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PC Keely Copland wins Western Officer Award at the inaugural Surrey Police Federation Recognition Awards.

29 November 2023

An officer who goes above and beyond to try to locate missing people and support their concerned families has won the Western Officer Award at the inaugural Surrey Police Federation Recognition Awards.

PC Keely Copland is part of the Child Exploitation and Missing Persons Unit in Guildford and is the main officer on the Western Missing Person (MISPER) team. She has worked in this demanding role for many years, supporting neighbourhood policing teams and CID officers with their daily enquiries for missing people. 

She said: “I absolutely love this role. The missing people may be children who go missing from care homes, or mental health-related cases, and we have hospital absconders, etc. Our work is really impactive because it’s quite time-consuming for response officers. I’ve been doing it for so long that I’ve got my skill base where I remember people who have gone missing frequently, so you’ve got that backup intel and you can get the reports up to scratch.  

“I always think about people’s families and friends, who are thinking, ‘Oh my God, we don’t know where they are. We’re really concerned for them’. I want to make sure that we do the best job for that person and that we do it professionally and in a timely manner, because it is a frustrating and scary time for a lot of families.  

“Some high-profile cases have been linked to child exploitation, grooming and criminal exploitation. Our SPOCs work closely with those individuals, trying to engage with them to stop their behaviour, identify perpetrators, and disrupt that. The engagement doesn’t always work and sometimes you get some quite tragic cases at the end. But it’s good to work with different teams on big cases like that.”  

PC Copland added: “It is lovely to be nominated for this Award; I‘ve never actually won anything before! Hopefully it means that I’m making some sort of difference and helping the response teams too.” 

Surrey Police Federation Chair Darren Pemble said: “Keely is incredibly conscientious and passionate about her role, and often has to work under intense pressure on her own to deal with multiple missing persons.  

“She has a huge positive impact on the wider Western teams, and she sensitively communicates with and supports the families of those who are missing, including those who have been missing for several years.” 

PC Copland will attend the Surrey Police Federation Recognition Awards on Thursday 7 December. 

The lead sponsor for the Awards is Metfriendly. 

Also sponsoring are the National Police Healthcare Scheme, MJR Solicitors, Flint House Rehabilitation, Serve and Protect Credit Union, Police Mutual, No1 Copperpot Credit Union, Philip Williams Insurance, Hempsons, Uniform Mortgages, Police Mortgages, Reynolds Dawson, the Surrey PCC’s Office and DAC Beachcroft.   

The hashtag for the event is #SurreyFedAwards.