CHELMSFORD Local Policing Team’s C Shift, was named winning of the best response team in the country at the National Police Chief Council’s Local Policing Award.

In recognition of their achievement, officers were handed certificates in front of their friends, family and colleagues at Essex Police headquarters today.

Chief Constable Ben-Julian (BJ) Harrington, who presented the certificates, said: “It was a great honour to present these accolades to the country’s best response team.

“Winning the award is a fantastic achievement, considering the number of police response teams in Essex, yet alone the entire country.

“Throughout my career I have heard many stories of bravery and heroism by police officers and Chelmsford Local Policing Team’s C Shift certainly went above and beyond to keep our communities safe.

“They have been exceptional and I’d like to continue to thank them for their hard work, dedication and professionalism."

The team won the national accolade following their work on a number of high profile, serious, and emotionally challenging incidents, as well as targeting and tackling gang activity.

C Shift were the first officers on scene following the murder of John Pordage in August 2017, while two members of the team were injured by a woman with a knife found to be in a mental health crisis in December of the same year.

One member of the team was so badly injured they took nine months of recovery before they could return to work.

Despite the emotional and psychological impact of seeing a colleague seriously injured in front of them, C Shift proactively targeted and tackled organised crime groups and gang activity across the district setting the standard for other response teams.

Their work has led to drugs destined for distribution, seized, and weapons which could have been used to threaten and injure, taken off the streets.

Superintendent Tom Simons, of our North Command Team, also attended the event.

He said: “The commitment and courage shown by C Shift at Chelmsford is undoubtedly worthy of this special recognition.

"I am immensely proud of each and every one of them and it is a real honour to be here tonight. Despite witnessing colleagues being seriously hurt, they responded and went on to be named one of the best performing teams in the country.

"All of our officers are making a real difference in Chelmsford every day, be it responding to emergency calls or tackling drug related violence."