Heroic Cambridgeshire police officers and staff who saved lives and tackled major crimes honoured at awards ceremony

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Celebrations were in order as police officers and staff received awards for exceptional acts of selflessness, compassion and bravery.

The Chief Constable’s Commendations and Long Service Ceremony took place at force headquarters in Hinchingbrooke on Thursday with awards going to those who had gone above and beyond.

Award winners

Award winners

Chief Constable Nick Dean praised those who had excelled as he presented the awards at his third ceremony in the role.

He added: “It is overwhelming to read the stories of outstanding bravery, compassion and kindness towards others in very difficult circumstances. You have stepped up to help someone in need, to put your own lives at risk and to go above and beyond for the people of Cambridgeshire – and to each and every one of you, I say thank you.”

Julie Spence, Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, attended the event to present the Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medal to officers who had served 20 years or more within the force.

Other officers and police staff were also commended for their actions.

Five officers were thanked for their work investigating the murder of Chris West in Cambourne in October 2017 and their actions at the scene.

Kai Nazir was jailed for life after stabbing Chris and another man, who was left with life-threatening injuries but has since recovered.

During sentencing, Judge David Farrell commended Sergeant Stuart Austin and PC Paul Littlechild for their actions, which included arresting Nazir and managing a chaotic and volatile crowd.

From the investigation team he commended the officer in charge Detective Sergeant Verity McCann, disclosure officer DC Jon Lockwood and family liaison officer DC Simon Albrow.

Neil McKittirick, High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire, presented the officers with a Judge’s Commendation award.

PC Stephanie Corletto and another officer received a Royal Humane Society award for saving a teenage girl who tried to take her own life at her Cambridge home in March 2018.

Detective Chief Inspector Alan Page, Detective Sergeant Verity McCann and DC Clare Steel-Jessop were thanked for their contribution to the challenging investigation into the murder of Peter Anderson in Cambridge in July 2018.

As well as the killers’ refusal to speak, the investigation team were never able to find any eye-witnesses or direct forensic evidence.

But over subsequent days and months, the steady build-up of circumstantial evidence eventually brought a case together which convinced a jury that London-based drug dealers Juned Ahmed and Ashraf Hussan were responsible for Peter’s murder.

Sergeants Becky Jones and Christopher Smith were praised for their care and professionalism during a 50 minute pursuit with a dangerous driver in July last year.

PC Harvey Nutton was commended for ensuring a seriously injured motorcyclist was rescued from a water-filled drain.

He was travelling home from work on the afternoon of July 17, 2017, when he witnessed the crash between the motorbike and a car in Sandbank, Wisbech St Mary.

Realising the occupants of the car were okay, PC Nutton then searched for the motorcyclist, a 31-year-old man, who had been thrown through the air and disappeared from view.

He heard sounds coming from a reed bed in the drain which was about 10 metres wide with steep sides.

PC Nutton discovered the injured rider laying submerged in the water, so he entered the water himself and held him up until the emergency services arrived and the man was taken to hospital.

Detective Chief Inspector Adam Gallop, Detective Sergeant Mark Devine, DC Laura Ramsey and DC Colin Richardson were praised for their contribution to the murder investigation of Sam Mechelewski in Huntingdon.

Sam was lured to a secluded wooded area and killed by Jordan Shepherd and Ashley White.

There were no witnesses, no CCTV and little by way of forensics. The knife used to stab Sam multiple times was never found, nor was his mobile phone.

However, a series of key discoveries including a supermarket shopping receipt drove the investigation forward, alongside hundreds of hours of painstaking work by officers in difficult conditions. The investigation consumed much of the working lives of many in the Major Crime Unit for a year.

In January, Shepherd and White were found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

PCs Amy Taylor and Jamie Cooper were praised after saving the life of a woman threatening to take her own life in Whittlesey.

PCs Eitan Joseph, Emily Flach, Phoebe Hollison and another special constable were commended for their actions at the scene of a suspected rape in Cambridge, caring for the victim and gathering crucial evidence.

The dedication of the officers, some to start shifts early and others to stay late when they were due to go home, provided the victim with the initial support she needed and captured a man who was a serious risk to the public.

Detective Sergeant Andy Denzey and his team were also commended for tackling serious and prolific offenders, including securing Cambridgeshire’s first civil gang injunction.

The officers secured the injunction against three youths involved in serious violence, knives, drugs and modern day slavery. Detective Sergeant Denzey led his team in the delivery of a substantial file of evidence to present to court.