A number of Met officers and staff have been acknowledged as worthy recipients of a variety of prestigious awards in this year’s New Year’s Honours list.
A total of nineteen officers from a range of different ranks and roles and three members of police staff have been recognised with these esteemed awards which include both OBE’s and QPM’s.
Acting Detective Sergeant Zac Idun has been awarded an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to victims of London and international terrorist atrocities, which reaches back to the 7/7 London attacks.
In 2005, A/DS Idun began volunteering as a Family Liaison Officer (FLO) alongside his day job of detective in the Met.
He was then asked to become a Family Liaison Coordinator full time, leading a team of specially trained FLO’s and contact officers in supporting relatives of the deceased families and those seriously injured in the 2015 Sousse terrorist attack and the Westminster Bridge and London Bridge terror attacks in 2017.
Detective Superintendent Mark Gower has also been awarded an OBE for his contribution, both nationally and internationally, to Counter Terrorism investigations.
In 2015, he led the UK response to the terrorist attacks in Sousse, Tunisia where 30 British nationals were killed.
He has now taken the role as National Counter Terrorism lead for Family Liaison and has influenced Government committees in relation to better support for bereaved families and victims of terror attacks both in the UK and overseas.
In 2017, he led and commanded the response to the Finsbury Park terror attack. He identified learning from this case and in conjunction with CPS, produced new guidance on how the CT network manages domestic extremism attacks.
A few months later, he led and commanded the response to the terrorist attack on the underground at Parsons Green. Under intensive pressure and scrutiny, the team launched a UK wide manhunt that within 24 hours led to the arrest and detention of the attacker at Dover.
Police staff member Claire Summers will receive an OBE for her work as the Head of the Technical Innovation and Development Environment within Counter Terrorism Policing.
In the past year, she has supported every major terrorist investigation in the UK including Borough Market, Finsbury Park and Westminster Bridge where she created groundbreaking techniques to acquire data from locked phones and microchips in motor vehicles.
Following the attack at Manchester Arena, she guided the search teams in the recovery of component parts of a phone destroyed in the blast, then engineering a solution to extract evidence from the chip.
She has been the driving force in developing new analytical tools that save police months of painstaking work and assist in identifying evidence contained in seized devices.
She has also led in creating software that decrypts videos and other messages that terrorists have sought to hide from the police. Her expertise are recognised internationally and she is routinely called upon to support global terrorist investigations.
This includes the beach attacks in Tunisia where the terrorists threw mobile devices into the sea and in Brussels where a suicide bomber detonated a device at the train station. In both cases, she managed to recover important data to assist the investigations.
Detective Superintendent John Crossley has been awarded a Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) after he simultaneously commanded two major Counter Terrorism investigations into the 2017 terrorist attacks in London.
During the Westminster Bridge attack in March 2017, he commanded hundreds of police officers and detectives within London and across the rest of the UK as the footprint of the investigation spread.
He ensured thousands of complex, interlinked lines of enquiry were prioritised and resolved to support the Coronial and Counter Terrorism investigations. He also made sure that the victims and their families received the highest level of support throughout, engaging personally with highly traumatised families and loved ones.
Whilst still commanding the demanding Westminster Bridge investigation, the London Bridge terror attack took place. Despite being off duty, DS Crossley volunteered to come into work and take charge as the SIO.
He implemented improvements to the police response, learned following the Westminster attack, to deliver a model post incident investigation. Once again he commanded hundreds of officers, managing and making sense of a hugely complex coronial and National Security investigation.
He ensured thousands of enquiries, including national and international lines, were rigorously pursued to their conclusion whilst engaging with bereaved families to ensure they received the information, support and comfort required.
PC Philip Stone has also been awarded a QPM for his work coordinating the London Region Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) response for a number of major events, culminating in a period of unprecedented demand in 2017.
In the eighth-month period from November 2016 to June 2017, Philip coordinated the DVI response to every mass casualty disaster in the UK.
His role in the London Bridge attack and the Grenfell Tower fire are of particular significance.
Following the London Bridge attack, he made arrangements with separate mortuaries for the removal of the deceased victims and terrorists, working through the night and into the next day. Philip also assisted in the identification process of each victim, liaising with overseas colleagues to obtain relevant records.
Due to his hard work and dedication, all of the victims were formally identified and released to their grieving families within six days. Just as the long hours were about to draw to an end, he was then deployed to the Grenfell Tower fire.
This DVI response was one of the biggest such operations outside of counter-terrorism that the MPS has ever undertaken.
Phil oversaw the entire DVI operation at Grenfell, from briefing staff to ensuring volunteers had access to necessary equipment; from putting safety guidelines in place for all working within the tower to the respectful recovery of victims; from providing advice to the coroner to assist in the inquest to championing Occupational Health Support for those involved in the operation, Phil oversaw it all.
In addition, he arranged for a family viewing area to be constructed, allowing the bereaved to view Grenfell Tower in privacy, providing them a safe space to grieve.
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