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Kingston officers who stared down jewel thief motorcylists honoured
Five police officers who dealt with a man who doused his family in petrol and threatened to burn them alive in their home last year have been commended.
Police Sergeants Lisa Maslen and Gary Costello, PCs Sam Holden, Jemma Lyons and Dave Akers all attended the incident at a home in Chessington last March.
They were praised for their handling of the life threatening situation at the police awards ceremony held at Guildhall last Wednesday.
The man had been behaving aggressively and had even attempted to set the officers on fire with a lighter.
PC Holden said: “At the time you are just going on adrenaline. It is only after that you think ‘Oh that was quite dangerous’.
"But I would do the same thing again.”
A man will be sentenced in February after admitting affray.
Families and police officers were all present to watch as retiring borough commander Martin Greenslade gave out more than 30 commendation awards in the annual ceremony also attended by mayor Mary Heathcote.
PC Gary Roy was presented with an award for his dedication and professionalism in running the Most Wanted scheme in the Surrey Comet.
When he began working on Most Wanted in 2007, Kingston police were on the lookout for 363 people, five years later there are only 50 to 60 people on the list.
The Surrey Comet has been instrumental in the initiative which contributed to 43 arrests in the last year.
Police volunteer Jacqueline Rayner, 82, a former Unsung Hero in the Surrey Comet, was also honoured for her contribution to victim care.
Detective Superintendent Ian Smith said: “She is often the first person in the office at 7.30am and is a valued member of the team.
"Her kind manner makes victims feel assured. Her enthusiasm for the Met is infectious.”
The Kingston town centre police team received commendations for reducing crime in the area.
The Guildhall heard how shop theft had reduced by 23 per cent, violent crime by 14 per cent, robbery by 13 per cent and cycle theft by 7 per cent in the last two years.
Chief Inspector Dave Gair said: “If it was not for them I would be sacked. This is my thanks to the team. Every officer has put in an incredible amount of effort to protect residents and the borough."
Police officers who stood up to a gang of jewel robbers on motorbikes were commended for their courage at the awards ceremony.
Four men sped into the Bentall Centre and smashed into jewellery store Fraser Hart using sledge hammers during the morning rush hour on June 25 last year.
They managed to get away, but following a chase the team were able to recover £157,000 worth of watches.
Special Constable Mirela Boros said: “This was my first proper situation with serious crime in Kingston. But you know what you have to deal with – you don’t feel fear.
“You just think that you have to protect the public.”
Chief Inspector Bill Heasman said: “The officers managed to secure the entire Bentall Centre.
"They did not flinch in their duty despite the motorbikes coming towards them.”
Luke Doyle, 27, from Islington, was jailed for six-and-a-half years at Kingston Crown Court in September.
Retiring borough commander Martin Greenslade was emotional as he addressed police officers at his final awards ceremony.
He said: “I wanted this awards ceremony in my last week. It is quite emotional to reflect on some of the people that I have worked with but you really are fantastic people.
“I am immensely proud of what you do and I would like to thank you for the dedication you have shown.”
Mayor Mary Heathcote also thanked Det Chief Supt Greenslade for putting in place the framework of law and order in which communities have been able to thrive.
Other notable award winners
Detective Constable Deborah Zanetti for managing the risk posed by registered sex offenders.
Detective Constable Paul Godfrey for catching a burglar despite getting injured.
Susan Callaghan and Margaret Thesee for transcribing demanding records of taped interviews and statements.
Detective Inspector Simon Day and Detective Sergeant Maria Green for Operation Orchid that dealt with putting together information on alleged child abductions.
PC Rachel Foley for investigating a gang of young men who allegedly damaged cars in Chessington last February.