A record number of Essex Police officers and staff will be rewarded in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List for 2021.
One member of staff and five police officers will have honours bestowed upon them, with stories varying from hostage negotiation to supporting potential police officers of tomorrow, and three unique stories from the biggest investigation Essex Police has ever undertaken.
Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington said of the list: “This has been a challenging year in many respects and it’s amazing to kick off 2021 with our officers and staff getting recognition for their dedication to the communities of Essex and beyond.
“Our officers, staff and volunteers go above and beyond every day of the year to protect victims, support the vulnerable and bring criminals to justice. It’s a privilege to see these six individuals honoured in this way – they’re an inspiration to us all, and stories like these make me especially proud to be their chief constable.”
Jenny Brouard, who oversees police cadets and volunteers, will receive an honour for her voluntary and charitable services.
She has already received numerous awards for her work – including an Essex Police Award in 2009 for developing volunteering and a Community Safety Award in 2015.
Five officers will receive a Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) for their services to policing. The first of them is Detective Inspector Caroline Williams, who is an influential figure in preventing and investigating child and adult sexual exploitation.
DI Williams also works closely with various communities across the county to raise awareness of the harm of Female Genital Mutilation, has led force training to ensure that vulnerable children are removed from harmful situations through the use of Police Protection powers under the Children’s Act, and she continues to tackle child sexual exploitation by gaining the trust of those who are reluctant to report their abuser.
Detective Chief Inspector Jasmine Frost is a trained hostage negotiator who has played an important role in more than 200 incidents since 2009.
As well as her day job as a detective, DCI Frost also works to support the development of negotiators at a local, regional and national level.
Three officers will receive a QPM for their hard work and dedication during the largest investigation Essex Police has ever undertaken, the deaths of 39 Vietnamese nationals found in the back of a lorry trailer in Grays
In total, more than 1,300 officers, staff and volunteers contributed to the progression of this case. Over the first few weeks of January 2021, eight men will be sentenced for their part in the conspiracy to assist the unlawful immigration of victims over the course of several weeks in October 2019, with some guilty of manslaughter for the fatal journey.
On the day of the discovery, Detective Chief Inspector Martin Pasmore was tasked with leading the Disaster Victim Identification process as the senior identification manager.
Through months of careful leadership, DCI Pasmore ensured that his teams took care to show the utmost dignity and respect towards the victims as he oversaw their journey from inside the lorry, to the mortuary, to making sure that each victim was identified so that they could be reunited with their loved ones following repatriation. He also ensured that there was pastoral care for his teams throughout, and following, the incident.
He has since retired from the force after 27 years of service.
Chief Superintendent Stuart Hooper was deployed to Grays on the morning of the tragedy and would go on to help lead the investigation.
His role in supporting Assistant Chief Constable Tim Smith and Senior Investigating Officer Detective Chief Inspector Daniel Stoten meant he played a key role in shaping the response to the investigation itself, but also Essex Police’s ongoing response to organised immigration crime.
Family Liaison Coordinator Detective Inspector Michelle Stoten will also receive a QPM for her work throughout this investigation.
The majority of victims’ families were more than 6,000 miles away and, with language barriers and a different policing style, DI Stoten created clear policies, liaised internationally with the Vietnamese Government, and enlisted the help of translators and experienced Family Liaison Officers to gain the trust of grieving families on the other side of the world.
She has continued to support the welfare of her staff throughout this incredibly emotional case.
DI Stoten oversaw a visit to Vietnam in February 2020, where Family Liaison Officers were able to meet families face-to-face for the first time, and led one of the teams in a remote part of the country, ensuring that we worked closely with Vietnamese law enforcement.
She also deputised for DCI Pasmore during the identification process, ensuring that all 39 files were of the correct standard for the Identification Commission, and the 39 victims could be officially named and repatriated to their families.