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High arrest rate officer wins award in memory of off duty hero PC

The Frank Mason memorial award is presented each year to an outstanding performer

A Hertfordshire officer with one of the highest arrest rates in his division has been presented with the Frank Mason Memorial Award

PC Mike Mathews, 29, who has five years’ service, has coached three student police officers to become fit for independent patrol in addition to his own workload and on one shift worked 17 hours straight to support a domestic abuse victim who had been subject to coercive control.   

The award is presented each year in honour of an off-duty officer who was fatally wounded in Hemel Hempstead more than 30 years ago.

PC Frank Mason was walking his dog on 14 April 1988 when he witnessed a security van being held up by armed robbers in Bank Court. He displayed enormous courage and tackled the gunmen, but he was shot and died aged 27 years old, despite efforts to save him. As a result of his intervention the security guard was able to get to safety.

Each year, the award is presented to a Dacorum-based officer who has displayed PC Mason’s qualities of dedication, professionalism and selflessness in protecting the community.

PC Mathews was nominated and voted for by supervisors and selected by senior officers in the borough.

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, when 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, changing his personal plans to ensure evidence of years of coercive control and abuse could be captured.

“His approach was simple; it was compassionate, caring and focused on proving the offences. The offender was arrested and, on this occasion, charged and remanded. Convicted at court he received a custodial sentence. A really very good piece of police work that served as a poignant example to the team of his high standards.”

PC Mike Mathews receives his award from Chief Insp Keane 

PC Mathews was presented with his award and afterwards attended Bank Court with ACC Matt Nicholls, Dacorum Chief Inspector Jason Keane and PC Mason’s widow, Jill Ann Sciberras and daughter Jodie.

There, they laid flowers at PC Frank Mason’s memorial.

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