Slough Police officers commended for efforts in cracking theft-from-vans gang

Five members of the Slough police force were given awards on Monday for their contribution in breaking an organised gang involved in 141 thefts from vans in 2014.

Five police officers have been commended for their role in stopping a gang that carried out 141 thefts from vans in 2014

Five police officers have been commended for their role in stopping a gang that carried out 141 thefts from vans in 2014

PC Jane Pearman, Detective Constable Christopher Cooper, Detective Constable Paul Vines and to other officers who have not been named were commended on Monday for for their efforts on a challenging investigation into a series of tool thefts by an organised group of criminals affecting the Thames Valley, West London and Hertfordshire in summer 2014.

In total, 141 vans were broken into with tools stolen with a combined value of more than £320,000. Thanks to the investigation, five suspects were identified and convicted of theft offences, with over 250 tools and five stolen shotguns recovered.

… whether they have shown bravery and courage, or displayed professionalism and integrity to bring offenders to justice, they are examples to us all

The period saw a surge in the number of reported incidents involving vans being targeted in Colnbrook and Poyle which has, sadly, become “normal”.

Supt Gavin Wong presented the commendations at a ceremony at East Berkshire College, Langley, on Monday evening (14th November).

In total commendations were presented to 39 officers and members of public by Slough’s Local Police Area (LPA) Commander recognising dedication and outstanding efforts.

Among others commended were:

Police Constable (PC) Toby Taylor Recognised along with another PC for bravery and professionalism after entering a multi-occupancy property which was on fire and not knowing whether anyone was trapped inside. They tackled the fire using the limited firefighting equipment available, slowing down the development phase of the fire, protecting life and preventing further damage to property as well as reducing the risk to the firefighters who subsequently entered to control and extinguish the fire.
PC Jane Hendy and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) Stuart Bradfield and Surinder Marway For going the extra mile to assist a vulnerable 90-year-old burglary victim. The officers spent their day off clearing the woman’s overgrown garden, removing rubbish and cutting back bushes, as it was believed this had contributed to making her a target of thieves. Only days before her home was burgled, someone had cold-called at the address offering to do some gardening and the woman paid £400 for some rubbish to be removed – which was later found dumped a short distance away. The officers were recognised for their selflessness and professionalism.
Members of public Jonathan Donaldson and Mark Whelan For tackling a man they had seen running from a store in Scafell Road, Slough, with stolen items. The pair tackled the offender to the floor and restrained him until police officers arrived, thwarting his continuing escape efforts. The offender, who was also wanted for outstanding warrants, was arrested and convicted of theft offences.
Member of public Ayaz Akhtar Dar For his alertness, public service and quick thinking when he recognised a small group of people acting suspiciously around an ATM in Wexham. He called Thames Valley Police and observed as the group distracted a member of the public and took money from his account. Mr Dar gave information to the police as he watched the offenders leave the area to their car. Police officers arrived, stopped the car and arrested the offenders, who were suspected of a number of similar offences around the country, resulting in the conviction of all three at crown court.
Seven PCs and PCSOs along with one Police Sergeant For intelligence and investigative work for a drugs operation which led to warrants being executed and six people being arrested for drugs offences. During the warrants, a large quantity of cannabis and cash was seized, along with mobile phones a CS gas canister. The officers were commended for their diligence, integrity and professionalism and recognised for contributing to the disruption of organised crime groups.
DCs Robert Mellor and Thomas Aslett, and DS John Braddy For exceptional investigative skills in relation to an investigation into the sexual assault of a number of children by one offender. The detectives worked with partner agencies and the offender was arrested and charged with several sexual offences.

Commendations were given for a variety of other incidents, including ranging from off-duty police officers stepping in to prevent crimes in action to members of the public, work by officers dealing with difficult incidents involving people with mental health issues, through to members of the public who went to the aid of a woman who collapsed in a supermarket while shopping with her eight-year-old son.

Supt Wong said:

“It gives me great pleasure to present these commendations to each and every one of the deserving recipients. These are examples of where officers and members of the public have stepped in to make a difference, putting others before themselves, and whether they have shown bravery and courage, or displayed professionalism and integrity to bring offenders to justice, they are examples to us all.

“Their actions, in some one way or another, will have benefitted Slough and its communities and they should all feel extremely proud.”

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