RESILIENT police officers who had to go through counselling to bring a sex offender to justice have received commendations from the Chief Constable.

The officers, along with a member of police staff and two residents were invited to a dedicated ceremony at our HQ in Chelmsford where they were recognised with Chief Constable Commendations in front of Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex Roger Hirst.

DS Clayton Ford, DC Jenna McQueen, DC Gill Partridge, PC Sam Petken and PC Dave Goodrum from the Police Online Investigation Team (POLIT) were commended for their commitment and resilience during an investigation into the possession of indecent images of children.

All officers have worked on various cases across south Essex, and in November 2017, the group carried out a thorough investigation into an offender which required them to view the worst type of indecent and extreme images ever seen in POLIT in order to categorise those images.

During an extremely distressing investigation – which led to two officers attending counselling sessions – the team remained resilient and their professionalism led to the offender being jailed for five years. The judge in the case also commended their investigation.

Residents Karl Smith and David Parrott were commended for their bravery and quick thinking that helped to save a woman’s life in April 2018.

They witnessed a domestic incident where a woman had been seriously injured with a meat cleaver.

Without hesitation, the men bravely climbed onto the woman’s balcony and put themselves in harm’s way to disarm the suspect.

Karl was attacked with the meat cleaver during the incident and David helped to block the attack, which had he not, Karl would have lost his arm.

They restrained the man until police officers arrived. The man was jailed in September 2018 for 11 years.

In April 2016, Gill Rendall, a Criminal Intelligence Analyst, was commended for her dedication and professionalism during an investigation where a family of jewellers had conspired to handle gold jewellery from burglaries and launder the proceeds through their business.

Gill and her colleagues - Detective Sergeant David Wilkinson, Detective Sergeant Ian Sanderson (Kent Police), DC Mel Keen, DC Adam McRobbie and PC Dameon Shaw (Kent Police) who received their commendations last month - worked round-the-clock on the investigation and were able to identify six people responsible for more than 60 burglaries who were jailed for a combined 31 years.

Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington said: “I don’t give Chief Constable commendations lightly, they are the one of the highest awards I can give so that’s the quality of the work we’ve heard about today.

“We help people, we keep them safe and we catch baddies and these commendations show where we’ve helped people by keeping them safe, by disarming them and by convicting bad people and keeping the public safe from burglaries and online sexual abuse.

“It’s a real pleasure to be able to commend the brave members of the public as well for the work you have done.”