Chief Constables' Commendations
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Chief Constables commend police officers and staff for their bravery & tenacity and for their commitment to keeping the people of Essex safe.
Ten police officers and two members of police staff have been commended by Essex Police Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington for their bravery, tenacity and commitment to protecting the people of Essex and keeping them safe, helping their colleagues and catching criminals.
Two officers have also been commended by the National Police Chiefs’ Council Cybercrime Lead Chief Constable Peter Goodman, for going above and beyond in the field of cybercrime investigations and training.
A commendation is one of the highest honours a Chief Constable can give.
“These are some fantastic stories. Our officers and staff will say ‘I was just doing my job’ or ‘that’s what I get paid for’ but the things I have commended them for are absolutely extraordinary. I don’t award commendations lightly.
“I ask our officers to help people, keep them safe and catch bad guys and they do, day in and day out. But it’s not just about our officers, it takes a team of people with different skills and abilities to bring people to justice and that means police staff, detention officers, analysts and investigators.
“Whether it’s chasing people with knives, protecting colleagues, helping members of the public, tracking down criminals who have threatened people in their own homes or making sure hundreds of people are now safer online, there has been some tremendous work to bring people to justice.”
Essex Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington
Among those commended by Mr Harrington are PC David Moon and PC Richard Hamilton, from our Force Support Unit. They were called in to search the area following an armed robbery in Harlow in June 2019. They found the suspect nearby.
The man, who had a large knife tucked in his waistband, became violent when PC Moon tried to arrest him but PC Hamilton used his Taser to subdue him and prevent PC Moon from being seriously injured. The man was arrested without injury and charged with various offences. Both officers have been commended for their bravery, professionalism and tenacity.
“I’m really proud. It’s nice to be recognised for the work which the Force Support Unit does every day.”
PC David Moon
Detention officer Karen Chinery has been commended for her bravery, professionalism and decisive action during an incident at Colchester Police Station in September 2019 when a prisoner being booked into custody became extremely violent. He punched one of the officers, who fell unconscious on the floor. Karen threw herself on top of her colleague to protect him from further injury whilst the prisoner continued trying to kick the officer’s head. Fellow officers restrained the prisoner.
“I was very chuffed to receive a commendation. As a biker myself, I know that two or more knocks to the head can cause damage so I knew the best thing to do was to protect the officer’s head. And I would do it again in the same situation.”
Detention officer Karen Chinery
A group of officers from our Serious and Organised Crime Unit have been commended for their professionalism, determination and commitment in investigating two violent break-ins – Operation Mace.
In the first, a man in his 70s was struck over the head with a metal file by a group of men who broke into his Tilbury home in September 2017. He tried to fend the men off but was left with significant injuries to his eye and face.
Nine days later, a group of armed and masked men forced their way into a house in Horndon-on-the-Hill. They demanded cash from the occupants, assaulting them and their two young children and threatening them all with further violence, before stealing money, jewellery and electrical items.
Eight men were later jailed for a total of 136 years, for offences including robbery, aggravated burglary and possession of a firearm with intent.
Among the team, Detective Constable Jo Worrow has been commended for her professionalism, determination and commitment in interpreting and analysing data from the suspects’ mobile phones. Both the trial judge and the prosecution barrister commented on the high standard of her investigation work and her exemplary presentation of technical and complicated material at the trial.
“It was such an emotive job and the outcome of the court case was amazing. The convictions of 136 years for eight suspects made it worth all the hours worked and the time missed with loved ones.”
DC Jo Worrow
DC Richard Walker has also been commended for his professionalism, determination and commitment in supporting both investigations and the manhunts for the suspects. He was involved with all the initial enquiries, subsequent arrests and house searches and, without his support and flexibility, the success of the sentences would not have been achieved.
“I feel it was a team award. Our team pulled through because of everyone’s hard work, as in every job we do, going the extra mile. I feel very proud to have received a commendation.”
DC Richard Walker
And Detective Sergeant Steve Robson has been commended for his drive and management of the investigation. He worked long hours, liaising with the Metropolitan Police and colleagues in other Essex Police teams to achieve successful arrests and house searches. He is commended for his professionalism, determination and commitment.
“I’m proud and feel very privileged to be recognised for all our hard work on a complex and difficult job, from managing firearms operations to getting the evidence against the seven main suspects so they could all be tried in court at the same time.”
DS Steve Robson
Also commended for their work on Operation Mace are DC Mark Morgan-Jones, DC Tara Shepherd and former DC David Hobday.
Firearms officers PC Arron Ward and PC Ryan Mitcham have been commended for their compassion, professionalism and resilience following an incident in July 2019 when they performed CPR on an unconscious woman at an address in Brentwood. They kept her alive until paramedics arrived and took her to hospital but, sadly, she died the next day.
“This was the first time I attended an incident where I used the advanced medical equipment all firearms officers have in our trauma medical bags. Ryan and I worked hard to establish an airway, then delivered oxygen, using a bag valve mask and CPR, whilst using the defibrillator.
“We both really wanted her to pull through but, unfortunately, she passed away later the following day.
“I sometimes think back to that evening and wonder if I could have done anything differently or better so she survived.
“I was surprised to receive a Chief Constable’s Commendation. My attitude changed from being critical about my actions to feeling proud that Essex Police recognises that Ryan and I did all that we could for the woman that evening.”
PC Arron Ward
And two officers from our Cyber Crime Unit have also been commended, by Chief Constable Peter Goodman, Cybercrime Lead for the National Police Chiefs’ Council, for going above and beyond in the field of cybercrime investigations and training.
DC Steve Mersh has been recognised for his innovative approach to cybercrime training. He developed a bespoke immersive training package for detectives who joined us via the Investigate First direct entry scheme, providing them with an understanding of the digital world and how to manage such investigations.
The training has been recognised at both regional and national level as leading the way in developing officers to enable them to investigate in a complex, ever-changing cyber landscape and it has received excellent feedback from those who have taken the course.
“It is so good to have training recognised in this way. Sharing the information and skills means we can help more people by giving our officers skills to identify & investigate lines of inquiry and knowledge to pass on to victims and potential victims, such as schoolchildren, so they can protect themselves online.”
DC Steve Mersh
And DC Arran Holmes has been recognised for his work on Operation Identify – a large-scale investigation across the country, in which an offender enabled others to access the personal data of more than 500 women and obtain intimate images which they then used to cause harassment.
DC Holmes relentlessly pursued five offenders, who were ultimately jailed for a total of more than 13 years for the trauma and embarrassment they caused their victims. His tenacious work, particularly the seizure and review of large amounts of digital evidence, ensured that the victims got justice and prevented further women being targeted by the group.
If these stories have inspired you, why not take a look at the careers Essex Police can offer you: www.essex.police.uk/fitthebill