An officer from the Metropolitan Police Service has been presented with an award at a ceremony in central London.
Detective Sergeant John Hartfree from the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command (RTPC) was this year’s winner of the Livia Award for Professionalism and Service to Justice, at a ceremony at Portcullis House, Westminster on Tuesday, 3 November. He received the trophy and a Prime Minister’ message.
The ceremony was cross-party, hosted by Mark Pawsey MP, Stephen Twigg MP and Greg Mulholland MP and the awards were presented by the Rt. Hon. Viscount Simon from the House of Lords.
John was unanimously judged the outstanding candidate for his extensive investigative caseload and the development of Scene Management Training for officers on the front line of fatal road collisions so as to ensure proper service to victims and their families.
John joined the Met in 1988 as a Special Constable, becoming a full time officer in 1991. With a keen interest in traffic matters, he joined the Traffic Division in 2002, as a Garage Sergeant, based at the South West Traffic Unit in Merton. Whilst here, John managed over 300 fatal or serious collision scenes.
With the formation of the Roads and Transport Policing Command, John recognised that incoming officers would need training in fatal collision scenes, so he prepared a comprehensive training programme, mainly in his own time. This has now been delivered to over 70 officers as well as the Fire Brigade and the National Health Service to ensure closer emergency service co-ordination. He has also taken a keen interest in improving cycle safety and was recently involved in a major project with Transport for London and Loughborugh University, examining ways to reduce cycling fatalities.
John is passionate about his role in reducing road deaths and injuries, delivering talks to a wide range of non-police groups, including talks to religious and faith groups, cycle clubs, magistrates, police volunteers and special constables.
There were four nominations in total for the award. The three were runners-up were:
Detective Sergeant John Woods, from Chadwell Heath East Traffic Garage, Barking and Dagenham who received the Livia Highly Commended Certificate in recognition of his dedicated and detailed investigation of a failed-to-stop fatal collision;
PC Brian Gamble (retired) from Alperton Traffic Garage, Brent who received an RTPC Commander’s Commendation in recognition of his dedicated and detailed investigation of a failed-to-stop fatal collision; and,
Senior Collision Investigator Steven Gilbert from Catford Traffic Garage, Lewisham who received an RTPC Commander’s Commendation in recognition of his dedication, outstanding personal commitment and achievements in Collision Investigation.
The Livia award was established in 1998 by George and Giulietta Galli-Atkinson following the death of their daughter Livia who was killed by a driver who mounted the pavement where she was walking. Endorsed by the Prime Minister and the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Commissioner, the award is made annually to the Roads and Transport Policing Command officer judged to have provided the most meritorious service to road death investigation, either in a specific case, or sustained through several investigations and who has provided the family of a road crash victim with outstanding commitment.
Giulietta and George Galli-Atkinson, said: “Barriers are erected for a number of reasons but the more empathy there is between the parties, the more useful the interaction is likely to be in bringing about proper investigation, charging and prosecution outcomes. We are proud of all the officers in the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command who show such benchmark standards in road death investigation and Family Liaison Officer service on which road crash victims and their families can rely should they have to. They have our encouragement, admiration and gratitude.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Paul Rickett, of the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command, said: “The Livia Awards recognise the outstanding contributions made by Road Collision Investigation officers from the Roads and Transport Policing Command and this year’s entries are up to the very high standard we have come to expect.
“All of these officers provide a valuable service to policing that cannot be underestimated. The outcomes of their investigations bring justice, resolution and a small degree of conclusion to those who have been affected by road traffic collisions.
“I am very proud of my Livia nominees who have sought to put in place interventions that make significant improvements to the service we provide. They are a credit to the Met.”
Steve Burton, Transport for London’s Director of Enforcement and On-Street Operations, said: “This is a great achievement for John Hartfree of the Roads and Transport Policing Command and a rightly deserved award for his effort and hardwork to help keep our road network safe.
“Well done also to the runners up from the other RTPC teams who have made the fatal collision training an award winning intervention that has not only been used by other companies but has also gone a long way to help further improve the enforcement of road safety provided by the police.”