Recognising outstanding commitment to helping people, keeping you safe and catching criminals
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We have been celebrating the outstanding bravery, professionalism and tenacity of our officers, staff and volunteers at our annual awards.
All our police officers, police staff, Specials and volunteers are dedicated to supporting victims, tackling and preventing crime and protecting vulnerable people.
But many go above and beyond the call of duty, either personally, or within a team, and it is their achievements we celebrate each year. This year 272 nominations were made, each demonstrating the commitment of the nominee to helping people across Essex, keeping them safe and catching criminals.
Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington and dignitaries, including Essex Lord-Lieutenant Jennifer Tolhurst, Essex High Sheriff Simon Brice and Essex Chambers of Commerce chief executive Denise Rossiter, presented the awards.
“During the pandemic, the officers, staff and volunteers of Essex Police rose to the challenge and then some. All of them carried on in the face of adversity and risk. They policed the regulations with compassion, common sense and credibility and continued to press on with our main effort of catching criminals and keeping people safe, despite the challenges the virus put in their way. “Some moved away from their families to keep on doing the job and, even when the virus took away much-loved and loved ones or left them seriously ill, they kept on doing the job. “It is my chance as Chief Constable to say thank you to everyone and, most importantly, thank their loved ones for their enduring support and patience. “We heard about outstanding operational work and remarkable acts of bravery and devotion to duty. However, this is just a part of what makes Essex Police a great force. We also heard about the best of the best, in terms of innovation, equality and diversity, partnership working, supporting vulnerable people, volunteering and many other remarkable achievements. “We continue to be an exciting, dynamic and diverse place to be and we are growing our officer numbers are at their highest number since 2011, we have more than 500 special constables, thriving and growing Volunteer Police Cadet units in every district and borough in the county and, of course, we have many volunteers who work with us in a range of roles. “In addition, our capabilities to deal with the threats of modern crime and harm continue to grow.” Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington
PC Chantelle Feyzifar, of our Grays Local Policing Team, was awarded the Wilson Trophy for performing the outstanding act of the year. During what began as a routine traffic stop, Chantelle stepped in after a violent driver dragged a colleague down the road with his moving vehicle and, when the vehicle stopped, started to punch the officer. Thankfully, Chantelle had chased the vehicle. She attempted to get the man off her colleague and, despite being punched herself, was able to call for back-up. The man ran off but Chantelle continued to chase him, eventually preventing him from escaping over a gate and detaining him until colleagues arrived to assist.
Chief Inspector Nathan Hutchinson received our Innovation of the Year award for his work to secure Home Office funding to purchase new technology and upskill police officers and staff who manage known sex offenders in our Management of Sexual Offenders and Violent Offenders (MOSOVO) team. They are now able to examine more devices at the scene and this, together with their digital expertise, means we can now target the most dangerous offenders in our county more efficiently.
Chief Inspector Lewis Basford was presented with the Anthony Peel Trophy for his innovative and lawfully audacious approach to tackling serious violence in our county. The trophy is presented in recognition of commendable achievement in crime reduction. Lewis, who leads our Serious Violence Unit, developed a hotspot policing model to focus patrols in areas of high crime, which has now been rolled out nationally. He has also led a new approach to tackling county lines drugs gangs, to identity and take out gang leaders and dismantle the gangs.
PC Nick Schneider, who works in our Child Abuse Investigation Team in Basildon, was recognised as our Police Officer of the Year. Following 18 years on a local policing team, Nick joined CAIT early last year and works relentlessly to achieve justice for victims of the horrific crimes he investigates. He has already achieved some notable results, including a case where, after a man was alleged to have sexually assaulted his step-daughter, within a week Nick had identified another seven victims from across the UK.
The work of Detective Inspector Caroline Williams, who was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in the New Year’s Honours List, was recognised with the Liam Brigginshaw Award for Outstanding Commitment to Essex Police. Until her recent retirement, Caroline was an influential figure in preventing and investigating child and adult sexual exploitation. She worked tirelessly with partner agencies to ensure the most vulnerable members of our communities were supported and protected from harm. Caroline’s extensive victim-focused work has left a lasting legacy. Caroline worked in our Public Protection Investigations Unit at Harlow.
Investigating officer Amanda Moxon was recognised with the Millard Trophy for making a difference by always putting others first. As well as going above and beyond to help victims of crime, Mandy is also a valuable support to her colleagues. Based in our South Public Protection Investigation Unit at Southend, she is an experienced investigator who works tirelessly and gets outstanding results. In her spare time, she organises fundraisers to help victims and struggling vulnerable families and has donated hundreds of Christmas presents to vulnerable children through her work with local Round Table groups and the national Embrace charity for child victims of crime.
