Police awards for actions over Stevenage gym collapse and Hitchin minibus fire

Police awards

Police awards - Credit: Archant

An awards ceremony to recognise bravery and long service has been held at a police headquarters.

Left to right: Assistant chief constable Jon Boutcher, Alan Jones, Christine Flavin and the High She

Left to right: Assistant chief constable Jon Boutcher, Alan Jones, Christine Flavin and the High Sheriff of Hertfordshire - Credit: Archant

The High Sheriff of Hertfordshire Fergus McMullen presented the awards for those connected with Hertfordshire Constabulary at a ceremony held this month.

Among those to be recognised was analyst Victoria Kitchingham, who was given a chief constable’s commendation for her work investigating cash machines thefts by an organised crime group.

The 27-year-old, who lives in Baldock, was tasked with gathering as much evidence as possible and through communications data analysis she was able to identify offenders in relation to various crime scenes – with four people subsequently sentenced to more than 10 years in prison each.

The next set of awards presented were those awarded by The Royal Humane Society, a charity which recognises acts of bravery.


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Detective Constable Charlie Thorogood was honoured alongside member of the public Lee Grint for their actions after a man collapsed at truGym on Roaring Meg Retail Park in Stevenage in May last year.

The two men, who both live in Stevenage, were at the gym at the time and gave CPR with the assistance of the ambulance service before the man was taken to hospital. He made a full recovery.

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Sergeant Graham Thomson, who lives in Letchworth GC, was given his award for going to assist members of the public and other emergency service colleagues’ after a man had been found collapsed in a vehicle in Potters Bar in August last year.

An open two-litre container of industial solvent toluene had also been found in the vehicle, which made CPR difficult.

The 36-year-old, alongside others, administered CPR for around 45 minutes before the man was taken to hospital. Sadly he died there the following afternoon.

A number of members of the public were recognised for their actions when a private ambulance minibus began smoking and then caught fire in September last year.

Alan Jones has been driving the minibus along the A602 in Hitchin, accompanied by Christine Flavin, when smoke began to issue from the vehicle while people in wheelchairs were travelling in the back.

Clayton Pearce and Umar Hussain stopped to assist and together they all started to evacuate the passengers.

Alan and Christine first had to release the ratchet straps and manoeuvre the wheelchairs one at a time to the back to use a tail lift, with Umar also helping them.

Moments after everyone was out of the minibus the interior went up in flames, with Alan, Christine and Umar all taken to hospital for treatment before being released.

The ceremony also saw a number of officers receive long service awards, including Special Sergeant John Hickmot.

The 41-year-old, who is based at Hitchin and lives in Henlow, was recognised for his nine years of service as a volunteer police officer.

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