Awards for Serious Crime Directorate officers and staff
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Police officers and staff have been recognised for their work in ensuring some of Kent’s most dangerous criminals are now behind bars.
More than 30 men and women from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate received awards at a ceremony held at North Kent Police Station, Northfleet, on Friday 13 February 2020, having helped to secure justice for victims of murders, sexual assaults and other serious offences.
Recipients at the event included:
- Detective Inspector Ross Gurden and former crime scene investigator Mark Tyman, who were members of a team who received a judge’s commendation for their successful investigation into a violent offender who preyed on and attacked young women walking alone at night in Canterbury. Despite limited available evidence in the early stages, the team used their expertise in areas such as DNA capture, automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology and an exhaustive review of CCTV footage to ensure the offender was jailed for six years in May 2018. DI Gurden was also recognised for his professional handling of an investigation into the murder of a man in Margate in July 2017, which resulted in his killer receiving a life sentence with a minimum of 19 years behind bars.
- Analyst Cathleen McCann, who made a significant contribution to the investigation of a county lines drug dealing network that operated in Medway and Maidstone, resulting in lengthy prison sentences for a number of offenders who targeted vulnerable people to both sell and purchase crack cocaine and heroin on a commercial scale.
- Detective Chief Inspector Ivan Beasley, Detective Sergeant Steve Biddiss and crime scene investigator Sally Letchford, for their investigation into the murder of a teenage boy in Gillingham in October 2017. None of the offenders were initially known to police but following a review of more than 250 hours of CCTV footage and other intelligence gathering, five young men were found guilty of murder and are all now serving life sentences in prison.
- Detective Chief Inspector Samantha Mercer and Detective Constable Alex Hayter for their professional and sensitive handling of an investigation into the death of a baby boy from Tonbridge, whose parents were both jailed for eight years in 2018 for causing or allowing serious harm to their child.
- Detective Constable David Godden, whose extensive analysis of telephone data contributed to 14 offenders being sentenced to a total of 201 years behind bars for a violent armed robbery in Lenham, near Maidstone, in April 2016.
- Detective Chief Inspector Tristan Kluibenschadl, Detective Constable Nicola Mitton, Detective Constable Geoff McCreery, investigating officer Mike Wilkinson and former crime scene investigator Mark Tyman, who secured justice for the family of a man who was murdered in Maidstone in May 2017. There was very little available evidence in the early stages but two men were jailed for life and a third sent to a secure hospital following a painstaking review of CCTV footage and other intelligence gathering.
The awards ceremony was hosted by the deputy head of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, Detective Chief Superintendent Tom Richards, and attended by Chief Constable Alan Pughsley.
DCS Richards said:
‘It takes a special kind of person to investigate serious crimes, which are often complex and sensitive in nature and require a great deal of patience, expertise and hard work to get to the bottom of.
‘Police officers and staff from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate are committed to securing justice for victims and their families and leave no stone unturned in tracking down those responsible for the worst crimes imaginable.
‘I was very pleased to have been able to present awards to some of these people who make a significant contribution in helping to keep Kent a safe place to live, work and visit.’