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High Sheriff of Berkshire presents Thames Valley Police award for outstanding contributions

The High Sheriff of Berkshire Willie Hartley Russell has presented a Major Crime Unit award at the Thames Valley Police Shrievalty Awards.

He presented the award to Det Chief Insp Andy Shearwood.

The Shrievalty Awards are said to be one of the most prestigious forms of recognition within Thames Valley Police.

High Sheriff of Berkshire Willie Hartley Russell presents the Major Crime Unit award to Det Chief Insp Andy Shearwood
High Sheriff of Berkshire Willie Hartley Russell presents the Major Crime Unit award to Det Chief Insp Andy Shearwood

They were first presented in 1981 after the High Sheriffs from each county decided they wanted to recognise those who had made an outstanding contribution to the community.

The event took place on March 9 (Wednesday) to celebrate the exceptional work of two teams and one individual from across the force.

The awards were presented across the different county's with Berkshire's High Sheriff presenting the final award, following Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

The final award was introduced by Det Supt Kev Brown, who said: “Over the past 12 months, the Major Crime Unit has seen an unprecedented surge in demand of complex and high profile cases across the force.

“They have not only met the demand but have demonstrated professionalism and dedication whilst working flexibly throughout the Covid-19 pandemic."

He added: “By utilising all the police and staff specialisms under the unit umbrella, including the Complex CSE (child sexual exploitation) team, the Homicide Review team and Op Maple team, the Major Crime Unit has maintained an unparalleled success rate in securing positive homicide outcomes.

“The team has achieved justice for all the sadly bereaved families and secured outstanding life sentences, obtaining charges for non-recent child sexual offences and a murder charge for a 1987 homicide within this timeframe.”

Deputy chief constable Jason Hogg closed the event by saying: “The Police and Crime Commissioner, the High Sheriffs and I are incredibly proud of all the award winners, I’m sure your family and friends are incredibly proud of you too.

“I think it is a privilege to work within Thames Valley Police and all of us here work hard, because we contribute to something bigger than ourselves; we all work to make our communities safe places to live and work."

He told attendees: “You are part of a highly effective crime-fighting machine that keeps the public safe, protects the most vulnerable people in our society and creates a sense of order and safety amongst all the communities of Thames Valley.

“I hope that you are proud of all that you do and thank you all for all your hard work and commitment and thank you for being here today.”

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