Best of British detectives honoured for ground-breaking work

22 October 2015

The cream of detectives from across England and Wales have been awarded in a national awards ceremony organised by the Police Federation of England and Wales.

The Police Federation’s National Detectives’ Forum handed out awards for Detective Investigation of the Year; Services to Detectives; the technology-based Smarter Detective; New Trainee Detective of the Year; and the PFNDF Hopkin Award at a ceremony in Wales on Thursday.

A team of West Midlands Police detectives won the Detective Investigation of the Year award for their work on the investigation of a critical incident at a care home in West Bromwich, where a care worker tried to kill more than 32 people.

On 31 July 2014, a female care worker poisoned the drinks at the premises with the intention to kill. Some residents and staff were admitted to hospital critically ill and the community impact was huge as residents and staff became very ill very quickly.

The team pushed the boundaries of what was believed possible in forensics with the result that the defendant was charged with 10 counts including attempted murder, threats to kill and poisoning. She is remanded in custody awaiting sentencing, having pleaded guilty.

Crimestoppers has been awarded the PFNDF Hopkin Award for their outstanding contribution to policing. The charity was presented with the award, set up in honour of PC Edna Hopkin, one of the country’s first policewomen, in recognition for the significant work they do with local communities and law enforcement agencies across the UK. Since Crimestoppers began in 1998, it has received over 1.6 million actionable calls, resulting in nearly 134,000 arrests and charges.  Nearly £132 million worth of goods has been recovered and over £326 million worth of drugs has been seized.

A Lancashire Constabulary detective chief inspector has won the national Services to Detectives Award for his contribution to investigative policing – a career that has spanned nearly 30 years and involved the successful conviction of numerous murderers.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Rothwell was presented with the award, which paid tribute to two major cases under his direction – one a murder investigation of a vulnerable 15 year old girl and the second an investigation into the murder of a vulnerable adult who had been repeatedly stabbed and slashed at his home.

TDC Shane Lottering, a Metropolitan Police detective, has won the Smarter Detective Award for developing software that has opened new doors for investigations - giving officers the ability to recover stolen games consoles and make arrests for crimes that were previously thought to have no viable leads.

With a background in software engineering, TDC Lottering wanted to find a way to easily trace and identify stolen electronic gaming equipment.  

After researching and testing open source web tools, he developed his own software to process open source data that would lead to the location of stolen devices. He used open source software to monitor online activity in cloud based gaming. As a direct result of this, the console's new user was quickly and easily identified.

TDC Lottering has gone on to train a small team of detectives to replicate these tactics for other devices that connect to online media or access cloud based servers, including gaming, storage and social media.

Detective Constable Richard Lewsley, from the Metropolitan Police, has won the New Trainee Detective of the Year Award for his proactive work to help victims of domestic abuse. Richard sought to address the difficulty faced by victims who find themselves unable to escape what is often a ‘cycle of abuse’. He applied for, and was granted, the first domestic violence protection order in a case within the Metropolitan Police area. He arrested the suspect and successfully presented the case at court. This led to a conviction and a custodial sentence. It is of note that this legislation sees officers present their own cases at court, conducting the trial in the absence of a Crown Prosecution Service representative. On the day of his release, the suspect breached the order in place, and Richard arrested him, resulting in the suspect receiving another custodial sentence.

Martin Plummer, chair, Police Federation National Detectives Forum, said: ‘The Police Federation’s National Detectives’ Forum is proud to award fellow officers for this quite astonishing breadth of ground-breaking and dedicated work. They are a credit to themselves, their force and their country.’