Dedicated Welwyn Garden City police receive awards

PUBLISHED: 13:46 23 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:26 23 February 2018

Maria Cooper collecting her award. Picture: Hertfordshire Constabulary.

Maria Cooper collecting her award. Picture: Hertfordshire Constabulary.

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Officers have been honoured for their dedication during the Helen Bailey murder investigation at an awards ceremony in Welwyn Garden City.

DS David Sharpe collecting his award. Picture: Hertfordshire Constabulary.DS David Sharpe collecting his award. Picture: Hertfordshire Constabulary.

The event, that took place on Tuesday at the Police Headquarters in Welwyn Garden City,

Professor Quintin McKellar CBE, vice chancellor and chief executive of the University of Hertfordshire, was the guest of honour and presented the recipients with their awards.

Detective constable Wendy Tomlinson, was awarded for her work as the disclosure officer during the investigation into the disappearance and murder of Helen Bailey in 2016.

DC Tomlinson, who is based in Welwyn Garden City, assessed and recorded 1,716 items of unused material during the investigation. She received a commendation for demonstrating the very highest standards of detective work.

DC Jo-Anne Kerr collecting her award. Picture: Hertfordshire Constabulary.DC Jo-Anne Kerr collecting her award. Picture: Hertfordshire Constabulary.

Helen Bailey, the author of the Electra Brown series, was reported missing in April 2016.

Three months later, her remains were found hidden at her home in Royston and her partner, Ian Stewart, was charged with her murder and found guilty in February 2017.

Detective sergeant David Sharpe, 39, was awarded for his work as the outside enquiry team leader during the Helen Bailey investigation.

DS Sharpe, based in Welwyn Garden City, was awarded a commendation for demonstrating the very highest standards of detective work.

Detective constable Jo-Anne Kerr, 49, was awarded for her efforts as the officer in the case during the Helen Bailey investigation.

DC Kerr, who is based in Welwyn Garden City, effectively managed 460 statements, 360 unused items and 722 exhibits during the file preparation.

She was also awarded a commendation for demonstrating the very highest standards of detective work.

Maria Cooper, 54, from Design and Print Services based in Welwyn Garden City, was awarded the Long Service award.

She started her career with Hertfordshire Constabulary in January 1988, copying documents and print finishing by hand, which in the 1980s was very labour intensive and time consuming.

Maria then left the constabulary two and a half years later in order to have a family, returning in April 1997.

The Welwyn Garden City resident was promoted to senior reprographic technician almost 13 years ago in the Print Force Unit and oversaw the typeset of all the force forms then printed in house.

Maria now digitally prints documents and artwork direct to the copiers which is much faster than it was in the 1980s.

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