Borough Commander Praises Officers and Residents

Thirteen receive awards for their role in solving Grove Park sex attacks

The Police in Chiswick

Ten officers and three members of the public received citations from the Borough Commander this week for their role in the investigation, subsequent arrest and conviction of Christopher Ker, the man responsible for a series of sexual attacks on women in Grove Park last June.

At the Commendation Ceremony held at Syon House on Tuesday 3rd June, the Borough Commander singled out a number of officers including Detective Inspector Rose who was praised for his ‘outstanding leadership and detective ability as Senior Inspecting Officer in a complex enquiry into a linked series of rapes and sexual assaults’.

DS Lilburn and DS Cole were also awarded citations for their ‘leadership, detective ability and tenacity’, DC Fotheringham, DC Gadsby and DC Moxham for their ‘detective ability and professionalism, ‘PC Bowen, PC Harrison and PC Franklin for their ‘professionalism and dedication as SOIT officers and members of the enquiry team’ and Laura Haynes Scientific Forensic Practitioner for her ‘forensic professionalism.

Chiswick residents Mr and Mrs Steptoe received an award for their ‘public spirited assistance and bravery in confronting a rapist’ and Mr Watson for his ‘invaluable assistance to police during the investigation of four linked sexual attacks in Chiswick.’

Ker is currently serving eight years for two attempted rapes, sexual touching and common assault on 26th June 2007 in the vicinity of Chiswick rail station. Speaking after his sentencing, DS Katie Lilburn said, "I must commend the members of the public who came out of their homes on hearing the screams of Ker's fourth victim. Without their prompt response I believe I would have been investigating a rape. Too often the papers report stories of people walking by which thankfully did not happen that night. These people were not prepared to ignore the screams and I am sure they stopped an even worse crime being committed.

"The victims involved in these incidents have shown great courage throughout this investigation and I applaud the strength they have demonstrated. Without their courage in reporting these incidents to police and supporting the investigations Ker may not have been apprehended and could still be out there.”

June 4, 2008