Henley Police Officers Awarded Commendation Awards

Police officers, staff, and members of the public have been received Commendations at a ceremony in Henley-on-Thames.

Supt Rory Freeman presented commendation awards on Friday to those who have displayed exceptional courage, initiative and professionalism.

PC Matthew Holland from Henley was commended for his role into the investigation of serial fraudster Mark Bainbridge.  PC Holland diligently investigated a series of frauds in the Henley area over 18 months.  Mark Bainbridge was found guilty of these offences in addition to other incidents of fraud within other Force areas and was recently sentenced to 15 months imprisonment.

PC Becky Tanner also from Henley was commended for her proactive, effective relationship with the rural community in South and Vale.  On one occasion, a dog was shot with a catapult in Goring.  PC Tanner was instrumental in working with local gamekeepers to disseminate information about the investigation as well as arranging several local operations to apprehend the offender.  Since the incident, PC Tanner’s relationship with the rural community has gone from strength to strength.  Becky said afterwards, “I am really happy to receive this recognition for my work in the Henley community. Victims of crime are still one of the main focuses for Thames Valley Police and with the increasing pressure on the Police to respond to more and more incidents that are not crime-related, it is very important to remember those Victims and remember that they still deserve a gold star service. I am proud to be part of the Henley Neighbourhood Policing Team and am thankful to work in such a pleasant community.”

Sgt Ryan James, PC Matt Greenhill, PC Dan Laurie, PC Ben Cox, PC Matt Morgans, PC Jason Walsh, PC Lucy Fleming and PC Helen Carrick were all commended for their involvement in the immediate response to the manslaughter of Robert Dobinson, by his girlfriend Natasha Elderfield, on 19 October 2014.  PC Greenhill and student officers PC Cox and PC Laurie were the first to arrive on the scene and locate the victim in Abingdon.  They remained calm and administered CPR.  PC’s Morgan and Walsh, with student officer PC Fleming, located Elderfield and student officer PC Helen Carrick transported and booked her into custody.  The incident was overseen and directed by Sgt Ryan. Their calm actions and effective forensic management were highly praised.  Elderfield was found guilty of manslaughter and jailed for nine years.

PCSO Claire Chavagnon was commended for her role in saving the life of a suicidal woman.  PCSO Chavagnon found the woman walking towards a bridge in the Cumnor area; after speaking with her, she was able to successfully restrain the woman and prevent her from stepping onto the bridge for ten minutes before help arrived.

Commendations were also presented to PC Gemma Bryant and PC Lucy Fleming, who successfully apprehended a burglar in the Botley Trading Estate.  The two PC’s were deployed to the estate when an alarm was activated.  While patrolling, they came across a man who they suspected to be the offender.  The offender confronted the two officers, threatening violence and being extremely aggressive.  The officers successfully restrained him, and transported him to custody.  The offender was identified as being Peter Gaughan, who had been released from prison five days before.  He was charged with two counts of burglary and one public order offence; he was subsequently recalled to prison.

Volunteers Joan Allcroft, David Brewer, Michael Church, Janice Davis, Gillian Day, Pat Hughes, Don Peers, Linda Prior, Pat Riley and Mike Brennan, who have over 108 years of service between them, were also recognised in the awards.

Supt Rory Freeman said; “These commendation ceremonies allow the bravery and dedication of our officers, staff, volunteers and special constables to be officially recognised. We celebrate the role they play in keeping South Oxfordshire and the Vale of the White Horse safe places to live, work and visit.

“I was interested to see the varied nature of the incidents that the officers were involved in, and I think that this reflects the unpredictable nature of modern policing.

“I am extremely proud that our officers perform so well under high pressure and sometimes dangerous circumstances; it’s been a pleasure to present them with these awards today.”