Police officers, staff and a member of the public have been commended for acts of bravery, determined investigations and outstanding achievements.
A Chief Constable’s commendations and long service ceremony took place yesterday afternoon (1 December) featuring stories of extraordinary courage, resolve and tenacity.
The ceremony, held at force headquarters in Huntingdon and the first to allow guests since Covid restrictions, saw Chief Constable Nick Dean praise those who had shown “outstanding bravery, compassion and kindness”.
He said “This afternoon is about celebrating the loyalty and dedication you have shown to the organisation, whether you are collecting a long service award or are being commended for your actions – going that extra mile is something I, and indeed you, should be enormously proud of.
“My thanks also go to your family and friends who have supported you as you do great work for the people of Cambridgeshire – something which is often overlooked.
“As we present these awards to our officers, staff, and members of the public, 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, put your own lives at risk and gone above and beyond for the people of Cambridgeshire – and to each and every one of you, I say thank you.”
The long service awards were presented by Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire Benjamyn Damazer to 24 officers, two Specials and 10 staff members who have each served 20 years or more, while Mr Dean presented his own and Royal Humane Society commendations.
Below are some of the acts of bravery, commitment and determination heard at the ceremony.
Pictured: Chief Constable Nick Dean presents PC James Petrie with his RHS commendation.
PC James Petrie
PC Petrie and an officer who wished to remain anonymous helped save the life of a man who had been stabbed and was losing blood in Peterborough city centre in the early hours of 25 July 2021.
The man lost consciousness seconds after the officers arrived and they immediately applied pressure to his wound.
They worked on him for 20 minutes before he was taken to hospital. Medical staff said injuries of this nature have an estimated 10 per cent survival rate and, without the officers’ rapid intervention, the man would probably have died.
Inspector Paul Law and Sergeant Andrew Watson
Inspector Law and Sergeant Watson were commended for saving a woman’s life by rescuing her from a fast-flowing river in darkness.
The woman had called police late on 5 August 2020 saying she intended to take her own life but then hung up.
At just before 1am the following day, after hours of searching, they heard screaming nearby. The woman had become trapped in the cold water and dragged under.
Despite a strong flow of water and the potential for the woman to have a knife, they tied themselves together using a tracking line and entered the water.
They searched in the darkness where she was last seen, found her under the water and were able to jointly pull her to safety.
Chief Constable’s Commendations
DC Elaine Penniket
Pictured: Chief Constable Nick Dean presents DC Elaine Penniket with her commendation.DC Penniket is commended for her successful investigation of a kidnap and rape first reported 31 years ago.
The offender, Colin Hill, now known as Martin Cooper, was sentenced to seven years in jail for rape, kidnap and three assaults.
Cooper’s offending, including serious assaults and severe emotional abuse, began during his marriage to the victim between 1984 and 1987. She fled in 1987, however, soon after, Cooper kidnapped and raped her. He then went on to murder 17-year-old Leanne Scott in a village near Peterborough, for which he received a life sentence.
Meanwhile, Cooper’s ex-wife reported the kidnap and rape but did not want to pursue it. She came back to police and wished to seek a prosecution in 2018.
DC Penniket conducted a diligent and professional investigation. She researched the investigation into the murder and obtained a detailed account from the victim. She worked alongside the force’s public protection unit to ensure all safeguarding measures were in place.
She was able to trace witnesses from more than 30 years ago and re-interview the suspect, while ensuring any risk posed by Hill was managed.
You can listen to the police podcast with the full story here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bo3YDba4fHY&t=15s
DI Kelly Gray and PC Danny Cummings
These officers are commended for their relentless efforts, enthusiasm, drive, tenacity, and innovation in tackling county lines drug dealing over the past 12 months.
Their achievement was to shift investigations from the symptoms – those in possession of drugs on the street – to the causes of exploitation – those in control of drug lines, which meant moving towards identifying offenders’ roles within a county line and who was in ultimate control.
They transformed investigative methods and traditional methodologies, focusing on working in collaboration with local, regional, and national partners.
Pictured: Chief Constable Nick Dean presents PC Danny Cummings with his commendation.
Pictured: Chief Constable Nick Dean presents Abdul Choudhury with his commendation.Mr Choudhuri is commended for 50 years of service to his community in Peterborough.
He has held many roles, from currently chairing the Joint Mosque Council, to working in the Pakistan Welfare Association, the Asian Community Association, the Community Relations Council, and being a Justice of the Peace.
Mr Choudhuri has taken the lead in managing relations between the police and community, particularly issues of a serious nature needing careful and delicate handling.
He helped authorities manage the pandemic by putting social media messages out on the benefits of the vaccine and of the need to take all the necessary precautions. He invited Public Health England and the police into his mosque to ensure the highest standards of Covid compliance.
He is a credit to the community, has helped the force through some very difficult periods and is among a group of people police officers contact first for advice and counsel, in particular area commanders over the years.
DC Susan Brown
DC Brown is commended for her work on a traumatic and challenging case which resulted in a sexual offender being jailed for 14 years.
The investigation began when a father found messages on his daughter’s phone saying she had been raped by her stepfather. The case was transferred from Suffolk Police and DC Brown was involved from the start, leading the suspect interview, where he denied all allegations.
DC Brown was patient and understanding with a vulnerable victim and her family, who were going through a tremendously difficult period. She worked tirelessly and the suspect was charged less than six months from the first report.
The offender was found guilty on 11 counts, including multiple rapes and serious sexual assaults on a child and, as well as being jailed, was given an indefinite restraining order and an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
PC Jon Morris, Samuel Morris, and Caesar the dog
PC Jon Morris, his 19-year-old son Samuel and their late German Shepherd Caesar were commended for their brave intervention to stop a serious assault and help in the arrest of the suspect.
Jon was off-duty and walking Caesar with Samuel when they came across the assault.