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Police Awards at Government House 15 January 2007

SIX police officers and a member of the public received awards at a ceremony held at Government House on Thursday (January 11).

His Excellency, the Lieutenant Governor Vice Admiral Sir Paul Haddacks KCB presented four officers with long service medals plus gave other awards to two police officers.

Awards included a new trophy presented for the first time. The Isle of Man Police Federation Cup was presented to Constable Kevin Quirk for services to the public. PC Quirk is a Family Liaison Officer in the Northern Neighbourhood Policing Team. He receives his award in recognition of the large number of cases he has dealt with in his voluntary role as Family Liaison Officer, which he undertakes in addition to his regular duties. It is also a reflection of the positive comments made about him by bereaved families. The IoM Police Federation Cup will be presented annually to the individual who has given outstanding service to the public in any sphere of policing.

His Excellency presented the Richard Kennaugh Trophy to Constable Emma McGreevy. Following the tragic death of Constable Kennaugh in 1989, the trophy commissioned in his memory by his family rewards the Probationer Constable who has shown the most promise, aptitude and enthusiasm during their initial training months. Constable Emma McGreevy achieved consistently high band examination results and was selected to receive the award against stiff competition from other high quality probationers. She previously received the Lt. Col Roy Leeder Trophy in 2005 for being the best achiever in the Isle of Man Constabulary.

The Chief Constable’s Certificate of Commendation was awarded to Mr Nicky Lewis for helping to rescue a toddler from Peel breakwater after the two and a half year old boy fell in. Details of the citation can be found below.

Meanwhile, Long Service and Good Conduct Awards were presented to Sergeant Bill McCann who joined Isle of Man Constabulary in 1982, Detective Constable Neil Mackie (1983), Constable Judith Bradford (1984) and Constable Guy Sutton (1983). Further information on their careers can be found below, along with the citation for Mr Lewis.

Long Service & Good Conduct Awards – summary of careers

Sergeant Bill McCann joined the Isle of Man Constabulary on July 19, 1982. He was promoted to Sergeant on January 11, 1999. He has served in Douglas Section, the Traffic Department and is presently seconded in the Emergency Joint Control Room, as operational manager where he has a strong affinity with the front line staff. Sergeant McCann has received numerous ‘Well Dones’ from the Chief Constable and has been the recipient of two Chief Constable’s Commendations for bravery in rescuing suicidal persons.

Detective Constable Neil Mackie joined the Force on November 1, 1983, and was seconded to Douglas for four years. He relocated to Peel in 1987. In 1989 he became part of the team in the Port Unit, but returned to the West in uniform in 1990. However, in 1992 he became a member of Special Branch where he stayed until 1997 before transferring to the Fraud Squad which was later renamed the Financial Crime Unit. Neil has found his niche and remains there today. He has been the recipient of many awards.

In 1998 he was awarded a Chief Constable’s Commendation for investigative work on behalf of the Office of Serious Economic Offences in South Africa. In 2001 he was commended by Northumbria Police for assisting them with a protracted operation where the defendant was subsequently convicted with various offences of dishonesty and his assets successfully identified, restrained and duly seized. In 2005 Neil received a Chief Constable’s Certificate of Merit for thorough, meticulous research, persistence, initiative and investigative skills that were instrumental in the successful application to the Court for a Confiscation Order and Certificate of Benefit against a known drug dealer. In 2006 the Chief Constable awarded Neil with his Commendation for zeal, tenacity, professional and investigative skills in taking a tiny piece of intelligence and building it into a successful operation. It became the first ever money-laundering conviction to be recorded on the Island.

Constable Judith Bradford became an established Police Constable in 1984 and was stationed in Douglas Section until 1986. She then joined the Special Branch for a two year secondment before returning to uniform duties in the South of the Island in 1988. She performed duties in the Force Control Room from 1996 to 1999 and then moved to Ramsey, where she remained until 2005. Judith is presently a Custody Assistant in Police Headquarters. Judith received a Chief Constable’s Commendation for assisting in the rescue of people from a guest house in Castle Mona Avenue, Douglas, who were trapped by serious fire. Whilst at Castletown, Judith received Court Commendation from His Worship the High Bailiff, Henry Callow, for enquiries into possible suspicious sudden death and liaison with the deceased family.

Constable Guy Sutton joined the Isle of Man Constabulary in 1983 and served Douglas Section for a year. In 1984 he moved to Castletown where he served the community for almost 10 years before returning to Douglas. In 1996 he worked within the Force Control Room. As Detective Constable, Guy worked from 1998 until 2003 within the Special Branch. He is presently working as an Assistant Custody Officer at Headquarters. He was previously awarded a Chief Constable’s Commendation for detecting offenders of a series of burglaries within Douglas.

Citation for Mr Nicky Lewis

At about 5.40pm on Wednesday 23rd August 2006, off-duty Police Officer Constable Quentin De Backer was enjoying fishing with his family off the Peel Breakwater when a small child, who was in the company of his teenage sister, approached the end of the Breakwater, tripped, and fell into the sea some 25feet below. Without thought for his own safety Constable DeBacker jumped straight into the sea, fully clothed, and swam to the child who was clearly in difficulty. He took hold of the two and a half year old boy and swam with him around into the inner side of the Breakwater to where there were steps.

Unfortunately the bottom rungs of the steps were well above the water line. A member of the public, Mr Nicky Lewis, frantically tried to locate a life-ring, but none was available at that time. Mr Lewis then ran down the ladder and stretched out to scoop the child from Constable DeBacker’s tired arms. The young boy was brought to safety and taken by ambulance to Noble’s Hospital where, pleasingly, he was found to be uninjured.

Without the prompt, heroic and brave actions of Constable DeBacker and the selfless actions of Nicky Lewis, it is unlikely that the child would have survived. They are both richly commended by the Chief Constable.

Constable Quentin DeBacker received the Chief Commendation at the Annual Awards Ceremony held on November 10th 2006 and he has been further nominated for the prestigious Royal Humane Society Award.

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