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Courage and commitment celebrated at force awards ceremony


A long-serving beat manager who had his jaw broken while arresting a wanted man was just one of more than 30 officers and staff presented with awards at a ceremony in Bristol yesterday afternoon (Thursday, 10 March).

Also recognised for their determination to bring offenders to justice were the two investigation teams behind the Becky Watts and Nicholas Robinson murders, the officers responsible for ensuring two sex offenders were jailed, the teams that brought down two major drugs gangs and a PCSO credited with saving the life of a young boy who was choking.

The awards were presented by Chief Constable Andy Marsh and Barry England OBE, Deputy Lieutenant of Bristol at the Merchants’ Hall in Clifton, Bristol.

Chief Constable Andy Marsh, said: “It makes me incredibly proud to present these awards to more than 30 officers and staff.  Although each of the cases that led to such recognition is different, what each of the recipients has shown is total commitment to achieving justice for victims and protecting the 1.6 million people who live in the Avon and Somerset area.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens, who closed the ceremony, said: “Attending award ceremonies like this is one of the many highlights of my role as PCC.  We have heard examples of compassion in protecting those most vulnerable in our communities, the determination to disrupt the most serious of organised criminals, and the perseverance in ensuring that the local communities of Avon and Somerset are safe and feel safe.  I want to thank all of the individuals recognised today for their continued efforts in bringing offenders to justice and keeping our local communities safe.”

Awards were presented to:

Crown Court Commendation - PC Christopher Adams QPM, St Paul’s beat manager

Chris, who has worked in St Paul’s for the past 24 years, volunteered to arrest a wanted man who was known to be violent in order to prevent any further disorder.  Despite having known Chris since he was a child, the offender assaulted him, leaving him with a broken jaw.  On sentencing the offender, Judge Euan Ambrose recognised Chris’s 24 years’ service to the area as a “highly respected…fair and trusted officer.”

Crown Court Commendation – Becky Watts investigation team

The award recognised the dedication of the entire team, including Family Liaison Officer (FLO) Ziggy Bennett, who supported the Galsworthy family throughout the later stages of the investigation, including the trial.  She said: “As FLOs, we form the link between the investigation team and the victim’s family, managing the needs of both.  Because of the nature of the role, we’re on hand 24/7 to answer the family’s questions and help them form a support network during the most difficult period of their lives.”

Judge Mr Justice Dingemans, said: “This was a difficult investigation for the police and one of great complexity.  It required an enormous amount of hard work, skill and determination by an excellent team of officers.  They deserve to be commended.”

Crown Court Commendation – Nicholas Robinson investigation team

Nine members of the investigation team were commended for the 18-month investigation that eventually saw six people convicted for murder, conspiracy to purchase a firearm and assisting an offender.

At the conclusion of the second trial, Judge Cottle, said: “It is entirely clear to me…that a number of serving police officers have together made a very significant contribution to this difficult and lengthy investigation, an investigation which is so important in the context of a case like this where a young life has been taken and for those who grieve for this loss.”

Crown Court Commendation – Detective Inspector Larisa Hunt, Detective Constable Cheril Baines, PC Jenny Ford

An offence reported by a young woman in 2013 led to an investigation that uncovered abuse spanning 17 years and the convictions of two men for offences against 14 vulnerable women and children. 

On sentencing the men for a combined total of 20 years, Judge Hart said: “This case involved very serious sexual offences committed by very persistent dangerous offenders over a number of years.  They were brought to justice by the sustained effort of the officers in very difficult circumstances and with great care and sensitivity to the various victims.  Without the officers’ hard work and professionalism these highly dangerous offenders would still be free to offend.”

Detective Inspector Larisa Hunt, who led the investigation, said: “The bravery and strength of character of the victims in coming forward played a huge part in the outcome, as well as the dedication of the officers on the team who worked tirelessly to support them.”

Crown Court Commendation – Detective Sergeant Nick Eckland, Acting Detective Sergeant Janette Ferris, Criminal Intelligence Analyst Lucy Hamilton

The team from Zephyr (the South West’s regional and organised crime unit) ended a career criminal’s audacious plan to set up a South West production centre for crystal meths.  After a 13-week trial, he was sentenced to 18 years and eight co-defendants to a total of 65 years behind bars for their attempts to yield in excess of one million pounds by manufacturing and supplying drugs across the region.

Crown Court Commendation – Acting Detective Sergeant Jason Chidgey and Detective Constable Jack Tween

Both officers were commended by Judge Picton for the role they played in the conviction of ten offenders for their conspiracy to supply class A drugs.  In total, six kilos of drugs and more than £100,000 cash were seized as part of the investigation.

Royal Humane Society Certificate of Commendation – PC Paul Fortune and PCSO Daniel Cowley

Paul and Daniel are credited with saving the life of a young boy who they spotted in difficulty while on patrol in Downend.  They calmly applied their first aid training to deliver sharp blows to the child’s back, which effectively dislodged a two pence piece.

Daniel said: “The boy’s family also remained remarkably calm in what was a very stressful situation.  I’m just grateful for the fact I receive regular first aid training in my role and would urge people to take advantage of the basic courses on offer so they can help in the same way.”


Posted on Friday 11th March 2016
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