Awards to recognise dedication and bravery

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Officers, staff and members of the public have been recognised for their outstanding work, dedication and bravery at a police awards ceremony.

Deputy Chief Constable Gary Knighton hosted the ceremony last night (Tuesday, June 12) at Pride Park Stadium.

Detectives were also commended for their work to solve major crimes such as murders and fraud.

Retired PC Shaun Downing received an award for the care he offered a bereaved family following a collision.

A couple on a motorbike died on the A6 between Bakewell and Buxton in May 2016. Laura Jones, whose mum and step-dad died, praised PC Downing and two of his colleagues for being “sympathetic, empathetic, informative and generally just amazing throughout everything. They even took us to the scene of the collision on the one-year anniversary so that we could leave some flowers.”

Laura was inspired and decided that she wanted to become a police officer, joining Greater Manchester Police last summer.

PC Downing’s colleagues will receive their awards at a later ceremony.

Teenager Cameron Tungate, from Castle Gresley, was presented with a Derbyshire Constabulary Award for the support he gave a domestic abuse victim and for providing evidence which helped convict her attacker.

Cameron, who was just 14 at the time, was walking through Castle Gresley last July when he witnessed a man attacking a woman in the street. He contacted the police and filmed the incident while reassuring the victim that officers were on their way.

Now 15, Cameron stayed with the woman and provided his camera footage and a statement to the police. The attacker was later jailed for 17 months.

Mr Knighton said: “Cameron showed great maturity that day and amazing composure and compassion. It is right that we thank him and recognise him with this award.”

Member of the public Michelle Burdge was also given a Derbyshire Constabulary Award for helping to catch a drunk driver. She was driving along Osmaston Park Road in Derby on March 12, when she saw a car mount the central reservation and hit a traffic light.

She pulled over and called the police, giving us a running commentary which allowed us to catch him. He had also taken the vehicle without consent, had no insurance or licence, and was later jailed for four weeks and given a four-year driving ban.

The team who investigated the murder of Satnam Singh in Derby were given commendations at the ceremony.

Detective Superintendent Dave Cox took to the stage with DS Chris Waters, DCs Denise Sandall and Wayne Neal, Steven Pithouse and collision investigators Shaun Downing (retired), PC Colin Buxton (retired) and PC Paul Moorcroft.

The family of the late PC Dave Pygott attended to accept his commendation after Dave sadly died.

In July 2015, Mr Singth, 74, was found seriously injured in the street and died a short time later. His injuries initially led us to believe he had been hit by a car but Sukhraj Atwal (30) was later arrested for his murder after collision investigators ruled out the possibility of a collision.

Det Supt Cox said: “This was a painstaking investigation, complicated by the lack of witnesses, forensic evidence, CCTV and obvious motive. I am satisfied we were able to get justice for Mr Singh and his family.”

Fraud squad detectives were commended by a judge for their work to bring financial advisor Martin Rigney to justice after he swindled his clients out of hundreds of thousands of pounds.

DCs Julie Wheeldon and Richard Foster were commended alongside witness care officer Margaret Miles and Roland Depper, from the CPS.

Rigney, of Rivelin in Sheffield, had forged investment documentation relating to his clients and was jailed last September for seven years.

DCC Knighton said: “It was a fantastic evening where we heard some amazing stories of bravery, dedication and determination.

“I am always humbled, proud and impressed by our award winners and last night was no exception. It was an honour to host the event and it was particularly pleasing to be able to recognise the work of members of the public – we need your support to help police our county.”