Braintree police community support officer Lorraine Keating received our PCSO of the Year award for her work tackling anti-social behaviour. She helped to secure an indefinite criminal behaviour order against a woman who was targeting elderly and vulnerable people for money. As always, Lorraine prioritised the victims, making sure they were cared for and kept up-to-date throughout the investigation. Some of the victims’ families contacted us to express their thanks and appreciation to Lorraine for looking out for their elderly relatives.
Cadet Lauren Hooper was named Volunteer Police Cadet of the Year. She is the head Cadet of our Thurrock Volunteer Police Cadet Unit, joining the unit in 2017. She was nominated for being an enthusiastic and genuine role model who inspires others. Amongst her many roles, she is the only young person sitting on Thurrock’s Independent Advisory Group and the Fairness & Equality Challenge Panel, she is chair of Thurrock Youth Cabinet and has also trained as an Essex Police hate crime and domestic abuse ambassador.
The award for Supporting Vulnerable people was presented to a community policing team officer who works tirelessly to protect vulnerable children from exploitation. She works with social workers, following leads from schools, parents and information provided by members of the public, and has prevented many children from being sexually and criminally exploited.
PC Ian Risden, of our Castle Point and Rochford Community Policing Team, was presented with the George Cook Trophy for his work over a number of years to build relationships with the community and partners, including various Castle Point Borough Council departments, such as housing, environmental health and community safety; Trading Standards; the Fisheries Commission; and Border Force, to name just a few. Of particular note is Ian’s work to engage with Canvey Island’s orthodox Jewish Haredi community, building their confidence in policing by understanding their needs and adapting to them – through translation, adapting crime reporting methods – and becoming a trusted voice.
Special Constable Carole-Anne Porter was named Special Constable of the Year. A Special for 12 years, mainly in Chelmsford, Carole-Anne then volunteered to become one of our first Special trainee detectives in the Serious Crime Directorate’s Major Crime team at Great Dunmow. Following the murder of 83-year-old Donald Ralph in Aldham last December, she cancelled her festive plans to help the team. She went above and beyond, working long hours to support her regular colleagues during the investigation.
Our former Force Chaplaincy Co-ordinator Ian Grüneberg was recognised as our Volunteer of the Year and received the Bill Nairn Trophy. For more than a decade, Ian was the lead Chaplaincy volunteer in Essex Police, visiting hundreds of officers and staff across the force himself to offer support or a friendly chat, regardless of their religious beliefs. Ian also recruited multi-faith chaplains to assist in this work and increase Chaplaincy provision across the force. Ian continued his valuable work, when social distancing and COVID-19 Regulations permitted, throughout the pandemic. He retired this summer.
Lorna Mackinnon from our Media and Communications Team was named Police Staff Member of the Year. She was responsible for our media handling of the case in which 39 Vietnamese people suffocated in a lorry container in Grays in October 2019. As well as the great compassion and care she showed when meeting the victims’ families, Lorna also worked tirelessly to support the investigative team throughout the investigation and subsequent trial, work which was made more difficult as it took place during various COVID-19 restrictions. Lorna is committed to the welfare of her staff and her abundant knowledge is respected across the force.
PC Mike Kelleher was recognised as an outstanding student officer who inspires others, leads from the front and achieves outstanding results. Mike, who was presented with the Bennett Trophy, was a Special Sergeant before joining us as a regular officer and he is driven to being the best he can be, recognised by his supervisors for his diligence and professionalism. He is happy to share the policing knowledge he gained as a Special and help his fellow student officers to achieve their potential. He now serves on our Basildon Local Policing Team.
Sergeant Tracey Butt was recognised for her work over more than 20 years to support working mums and mums-to-be in the force. Tracey received our award for Promoting Equality and Diversity. Part of her work in this sphere involved creating an online resource to advise new parents and their managers about day-to-day issues and the options open to them, including flexible and part-time working. Tracey is a member of our Southend Community Policing Team.
The Team of the Year award was given to members of our Business Services Service Delivery Team, who supported colleagues and teams across the force reporting absences and self-isolation due to COVID-19. They adapted to rapidly changing circumstances and supported colleagues outside of normal office hours and adapted their working hours and processes. They also set up an online HR & Wellbeing Hub to signpost police officers, staff and volunteers to all the relevant help and advice available to them during an extremely challenging time for everyone.
And a special award for adapting to the challenges posed by the pandemic was presented to Jo Walden, manager of our Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Unit. An internal restructure and COVID-Secure training for new members allowed the team to meet deadlines without compromising on the high standards they are known for nationally.
If you share our values and want to protect and serve our communities, why not join us?
Alternatively, we are always looking for more volunteers to join our Special Constabulary, whether you want to become a Community Special Constable, dedicated to your local town or parish, or police a little further afield. Visit www.essex.police.uk/specials for more information.