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The Problem Solving/Leadership Award presented to PC Collette Harrison - Local Policing South

The Award

This award is to recognise colleagues who have shown outstanding leadership or problem solving skills. The award is open to individuals or groups; Police Officers, Police Staff, PCSO's, Special Constables or any combination thereof.

The nomination should have:

  • exceptional leadership or
  • identified, understood and tackled a problem in their area of work
  • managed any difficulties
  • as well as solving the problem and evaluate the whole project

The Problem Solving/Leadership Award - PC Collette HarrisonCitation

In November 2015, PC Collete Harrison stopped and searched two men, Neil Wakelam and Robert Duffey. They were together on foot, close to the Tutbury Road Bypass. They gave an account of why they were there and the search didn't uncover anything. The intelligence system was updated along with their description.

The following morning, a burglary was reported on Rolleston Lane, Burton-on-Trent, approximately 100 metres from where the two men had been stopped and searched. A Range Rover and a safe were stolen.

Response officers attended the scene with forensics and the matter was closed. PC Harrison became aware of the incident and re-commenced enquiries into the burglary.

The property that was burgled was undergoing renovation work. PC Harrison liaised with the contractor who raised concerns about a labourer who had called in sick for a few days. That person was Duffey.

Ten days after the burglary, the Range Rover was involved in a collision in the West Midlands. From this RTC, DNA profiling brought others into the enquiry, who were known associates of Wakelam. PC Harrison pieced together fragments of circumstantial evidence to build a picture sufficient to bring charges.

PC Harrison adopted a victim-focused approach throughout. Thanks to her steely determination, the offenders, including Wakelam and Duffey, were convicted at Stafford Crown Court in July 2017 and sentenced to prison.

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