Police officers and staff honoured for going the extra mile - The Leamington Observer

Police officers and staff honoured for going the extra mile

Leamington Editorial 6th Nov, 2017   0

A POLICE officer who helped bring murderers to justice was among those honoured at the Warwickshire Police Chief Superintendent’s Awards – recognising the dedication and commitment of officers, staff and the public who go the extra mile.

PC Carrie Garlick, based at Greys Mallory traffic base, was tasked with getting a witness statement after the the body of 20-year-old Bethany Hill was discovered at a flat in Stratford in February last year.

That witness was Kayleigh Woods. While taking her statement at a police station, Woods asked to go to the toilet.

But PC Garlick became suspicious after hearing the sound of the sanitary bin in the bathroom, in which was found Bethany’s mobile phone, which Woods had tried to dispose of.

PC Garlick immediately arrested Woods on suspicion of murder. Woods was jailed for life in January, along with her boyfriend Jack Williams, for Bethany’s brutal murder.

* DS Bruce Irving and PC Paula Poland (now retired) of the Leamington investigations team, conducted a thorough investigation into a series of sexual offences against a girl, which resulted in a 14-year prison sentence for the perpetrator.

Pc Poland gave the victim and family ‘fabulous’ support that helped them through the investigation – and the tenacity of both officers resulted in the suspect being charged and convicted.

* PC John Townsend, based at Greys Mallory, was called to an incident where a man with a knife was threatening to stab someone.

PC Townsend and a colleague recognised any use of force risked someone getting seriously injured, so instead started talking to the man.

They managed to persuade the man to give up the knife, and he was restrained and taken away for a mental health assessment.

* PC Kirsty Connor, based at Leamington Police Station, put herself in harm’s way to protect a colleague from a violent attacker.

Officers were called to an incident in Leamington in June 2016 in which several members of staff at a fast food restaurant were assaulted.

Another officer located the drink and drug-fuelled attacker, who turned on the arresting officer.

PC Connor, without any thought for her personal safety, put herself between the attacker and officer to protect her colleague.

PC Connor was also attacked and suffered minor injuries, but her selfless actions prevented her colleague suffering more serious harm. She also managed to let other officers know her location and this led to an arrest.

* Police staff Investigator Andy Smith of Leamington Police Station and Independent Sexual Violence Advisors Melissa Horrocks and Louise Rooney helped a rape victim to cope with the rigours of an investigation and court case which resulted in an eight-year prison sentence for the rapist.

In 2014, a vulnerable female was raped in Stratford.

Mr Smith was the officer in charge of the case and he referred the victim to Safeline, a Warwickshire charity that offers services and support to victims of sexual abuse and rape survivors.

Ms Horrocks and Ms Rooney were the two Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) who provided support to the victim through two trials. Ms Rooney remains in regular contact with the victim.

The trio’s work was described as ‘a fantastic example of inter-agency working’.

Following a second trial, a man was convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison.

* Insp Rich Thomas, based at Leamington, served for five years as the safer neighbourhood sergeant for Stratford district. During this time he worked tirelessly to provide the best service to the community.

He developed and delivered the rural crime plan for South Warwickshire which is now recognised as best practice across the Warwickshire and West Mercia policing areas.

He also developed a business crime survey to understand the issues of local businesses, resulting in a business crime action plan involving the police, council and businesses, and implemented the police anti-social behaviour policy for vulnerable victims.

Commending all the award winners, Ch Supt Alex Franklin-Smith said: “These award winners have all gone the extra mile and I’m extremely proud of their dedication to the communities we serve.

“So much of the work police and our partners do is not seen by the public so it is fantastic to be able share these stories. I’m sure the community will join me in congratulating them and recognising their efforts.”


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