Essex Police recognised as one of the top forces in the country

ESSEX Police has been recognised as one of the top forces in the country after securing justice for the victims, and their families, of one of the most appalling crimes in British history.

Chief Constable BJ Harrington attended the iESE Public Sector Transformation Awards on Wednesday night to accept two Gold Awards for Police Service of the Year and for Customer Focus.


The bodies were discovered in the lorry in the early hours of 23 October 2019

As part of the most complex investigation ever undertaken by Essex Police, seven people-smugglers have been brought to justice after 39 Vietnamese men, women and children were found dead in a container in Grays in October 2019.

During that investigation, our dedicated detectives brought together governments and communities from Ireland to Vietnam using ground-breaking policing agreements to jail the men.

The Police Service of the Year Award also comes after the force was transformed from once-rated as ‘inadequate’, with high levels of sickness and low levels of public confidence, to an organisation which is ‘exceptional’ in respecting victims of crime by accurately recording offences, with record levels of trust.

The Customer Focus Award was presented for our work on Op Harrier, which supports vulnerable, high risk missing people living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia who have previously been reported missing to the police.

GPS technology is used to safeguard the user, which allows vulnerable people to continue living independently at home for as long as possible, safe in the knowledge they can easily be located when needed.

The device provides quality of life for the user, whilst proving reassurance to family members caring for the person, as the technology enables them to be alerted should the user need assistance without having to alert the police.

Where many in the sector have struggled to recruit, our force now attracts record numbers from diverse backgrounds and shares its innovative approach.

Chief Constable BJ Harrington said: “I had the privilege of attending the iESE Public Sector Transformation Awards on Wednesday which saw Essex Police win two Gold Awards for Police Service of the Year and for Customer Focus for Op Harrier.

“This is truly an outstanding achievement for our force. It all comes down to officers, members of staff, Specials and volunteers. Their transformative work, big or small, helps us to deal with the challenges of modern policing and continue to protect and serve our communities.

“From turning around high sickness levels and low public confidence, to protecting the most vulnerable, as well as for our outstanding work on the investigation into the 39 people who sadly died in Grays and our forward-thinking We Value Difference recruitment campaign, we have really shown the best of Essex Police.

“Each and every one of my officers and staff are a credit to this force and our communities, and for that, I am so proud to be their Chief.”

These public sector awards are not the first that the force has picked up. Earlier this year, our Specials Command, IT services department, Media and Communications Team and the Resource and Epidemic Impact Model (REIM) were awarded a Certificate of Excellence which recognises and champions examples of innovation and best practice in the public sector.

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