmful situations through the use of Police Protection powers under the Children’s Act and she continues to tackle child sexual exploitation by gaining the trust of those who are reluctant to report their abuser.
Her work has been supported and commended by survivor groups and partner agencies across the public sector and her dedication to victims shines through all parts of her work.
Detective Chief Inspector Jasmine Frost is a trained hostage negotiator who has played an important role in more than 200 incidents since 2009. As well as her day job as a detective, DCI Frost also works to support the development of negotiators at a local, regional and national level.
DCI Frost has worked calmly and communicated clearly throughout high-pressure situations – including a 20-hour negotiation during a reported siege in Southend in 2010 and the affray aboard a large vessel on the River Thames in October 2018. She has also developed and implemented negotiation strategies for complex cases, including an international kidnap.
She assesses and role-plays on the national course for negotiators and, in 2020, she received her National Long Service Award for services to negotiating from Chief Constable Harrington. This marked 10 years of exemplary service, over and above her core role as a senior detective.
DCI Frost’s tenacity, resourcefulness and courage lead her to resolve most situations with minimal use of force and, due to the nature of the work, it can go unnoticed. We’re thrilled that she has been awarded this accolade.
And three officers will receive a QPM for their hard work and dedication during the largest investigation Essex Police has ever undertaken.
In the early hours of 23 October 2019, we responded to a call from the ambulance service, which suggested a mass fatality of people in the back of a lorry trailer. When we arrived on scene, we confirmed that 39 Vietnamese victims – two as young as 15 years old – were dead, and we launched an investigation to discover how they had been smuggled into the country.
In total, more than 1,300 officers, staff and volunteers contributed to the progression of this case. During the first few weeks of January 2021, eight men will be sentenced for their part in the conspiracy to assist the unlawful immigration of victims over the course of several weeks in October 2019, with some even guilty of manslaughter in relation to the fatal journey.
On the day of the discovery, Detective Chief Inspector Martin Pasmore was tasked with leading the Disaster Victim Identification process as the Senior Identification Manager.
Through weeks and months of careful leadership, DCI Pasmore ensured that his teams took care to show the utmost dignity and respect towards the victims, as he oversaw their journey from inside the lorry, to the mortuary, and to making sure that each victim was identified so that they could be reunited with their loved ones following repatriation. He also ensured that there was pastoral care for his teams throughout, and following, the incident.
He has since retired from the force after 27 years of service, but DCI Pasmore has left a lasting legacy at Essex Police. Throughout his 13 years as a Senior Investigating Officer (SIO), he worked tirelessly to deliver justice for victims of rape, kidnap and murder.
In 2019, he was presented with the SIO of the Year Award by the national Homicide Working Group in recognition of his exceptional career.
He led his investigations with vigour and determination and took the time to mentor less-experienced officers. Victims’ families speak in earnest about his compassion, empathy and professionalism in the most difficult time of their lives.
Chief Superintendent Stuart Hooper was deployed to Grays on the morning of the tragedy and went on to help lead the investigation.His role in supporting Assistant Chief Constable Tim Smith and Senior Investigating Officer DCI Daniel Stoten meant he played a key role in shaping the response to the investigation itself, but also Essex Police’s ongoing response to organised immigration crime.
Throughout the course of the investigation, Chief Superintendent Hooper brought together key agencies and law enforcement partners from nine other countries in order to share relevant information and get justice for the victims and their loved ones. This included the creation of a Joint Investigation Team, work with Eurojust, and liaison with Embassies and law enforcement officials in Vietnam for a visit from our Family Liaison Officers in February 2020.
Chief Superintendent Hooper has also used these relationships to develop preventive practices which are informing national strategies to tackle organised immigration crime. His work with the haulage industry continues to try and find ways to reduce risk and harm to anyone who may have been smuggled into the country in a lorry.
His continued dedication to helping victims of organised immigration crime just goes to show the lasting impression that this investigation has left on him, and all others who have worked on it.
Family Liaison Coordinator Detective Inspector Michelle Stoten will also receive a QPM for her work throughout this investigation.
The majority of victims’ families were more than 6,000 miles away and, with language barriers and a different policing style, DI Stoten ensured that her dedication and compassion shone through. She created clear policies, liaised internationally with the Vietnamese Government and enlisted the help of translators and experienced Family Liaison Officers to gain the trust of grieving families on the other side of the world. She has continued to support the welfare of her staff throughout this incredibly emotional case.
Her time, patience and resourcefulness allowed for support to be given to families and communities over differing timescales, taking into account differing religions, faiths and cultures, to ensure that each victim and their family have been treated with respect and dignity.
DI Stoten oversaw a visit to Vietnam in February 2020, where Family Liaison Officers were able to meet victims' families face-to-face for the first time, and led one of the teams in a remote part of the country, ensuring that we worked closely with Vietnamese law enforcement.
She also deputised for DCI Pasmore during the identification process, ensuring that all 39 files were of the correct standard for the Identification Commission, and the 39 victims could be officially named and repatriated to their families.
She is a dedicated detective and a role-model to those within the investigative field. Her support to the families throughout this challenging time – where they were grieving with international media intrusion – will never be forgotten.