Essex detective named in New Year Honours list

Mick Ferris
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A senior Essex Police detective has been recognised by the King for his services to policing and for supporting victims of crime.

Detective Superintendent Neil Pudney has been awarded the King’s Police Medal (KPM) in the New Year Honours list.

As head of Investigations in Crime and Public Protection Command for the past three years, Det Supt Pudney has worked relentlessly to achieve justice for victims of some of the most serious crimes, such as rape and sexual assault.

Neil, who joined Essex Police in 1994 having graduated from Swansea University, confessed he was hugely surprised when told the news.

“It was almost a sense of shock and disbelief when I first received the call in November to tell me I would be receiving this award. I was advised that I could not tell anyone and it has been really difficult to keep such a secret from my family.

“I feel really humbled and privileged to have been put forward for such an honour. Throughout my career it has been an absolute privilege to work for Essex Police and to be able to make a difference to victims and our communities.

“As a Detective Superintendent I have the ability to influence widely across partnerships and at strategic and operational levels. I feel blessed and very fortunate. I will look back on my career with immense pride.

“I love to connect with the public and with partner agencies to deliver the very best service and outcomes for victims. The specialist teams in Crime and Public Protection Command work incredibly well with the CPS, local authorities and victim support agencies, which is crucial. It really is a team effort and we cannot achieve such outcomes without forging a strong partnership approach.

“The better support victims receive, building trust and confidence with them, the more likely victims will engage and support criminal prosecutions. That’s the real driver for me. We can rarely prosecute without a victim’s support and the more offenders we bring to justice, the more we can keep people safe by preventing further offences from happening or the likelihood of people becoming repeat victims.

“Building trust and confidence with victims can help them find the courage to remove themselves from abusive relationships.”

Neil has set up a force Victim Feedback Panel where detectives and staff from victim support agencies can hear directly from victims on their experience and how their actions and words are perceived and can affect someone experiencing trauma.

“I wanted to give victims a voice and the Victim Feedback Panel provides a platform for this,” he said.

Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington said: “I’m delighted that Neil’s exceptional work in supporting victims and their rights has been recognised.

“Throughout his 28-year career, both as a detective and in local and community policing roles, Neil has placed victims at the heart of everything he does.”

Neil spent his first six years as a uniformed patrol officer and then as a neighbourhood police officer before joining a tactical proactive team targeting drug supply and acquisitive crime, where much of his work involved working with the community and partners.

He moved over to CID in 2002, rising to the rank of detective chief inspector in 2016 covering the south of the county before spending two years as Southend District Commander. He was promoted to his current role in January 2020.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: mickferris@yellowad.co.uk