A high-performing Dacorum police officer has been presented with the prestigious Frank Mason Memorial Award by Hertfordshire Police.
Police Constable Mike Mathews, 29, has one of the highest arrest rates for the division and is known for going the extra mile in all aspects of his work.
PC Mathews was chosen for the award on April 14, which is given out annually in honour of an off-duty police officer who was fatally wounded in Hemel Hempstead over 30 years ago.
In 1988, PC Francis Mason, better known as Frank, witnessed a security van being held up by armed robbers in Bank Court.
He displayed great courage and tackled the gunmen.
Frank was shot and died, aged 27.
Each year, the Frank Mason Memorial Award is presented to a Dacorum-based officer who has displayed PC Mason’s qualities of dedication and selflessness in protecting the community.
PC Mathews was nominated for by supervisors and selected by senior officers in the borough.
He said: “It is such a huge honour to have been chosen as the winner of this year’s Frank Mason Memorial Award. I love my job and every day I come to work wanting to make a real difference to people’s lives.”
He added: “I must thank all my colleagues, with a special thanks to Team 5, for their hard work and support over the years, along with my supervisors who have helped to continuously develop me as an officer, supported me over the last five years and nominated me for such a prestigious award. The whole team across Dacorum works together to put victims of crime at the forefront of everything we do, making Dacorum a great place to work and safer place to live for the community.”
PC Mathews has coached three student officers who have become ‘fit for independent patrol’ in the past year.
In his nomination, colleagues described him as an ‘exceptional’ member of the team whose ‘resilience, courage and determination in the most difficult of circumstances has been tested repeatedly as he has dealt with many critical, serious and distressing incidents’.
PC Mathews has been first officer on the scene on several occasions, including road traffic collisions and incidents where people are suffering medical episodes.
He has used his first aid training in an effort to revive or keep people alive until paramedics arrive.
The nomination said: “It is testimony to his courage and professionalism and without his quick thinking and application these people would have succumbed to their injuries or condition.”
In another example of his work ethic, colleagues highlighted how PC Mathews worked 17 hours straight supporting a domestic abuse victim.
He changed his personal plans to ensure evidence of years of coercive control and abuse could be captured.
After being presented with the award, PC Mathews attended Bank Court with other officers as well as PC Mason’s widow, Jill Ann Sciberras and daughter Jodie.
They laid flowers for their fallen colleague PC Frank Mason and paid their respects to him in a moment of reflection.
Dacorum Chief Inspector Jason Keane said: “I must give a huge thank you and congratulations to PC Mathews, an incredibly worthy winner of this prestigious accolade. He is a credit to Hertfordshire Constabulary”.