Police bravery highlighted at awards ceremony

Tower Hamlets police officers and members of the public were recognised for their acts of bravery, dedication and professionalism at a commendation ceremony today (November 26).

At the Tower of London event, hosted by Borough Commander Det Chief Supt Paul Rickett, officers were praised for their police work including solving a double murder of two women who worked in Whitechapel, restraining a knife-wielding bodybuilder in Poplar and saving a suicidal woman in Cornwall.

Awards went to 41 people in total and friends and family heard from Rushanara Ali, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse and John Biggs, London Assembly Member.

Mr Rickett said: “It is a privilege to have this opportunity to recognise some of the outstanding achievements of my officers, staff and members of the public.

“These commendations demonstrate their hard work and commitment to duty and should be acknowledged.”

Det Insp Howard Way, Det Sgts Geoff Tachauer and Yoni Gottlieb, Det Constables Justin Bell and Dave Reddy and analyst Sam Upton were commended for bringing to justice double murderer Derek Brown.

He murdered two women who worked in Whitechapel, Xiao Mei Guo, who sold counterfeit DVDs and Bonnie Barrett, a sex worker, who he killed at his Rotherhithe flat in 2007.

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He was sentenced to life imprisonment at the Old Bailey in 2008.

Constables Amar Sehmby, Tim Dole and Martin Willis were commended for their bravery in apprehending a 6’2” bodybuilder called Krystian Szcapaniak who threatened them and his wife with a large knife at a Grundy Street flat in Poplar in February.

The officers used CS spray and their batons to restrain him and he was sentenced to two years imprisonment.

One officer was singled out for life-saving bravery while off-duty in Cornwall.

Constable Alistair Allen grabbed a woman attempting to commit suicide by jumping from a railway bridge with a length of bungee rope around her neck and stayed with her until fire officers rescued her.

His bravery, tenacity and dedication were highlighted.