Posted on 30th March 2017
An officer who saved a badly injured football fan during Euro 2016 and a team that trained a one-of-a-kind police dog are among those who were honoured at an award ceremony last night.
It was Chief Constable Mick Creedon’s final Celebrating Achievements ceremony ahead of his retirement in May.
He was surprised at the ceremony by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Zoë Billingham, who presented him with a Special Recognition Award for the “outstanding contribution” that he has made to policing over 37 years.
PC Roger Brown was deployed to Marseille on June 9 last year to help French officers police the England V Russia match, which disintegrated into days of disorder.
The officer was sent to the old port area of Marseille along with PC Stuart Dickerson of Hampshire Constabulary. They found several England supporters who were seriously injured and went to their aid, despite being attacked themselves.
One man was receiving CPR from a French officer and the two PCs went to take over. They continued to administer advanced first aid and played a key role in saving his life. Chief Superintendent Steve Neil, of Northumbria Police, led the delegation of English officers in France for the tournament and he nominated the PCs for a Royal Humane Society Award, which PC Brown was presented with last night.
Chief Supt Neil said: “I would outline the outstanding bravery and professionalism of PC Brown in what was the worst football violence I have witnessed in my 29 years’ service. Both in Marseille and throughout the entire deployment to France, PC Brown was an absolute credit to Derbyshire police.”
Also presented with RHS Awards were PCs Jonathan Blaiklock and Carl Noakes, who saved a woman from the River Derwent near the Silk Mill Museum, Derby, in December 2015.
Together with PC Anthony Hancock, who wasn’t able to attend last night’s ceremony, the constables entered the water, swam towards her and pulled her to safety.
Police dog Billie, his handler PC Dean Allen, trainer Dave Heaps and crime scene investigator Zoe Parnell were all recognised for the part they play in helping to catch those guilty of serious sexual crimes.
Zoe was the scientific lead with the know-how to prove the idea of a seminal fluid search dog would work. Next came an extensive programme of training, led by Dave and Dean, to achieve national accreditation. And now, Billie is unique, the only one of his kind in the country.
He's already been used in numerous investigations and has found evidence that has resulted in crime scene investigators finding DNA that wouldn't have been possible through conventional methods.
Zoe, Dave and Dean were given Chief Constable’s Commendations while Billie was awarded a special rosette.
Mr Creedon also commended Caroline Holt, who was one of the first people on the scene of a flat fire in Thurlston last March. She and another officer smashed a small window at the side of the front door to get inside. Caroline found a woman in the flat and, unable to get her through the small window, she searched the burning flat for the door keys and got the woman to safety.
It was also a good night for those officers and staff who detect some of the most serious crimes we investigate at Derbyshire Constabulary. The team which investigated Christopher Dawson and helped secure his conviction for downloading indecent images of children all received commendations. Dawson (25), of Peckerdale Close, Derby was jailed for almost three years in November.
Chief Constable Mick Creedon said: “I have always been proud to host these ceremonies to celebrate the work of the Derbyshire Constabulary and the incredible bravery and dedication of the officers and staff who commit their lives to serving communities, protecting those in need and challenging those who offend and harm.
“The awards recognise individuals who have given their professional careers to public service and have done something way beyond the call of duty and given that little bit extra. I am constantly inspired and deeply moved by the efforts of the people who make up this force.
“It was a doubly special evening for me as it was the last time that I hosted such an event. I've served as a police officer for some 37 years, almost all of it in the East Midlands and the last 14 here in Derbyshire. I've been lucky enough to be in my tenth year as Chief Constable and this force and the officers and staff in it mean more to me than many will realise – retiring and moving on is the right thing to do but will be a wrench!
“The Derbyshire Constabulary is now recognised as one of the best forces in the country and we have been repeatedly assessed by our inspectorate as good and outstanding. We are one of only a very small number of forces to be so graded and in my view this is not only well deserved, but this reflects directly the quality of the people in the organisation and those families and friends who support them so well.”