Devon and Cornwall DC wins national award

11 October 2018

DC Darren White was presented with the accolade at the Police Federation National Detectives’ Forum (PFNDF) Awards on Thursday in Manchester.

By enlisting the support of an anatomy expert from the University of Dundee, DC White was able to match images of adult hands in the abuse pictures to the suspect. Further analysis identified the hands of the suspect’s former partner in the Philippines.

DC White painstakingly analysed more than 100 hours of footage and half a million lines of Skype communication to identify 46 individual victims and two more Filipino female offenders. He was able to prove that the suspect had transferred over £33,000 to individuals in the Philippines for the abuse of children online.

As a result the offender was jailed for 18 years.

DC White then worked with the National Crime Agency and the Home Office to transfer investigative material to the Philippines, and briefed the Filipino Minister of Justice.

He deployed to the Philippines earlier this year to give evidence and helped secure the arrest of three Filipino adults and the rescue of 13 identified victims.

Thanks to the innovative thinking shown by this officer the offenders are no longer at large and children are no longer being abused by these individuals.

On receiving the award, DC White said: “I'm surprised and very humbled at the recognition really.  For what started out two years ago as an average job, who would have known it would've taken me to the other side of the world rescuing children."

In second place in this category was an operation that involved a new approach to tackling the increasing threat of firearm criminality in Merseyside.

A small but dedicated team of detectives was selected to ‘follow the gun’ as part of the routine investigation following the discharge of a firearm.

Operation Blush involved Merseyside Police and National Ballistic Intelligence Service (NABIS) working in close partnership. In April 2017 it started to review evidence and understand the persons and property targeted in the discharges – a particular focus was the Beretta firearm.

The team deployed covert cameras to spy on individuals conducting meetings in hostile areas, and used technology to track their movements. They identified two major suspects involved in the criminal activity.

In July 2018 a covert surveillance team observed a meeting between the suspects in Wavertree, Liverpool. The first suspect was arrested at his home address and a subsequent search of his bathroom uncovered a loaded Beretta firearm. That offender was jailed for 6 ½ years and an associate was identified from DNA on the firearm.

NABIS Forensic staff worked to identify links and report the life span of the gun to the investigating officers. Each link was achieved through painstaking detailed forensic work.

Their efforts have without doubt prevented further injury and possible fatalities.

Placed joint third place in this category was an individual and a team who are at the forefront of the fight against organised crime, both from the Metropolitan Police.

DC Lisa Hilliard, who works in offender management and specialist gang crime, developed a comprehensive system for applying for criminal behaviour orders and enhanced licence conditions to violent gang members. This restricts their movement and helps to break down established alliances to reduce re-offending.

Under her guidance, the provisions of the Modern Slavery Act were successfully used to tackle ruthless gangs involved in people trafficking, resulting in convictions and substantial jail terms for the ringleaders earlier this year.

She shares third place with the Organised Crime Advisors, which was formed against a backdrop of change and reducing resources. Rather than curtail its ambitions, it has taken the fight against serious organised crime head on.

In six months the team has identified, mapped and disrupted 24 organised crime groups.

They have developed a training package for 1,000 dedicated ward officers in the Met, and continue to brief those officers and enlist them in intelligence gathering.

Working with colleagues on the ground has resulted in several successful operations against gangs, including a recent example in which elderly vulnerable people at cash machines had been targeted by criminals.

Their work has also resulted in 34 arrests, the recovery of 15 trafficked females and hundreds of thousands of pounds of jewellery has been recovered.

View the winners' story