Wrexham police officers honoured for roles in key operations

Reporter:

Matt Sims

POLICE officers involved in some of Wrexham’s biggest operations in recent months have been commended for their work at a ceremony.

North Wales Police’s Operational Services Group held the divisional event at the Interchange in Old Colwyn.

Among those to receive accolades were Det Chief Insp Wayne Jones, who received a commendation after bringing Lukasz Reszpondek, the killer of Ermatati Rodgers, to justice.

Other officers involved in Operation Benedict, as it was called, were commended for the lengthy and protracted investigation into the death of Ms Rodgers, from Gwersyllt.

A certificate of commendation was given to those involved in Operation Baht, which was launched following the death of nine-year-old Robbie Gaunt on the A528 at Overton in March 2009.

After a car involved in the collision failed to stop at the scene an investigation was launched.

David James Lunn, 61, was subsequently charged with a number of offences, including causing Robbie’s death and failing to stop following a road traffic collision.

He pleaded guilty to the charges and given a 22-month prison sentence.

A total of 16 officers were commended.

A certificate of commendation also went to those involved with Operation Shield, where North Wales Police received less than three weeks’ notice of a planned demonstration of the Welsh Defence League (WDL) in Wrexham last November.

The operational planning team nevertheless pulled together a comprehensive plan to support the largest policing operation seen in the history of the force.

On the day, about 140 WDL and English Defence League members gathered in Wrexham, together with around 200 people who attended a community festival in the town.

Attempts were made by the WDL to break through a police cordon to confront those opposed to them.

In preventing direct confrontation, four arrests were made for public order offences.

A dozen officers were commended.

Det Chief Supt Chris Corcoran was joined by Alun Lewis, chairman of North Wales Police Authority to present long service awards and divisional commanders’ commendations to both individuals and groups of people.

Det Chief Supt Corcoran said: “I am proud to be at the helm of a team of proactive and dedicated staff, who have remained specialists despite many changes over the last couple of years.”

He added: “OSG does contribute to making North Wales a safe place to live and work.”

See full story in the Leader

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