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New Year's Honours for two officers from Avon and Somerset Police

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“Community cop” PC Adrian Secker and detective Jon Hook have received awards in the New Year’s Honours.

Fifty three-year-old Adrian – affectionately known as “Adge” by work colleagues and the local community in Bath – has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM), while DC John Hook, also aged 53, of the force’s Major Crime Investigation Team, has been awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for his work helping and supporting the families of murder victims.

In his citation Adge was described as “inspirational, committed, dedicated and passionate” in the way he has contributed to policing in the City of Bath and its communities over the past 25 years.

Born in High Wycombe, he fulfilled his childhood dream, signing up to become a police officer in 1989, initially stationed in Bishopsworth and Broadbury Road, transferring to Bath as beat manager for Snow Hill and then the city centre team.

He spent time as a response officer, the rural action team (at Keynsham) in plain clothes on drugs operations.

In 2008 he became beat manager for the Twerton area of Bath, where he has remained in the role since, becoming a familiar face on BBC’s “Neighbourhood Blues,” which spotlighted policing in the BANES, North Somerset and West Somerset areas.

In 2013 he was awarded the Avon and Somerset Beat Manager of the Year for his community policing work and was “highly commended” in the Pride of Bath Awards in the “Going the Extra Mile” category by a local newspaper following a public vote.

He has also been an inspirational role model for the youth of Bath and it is his work – in his own time – leading Bath Police Cadets that leaves a further lasting legacy. He has been instrumental in reaching out to diverse groups to get recruits into the cadets, exposing them to police work and the value of community service, in particular involving them in supporting the homeless community in the city.

His desire and compassion to help others was exemplified in November last year when he arranged for five-year-old Jayden-Lee Tomlinson-Parsons – a boy with a life limiting heart condition – to be a police officer for the day. Adge, together with colleagues Kevin Pope and Baz Johnson, made the boy’s wish come true as he spent a day with the force, being picked up by Adge in a police vehicle with blue lights flashing. He visited the Wilfred Fuller VC Centre in Clevedon – home of the force’s dog and mounted unit – and was treated to a training display and then helped to arrest a criminal.

Adge said: “The climax of his day was a visit to the police headquarters at Portishead, where he shared a piece of a specially made birthday cake (made in the shape of a police officer) with the Chief (Constable) Andy Marsh, before taking his “hot-seat” and donning the Chief’s hat as he took charge of the force! Jayden was given a specially made set of epaulettes containing his name and date of birth, together with other gifts. So many people helped make a little boy so happy.”

Adge has also in his career acted as a Police Federation representative, specialising in misconduct.

In his free time he has found time to volunteer as a Mayor’s Guide for tourists visiting the city of Bath, something he plans to continue when he hangs up his police helmet and tunic on 12 February. He also hopes to find time pursuing his other interests including cricket, travel, walking and gardening.

He married Tara Bourne in 2017 – who is an events planning officer with Avon and Somerset, working at police headquarters.

Adge said: “I feel incredibly humbled and proud to receive the British Empire Medal – it is a fantastic way to end my 30-year career in the police. The award means so much to me as it recognises my contribution to British policing and to the community of Bath.

“I will miss policing but it is time to move on but I will always remain fiercely loyal to Avon and Somerset Constabulary. I was born in High Wycombe but made in the police …” he said.

DC Jon Hook is a member of the Major Crime Investigation Team, providing support to the regional and collaborative services.

His citation confirms he has been given the award for “distinguished service” to the police.

He has given almost three decades service to the police, including much of the time spent in his specialist role as a family liaison officer. This can be at times traumatic and demanding and requires a very special person to work with the families of victims, giving them support and reassurance when they need it most. 

He has worked for the police for 27 years including in uniform at Trinity Road police station, where he worked with the local communities of St Paul’s and Easton.

He described that period of his policing as “very challenging” however he said the “work was rewarding and I have many friends due to my work in that part of Bristol.

“Working with the black, minority and ethnically diverse communities to promote confidence and reassurance with the police has been the highlight of my career,” said Jon.

Jon discarded his uniform when he moved to central Bristol district CID and then onto the Major Crime Investigation Team (MCIT).

He said that there had been many highs and lows during his police career – working with the families of murder victims is always tragic but if the help and assistance he had provided was of some comfort he was extremely honoured.

The murders of Evon Berry, Nicholas Robinson, Joanna Yeates, Jama Powell and Becky Watts were among some high profile cases in which Jon has been involved but he said that every case was equally as important to him and helping the families of the victims.

Jon said: “I was privileged to be able to contribute to the making of “The Murder Detectvies” which showcased the work we do and portrayed Avon and Somerset Police in such a positive light.

“I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the people within the organisation – past and present -who have supported me over the years and continue to do so.

“I have worked for the police for 27 years and I have had the privilege of working with fantastic people within the community and with Avon and Somerset Police. I am shocked that I have been honoured in this way. It is truly humbling – there are more deserving people than me.

“I gratefully accept the award on behalf of the organisation, my colleagues, the Major Crime Investigation Team and all the families of the murder victims across the Brunel Collaboration,” said Jon.

Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens, said: “I was delighted to see that Adge Secker has been awarded the British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours List. It’s an incredible achievement and rightly recognises his devotion to his career over so many years, my congratulations to him and his family.

“My congratulations to Jon on the award of his Queen’s Police Medal. It has been clear over the years of such sensitive work that Jon is a truly gifted individual who can deal with people when they’re at the lowest moment in their lives with such a delicate manner; a true professional and this recognition is very well deserved.

“There are some incredible men and women working within Avon and Somerset Constabulary and it’s wonderful to see such recognition,” said Sue.

Chief Constable Andy Marsh said: “When Adge took over as the community beat officer for the Twerton area of Bath, confidence in the police was low and community relations poor. He has transformed those relations over the years and has become one of the community, through his work. Within six months he had transformed Twerton, changing it from being the area with the highest anti-social behaviour in the city to being the area with the least recorded incidents.

“He became a local school governor in 1993, raising £1500 for Children in Need by running between every school on his beat, with pupils.

“But it is work with the deaf community that leaves a lasting legacy in support of others. Twerton has a large deaf community. In order to reach out to this group he became a ‘signer’ for the deaf. In 2015 he raised £4000 for ‘Action on hearing loss’ which enabled the purchase of a sensory meeting room for the deaf community. He was also a founder member of Avon and Somerset’s PLOD (Police Liaison Officers’ for the Deaf),” said Andy.

Turning to DC Jon Hook, the Chief Constable said: “I’ve known Jon for more than 20 years and if there was one person you would want in your team it is Jon.

“The consummate professional, he has played a key role in many of the major murder investigations undertaken in Avon and Somerset – and also in neighbouring Gloucestershire and Wiltshire – as a family liaison officer.

“This is a specialist role, which can at times be traumatic and demanding. It requires a very understanding individual to take on this difficult role, working closely with the families of victims, consoling, supporting and reassuring them at what is often the worst period of their lives. Jon has demonstrated the skill to carry out the role with real compassion and humility.

“Through fulfilling this role, Jon has also built trust in policing among communities where that trust did not previously exist. Jon is a tireless champion for fairness and justice in society.

“I congratulate both Adge and Jon on the announcement of their respective awards,” said the Chief Constable.

Posted on Wednesday 2nd January 2019
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