An officer who served with the Metropolitan Police Service has been presented with an award at a ceremony in central London.
Detective Constable Charlie Pulling, who worked in the Met's Roads and Transport Policing Command’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit based at Alperton Traffic Garage, Brent was this year's winner of the Livia Award for Professionalism and Service to Justice, at a ceremony at Portcullis House, Westminster on Monday, 12 November.
He was presented with the trophy and a Prime Minister's message.
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 Met 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.
The ceremony was cross-party, hosted by Mark Pawsey MP, Stephen Twigg MP and The Rt Hon Sir Edwards Davey FRSA MP, and the awards were presented by The Baroness Newlove of Warrington.
DC Pulling - who joined the Met in 2004 - was unanimously judged the outstanding candidate for his investigation of a road traffic collision on 26 August 2016 which resulted in serious injury to a 59-year-old man and his two-year-old grandson in Harrow.
DC Pulling took control of the investigation and established that the suspect’s mobile phone had been in use while he was driving. Initially, this could not be proved as the data had been deleted from the handset; the suspect was charged with two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and pleaded guilty at Harrow Crown Court.
However, the plea was not accepted and a Newton Hearing was held at the same court on Thursday, 26 March where the judge ruled that the suspect had changed his account several times and had also, been on his phone for a 23 second call, prior to the collision. He was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, suspended for two years for each offence, 240 hours community service and three years’ disqualification requiring an extended re-test.
As a Family Liaison Officer and experienced investigator, DC Pulling showed the highest level of support for the family of the victims, as well as taking every possible step in pursuit of justice.
Runner-up was Police Sergeant John Harrison, a Collision Investigator from Merton Traffic Garage, who received the Livia Highly Commended Certificate in recognition of assuming responsibility of a fatal road incident.
On 4 March 2017, an 81-year-old man was knocked down by a speeding car as he tried to cross a pedestrian crossing in Kensington and Chelsea. The car did not stop at the scene.
PS Harrison attended the scene and carried out a complex and difficult investigation as there was virtually no direct evidence identifying the driver. He rallied his team to identify and locate the driver, especially as the CCTV available did not reveal an index number.
He obtained ANPR camera records to pinpoint the index number and CCTV recordings from buses. PS Harrison also asked the Territorial Support Group to carry out a street search of a one mile radius of the incident. Within three hours, the vehicle was found abandoned without index plates and a potential suspect identified.
Despite the suspect blaming the victim, the investigation revealed that the suspect was driving at more than 60mph as he approached the crossing, reducing to 51mph as he passed through and accelerated away at 79mph – the speed limit was 30mph.
Thanks to the meticulous case presented to the Crown Prosecution Service, including 71 witness statements, a DVD compilation of CCTV footage and an exceptional storyboard for use in court, the suspect pleaded guilty to death by dangerous driving and was sentenced to six years and four months imprisonment on Friday, 27 April
PS Harrison demonstrated exceptional leadership, organizational skills and initiative which led to the early tracing of the vehicle and identification of the perpetrator and a successful prosecution.
Commander Kyle Gordon, said: "I'm extremely proud to be able to congratulate this year's winners of the Livia Awards, now enjoying an incredible twentieth year of recognising the outstanding contributions made by Road Collision Investigation officers from the Roads and Transport Policing Command."