Awards handed to star officers

POLICE officers who worked on some of Ipswich's most high-profile cases have today been recognised for their dedication and hard work.Detectives, police constables, sergeants and a scenes of crime officer have been hailed for their professionalism in handling sensitive and, at times, potentially dangerous cases.

POLICE officers who worked on some of Ipswich's most high-profile cases have today been recognised for their dedication and hard work.

Detectives, police constables, sergeants and a scenes of crime officer have been hailed for their professionalism in handling sensitive and, at times, potentially dangerous cases.

Chief Superintendent John Fletcher said he believed the recipients deserved recognition for their part in dissolving difficult situations and helping to secure convictions against offenders.

Six of the nine awards recognised work on Operation Costello, the investigation into the rape of a 31-year-old woman near Ipswich's Regent Theatre in February last year.

Ch Supt Fletcher said: “Various lines of inquiry were established and, as a result of those inquiries, with the victim, witnesses and forensics, the forensic scientist in Huntingdon was able to confirm the identity of one suspect within a fortnight.

“On the back of that Paul Tavares was arrested, interviewed and charged despite denying the offence.

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“Work on a mobile phone led to the identity of a potential second offender, Carlos Almeida.

“There was a significant amount of work involving a variety of people across the organisation.”

Almeida and Tavares were both found guilty of rape and were sentenced, collectively, to 15 years in prison.

Dc Joe Manual, Ds Bernie Morgan, Pc Simon Carpenter and scenes of crime officer Mark Hicks were all presented with awards for their work on the case.

Dc Tonya Antonis and Pc Richard Neasham are also to be awarded for their work on the operation but could not attend the presentation.

Dc Antonis is also to receive a merit award for her work on another rape case.

Sergeant Peter Street was honoured for his part in dissolving a siege at Ipswich's Caribbean Club in which a taser stun gun was used to subdue a knife-wielding woman.

Sgt Street negotiated with the woman, evacuated the club and attempted to resolve the situation calmly. A taser was eventually deployed when the woman lunged towards the door of the club with a knife.

Pc Matthew Smy was recognised for negotiating with a man armed with a knife at a house in Queensberry Road in Ipswich earlier this year.

Ch Supt Fletcher said Pc Smy's negotiation skills had prevented the man harming himself or anyone else.

Weblink: www.suffolk.police.uk

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