Eleven police officers and two members of police staff have been commended for their hard work and dedication in protecting the people of Essex and catching criminals.

The group were invited to a socially distanced ceremony at the headquarters of Essex Police where they were recognised by Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington for their exceptional service.

One such officer, DC Russ Chamberlain, was commended for his tenacity, professionalism and dedication following his investigation into a prolific burglar who pocketed £1.2 million from his crimes by targeting homes and businesses in the Epping Forest district between December 2015 and June 2017.

The hard working detective's investigation not only led to an eight year prison sentence for the burglar, but also an order to repay almost £295,000 to the victims of his crimes, ensuring a significant financial impacting on a highly organised and sophisticated crime group.

Chief Constable Harrington said: "These are extraordinary people, doing an extraordinary job and I am delighted that they were able to join me, along with their families, so I could present them with one of the highest awards I can give.

"Our priorities are, and will always continue to be, to help people, keep them safe and catch baddies and today's recipients epitomise the lengths our officers and staff will go to, to ensure that this is the case.

"Whether it's Christie answering that initial call into our Force Control Room; Andrew and Lucinda meticulously working to gather evidence to convict a sexual predator; Sian and her team; Adam, Oliver, Nicola and Chris, not giving up to try and save a person life; Mason putting himself in harm's way to ensure a criminal doesn't escape and can be brought to justice, or Russ making sure that a criminal doesn't profit from any ill-gotten gains - every person plays their part, whether a staff member or officer, in protecting and serving our communities.

"I commend each one of these worthy recipients on their shear bravery, tenacity and professionalism."

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