Police award for snaring abuser

A detective whose investigations led to the conviction of a Belper paedophile has been recognised for her work.

DC Emily Town played a pivotal role in snaring Peter Widdowson, 65, who was jailed for nine years when he pleaded guilty to abusing a girl.

The officer was given a Chief Constable’s Commendation at an awards ceremony at police headquarters in Ripley on Wednesday, November 27, to mark her investigation and for the support she provided to victims.

She was also praised for her investigation which led to the conviction of Heanor man Michael Smith, 71, who had committed a string of offences against a child in the 1990s. DC Town said: “When you work on cases like this you bring back all those memories for the victims, their families and friends and that can be a very difficult thing for everyone involved. Seeing those responsible successfully prosecuted gives me a great deal of satisfaction and it is nice to be recognised by the force for that work.”

Chief Constable Mick Creedon said: “The victims feel justice has been served and I hope they believe they have had the highest level of service from the Derbyshire Constabulary. Both cases were covered widely in the media and I hope this positive media coverage will encourage victims of such crimes to feel comfortable reporting matters to the police.”

Smith, of Holbrook Street, was convicted of four offences committed in the 1990s, when his girl victim was aged between six and eight. Some of the abuse took place in the back of his van at a market.