Extraordinary work achieved by police officers, police staff and volunteers celebrated during commendations event
Main article content
Managing the scene of a brutal murder, a successful conviction for a former GP following a series of sexual assaults and going above and beyond to track down violent domestic abuse offenders were just some of the examples of bravery, achievement and professionalism recognised by the Chief Constable of Surrey Police at a commendation ceremony held last night (Thursday 28 November).
The awards serve to highlight some of the incredible work in the service of others being done by police officers, staff, volunteers and members of the public.
Chief Constable Gavin Stephens, said: “The ceremony recognises some of the many outstanding efforts and achievements of our police officers, staff, volunteers and members of the public. This year’s awards highlight the diverse and challenging situations they find themselves faced with every day, including managing the scene of a brutal murder and going above and beyond to track down violent domestic abuse offenders, whilst providing outstanding victim care at the same time.
“I am incredibly proud of all the officers and staff who have been recognised for their dedication and commitment to policing and am delighted that their efforts have been rewarded.”
Amongst the recipients last night were officers and staff from the Complex Abuse Unit, who were recognised for the long and complex investigation into non-recent sexual assaults against former Guildford GP Alan Tutin.
The efforts of Detective Sergeant James Chapman, Detective Sergeant Simon Doyle, Stephanie Evans, Kylie Haskell, Detective Constable Clare Long and Jacqui Watt resulted in Tutin being convicted of 15 offences and sent to prison for 10 and a half years.
Detective Chief Superintendent Kimball Edey was the incident manager on the afternoon of 8 February, when Aliny Mendes was stabbed to death by her estranged husband in Ewell.
The tremendous leadership demonstrated by DCI Edey led him to declare a critical incident, due to the horrific nature of the assault, the public place location and the risks associated with the suspect being at large, as well as the pivotal role he played in managing the initial police response and suspect’s arrest.
The heroic actions of three passers-by, Dawn and India Bainick and Laura Beckess, who confronted a man whilst he was sexually assaulting a woman, before alerting emergency services and ensuring his swift arrest, were also commended at the ceremony.
Detective Sergeant Siobhan Parker, Detective Constable Michael Powell and Detective Inspector Andrew Salter were commended for their subsequent investigation, which led to the man being imprisoned for six years, as well as the exceptional victim care they provided.
Commendations were also awarded to Inspector Rachel Griffiths and Alex Gwynne from LGBT charity Stonewall, for their work in developing and implementing a national Trans Guidance Tool Kit for the Policing Sector to improve the support offered to the transgender community within police forces. The tool kit they developed has earned national recognition and has been adopted by many statutory policing bodies.
Special Constable of the Year was awarded to SC Alistair Black (known as Ally), who, after working with the Mole Valley neighbourhood policing team, quickly gained independent patrol status and has recently joined the roads policing unit at Burpham.
Since joining the Force in 2016 until the end of 2018, Ally volunteered over 1200 hours, more than double the minimum requirement for this role, and continues to demonstrate drive and determination in the service he provides to the public.
The Victim Care Award was presented to PC Kuldip Bhart and PC Wes Francis for their work with the Safeguarding Investigations Unit, which tracks down and arrests offenders involved in serious sexual or domestic abuse.
Praised for “going above and beyond”, Kuldip and Wes are known for their relentless pursuit of offenders and their outstanding victim care, which was recognised recently when a victim described the “hugely positive impact” the two officers had made on her life.
Victim Care Certificates were also awarded to:
Sophie Bennett – for working with victims and witnesses who were extremely intimidated as part of the attempted murder case involving biker gangs just five months after becoming a Victim and Witness Care Officer;
Cara Jowett – for the high level of care she provides to vulnerable children as a member of the Child Exploitation and Missing Unit;
Michelle Young – for her role within the Complex Abuse Unit, with one case involving 52 victims, as well as her role as a Family Liaison Officer.
A commendation was also awarded to James Rossell, who has been a volunteer with the charity Surrey Search and Rescue since 2011. Since that time, James, who is also a trained drone pilot, has volunteered over 5,000 hours, provided support during the 2014 floods and attended more than 200 missing person callouts.
The 50 Year Long Service Award was presented to John Davies, who joined Surrey Constabulary in 1963 as a police constable and was promoted to sergeant in 1975. After retiring, he became a police staff counter officer at Godalming police station until 2011 when he moved to headquarters.
Police Long Service and Good Conduct Awards were also presented to:
PC Darren Pemble – PC Pemble was stationed at Reigate after joining in 1999 before moving to the Roads Policing Unit, where he became a Family Liaison Officer and was shortlisted for a national award for his work with bereaved families. He was awarded a Chief’s commendation for his leadership and compassion after the tragic deaths of a mother and child.
PC Simon Down – PC Down transferred to Surrey in 2003 after originally joining the Metropolitan Police, and achieved his dream of being a traffic officer two years later. He has received commendations for his professionalism in dealing with fatal collisions and was nominated for a National Police Bravery Award in 2015.
Sergeant Emmie Harris – Sgt Harris has worked in Godalming, Guildford and Farnham since she joined in 1999, before moving to the Guildford custody suite on promotion in 2007. Since 2015 she has worked with the Woking neighbourhood team and re-established relationships with local secondary schools and colleges to deal with issues such as knife crime and exploitation.
Sergeant Jeremy Rudd – Since joining in 1999, Sgt Rudd has worked as a response and a neighbourhood officer, as well as at Caterham and Salfords custody suites. He was awarded a commendation in 2017 for dealing with a suicidal man and was one of the first officers to carry a Taser, as well as tutoring probationer officers.
A Nine Year Long Service Award was presented to Special Constable William Schofield who has worked in neighbourhood teams in North Surrey during which time he was promoted to Special Sergeant and Temporary Special Inspector, before taking on his current role with the Roads Policing Unit at Godstone.