PFNDF Awards recognise Britain's elite detectives

14 October 2016

Tony Laud from Police Money Matters presents Services to Detectives Award to retired Kent Police Detective Chief Superintendent Dave Stevens

Tony Laud from Police Money Matters presents Services to Detectives Award to retired Kent Police Detective Chief Superintendent Dave Stevens

Detectives across England and Wales have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to policing at a national award ceremony.

The annual Detectives Awards, hosted by the Police Federation’s National Detectives Forum (PFNDF), and sponsored by Police Money Matters and Police Mutual, was held on Thursday 13 October.

The categories and winners were:

  • Detective Investigation of the Year – a team from Scotland Yard’s SO15 Counter Terrorism Command was led by Detective Superintendent Peter Holdcroft and Detective Chief Inspector Mike Jolly.
  • Detective Investigation of the Year - former Kent Police detective, David Stevens.
  • Smarter Detective Award – a team from the Metropolitan Police’s SO15 Counter Terrorism Command.
  • New Trainee Detective of the Year Award - Temporary Detective Constable Rachel Moss, from Essex Police.
  • PFNDF Award for Outstanding Contribution – television documentary series 24 Hours in Police Custody which was filmed with Bedfordshire Police.

Martin Plummer, PFNDF chair, said: “The Police Federation’s National Detectives’ Forum is proud to award fellow officers for their quite astonishing breadth of ground-breaking and dedicated work. They are a credit to themselves, their force and their country.”

 
The award winners:

A team of Metropolitan Police detectives who uncovered a terror plot to kill US soldiers near RAF bases in East Anglia won the award for Detective Investigation of the Year.

The team, from Scotland Yard’s SO15 Counter Terrorism Command, was led by Detective Superintendent Peter Holdcroft and Detective Chief Inspector Mike Jolly. The officers mounted a fast-moving investigation to neutralise the threat after learning that delivery driver, Junead Khan, – known to hold extremist views - planned to stage a road accident in an attempt to lure the intended victim from his car before killing him with a knife in a Lee Rigby-style attack.

The operation included officers from across the Metropolitan Police, including surveillance, firearms, uniform and undercover teams. Together they recovered vital evidence that ultimately led to the terrorist’s conviction in May, and Khan was sentenced to life imprisonment.

The Services to Detectives Award was presented to former Kent Police detective, David Stevens, for his contribution to investigative policing. Detective Chief Superintendent Stevens was the Senior Investigating Officer in several large murder investigations over his nearly 40 year career.

Following his retirement in 2003, he set up the Serious Case Review Team in Kent. Mr Stevens’ expertise in investigative policing was recognised when he was asked to work with the Archbishop of York in reviewing the tragic then-unsolved murder of 10 year-old Damilola Taylor. 

His work also led to the development of a Cold Case Investigation Team and the successful prosecution of many serious offenders who thought they had escaped justice. His passion for protecting the young and vulnerable led to him becoming an integral part of setting up the Public Protection Unit (PPU) as an independent department within the Kent police to ensure that children, young people and vulnerable adults had a voice.   

Another team from the Metropolitan Police’s SO15 Counter Terrorism Command was also recognised, winning the Smarter Detective Award for their work in foiling the first IS (Islamic State) plot to kill a police officer, soldier or civilian on the streets of London.

Using an array of high-tech digital surveillance techniques, the detectives, led by Detective Chief Inspector Steven Coles, were able to crack the complex codes the jihadists used to hide their activities as they planned their attacks. Following the arrests, five firearms, ammunition and a silencer were recovered, as well as numerous media devices which the team forensically examined while building build their case.

Although the terrorists had tried to wipe incriminating data, the CT team’s experts managed to retrieve a large number of files. These included images of Google street maps of Shepherds Bush Police Station and White City Territorial Army Barracks. The searches pointed to funding links with IS, and established that the plot was undoubtedly influenced, inspired and directed by the events in Syria and Iraq, and  the rise of IS.

The work of these detectives, which was commended by the trial judge, saw four defendants sentenced to a total of 58 years behind bars at the Old Bailey trial which concluded in April this year.

Temporary Detective Constable Rachel Moss, from Essex Police, was named New Trainee Detective of the Year Award for her work successfully targeting sex abusers during the 18 months she was working in the child sex crimes teams.

T/DC Moss took on a high number of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) cases – many of which involved significant challenges. In spite of difficulties, which sometimes involved re-opening previous investigations, she was able to secure numerous convictions which included:

  • A farmer successfully prosecuted for grooming and sexually assaulting vulnerable young girls he employed
  • An 11-year prison sentence for a dangerous offender
  • A conviction and Sexual Harm Prevention Order following allegations of a male raping his younger brother. T/DC Moss worked tirelessly to promote the case even though the victim’s family would not support prosecution.

The PFNDF Award for Outstanding Contribution went to the documentary series 24 Hours in Police Custody which was filmed with Bedfordshire Police.

The Garden Productions company was given access to a variety of cases using rigged and handheld camera footage, complemented by interviews with the officers behind the investigations. The programme opened up the inner workings of policing, allowing people to see and better understand the complexities of detective work across the whole spectrum of crime.

Bedfordshire Police agreed to two periods of filming with The Garden Productions – most recently in summer 2015 – and the fly-on-the-wall documentary series has been aired on Channel 4. The programme had been highlighted by BAFTA in a live debate before being chosen to receive the PFNDF Outstanding Contribution award.