30 December 2017
MBE ‘is wonderful surprise’
AN officer has spoken of her pride at being recognised for her work in fighting economic crime – at an early point in her law enforcement career.
Emma Smith – who joined the NCA from the Home Office in 2014 – said she was stunned to hear she had received the MBE in the New Year Honours list, for her work in creating an innovative intelligence sharing capability between law enforcement and the financial sector, which has led to over 80 arrests.
She added: “I originally joined the agency on secondment and have only been in the public sector for the last six years – it is wonderful to receive this award.
“I always associated honours with something you get at the end of your career.”
Having originally trained as an accountant, Emma worked in the private sector before deciding to become a public servant “because I wanted to make a difference”.
She is currently the NCA’s Head of Partnerships and Threat Reduction and has worked on a string of initiatives to reduce economic crime which have improved the understanding of the true scale of money laundering and the methods used by criminals to exploit the UK’s financial system, one of the priority serious and organised threat areas.
Emma said: “This is a very broad role with a lot involved and I love my work.
“At this agency I feel I am in a place to make a difference in the fight against serious and organised crime – receiving this award is a huge honour.”
NCA Director General Lynne Owens said: “Emma has made a significant difference in our fight against economic crime, leading the way in our important relationship with the private sector.
“The projects in which she has been involved, including the Joint Money Laundering Intelligence Team (JMLIT), show the value of close multi-agency working and the results speak for themselves. She is someone who has shown a tangible ability to think differently and exercise determination in overcoming organisational barriers. I congratulate her on receiving an MBE today.”
BEM: Officer ‘surprised and delighted’
A career law enforcement officer has been rewarded for his efforts on- and off-duty with the British Empire Medal.
Greg Francis – who is a senior officer in the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit Prevent Team – said he was overwhelmed that his work had been acknowledged in the New Year Honours list.
He added: “I’m proud that my career in the civil service and voluntary roles have been recognised – tying together the elements that define me as a person.
“I have worked for many years to help tackle serious and organised crime.”
Greg’s law enforcement career started more than 20 years ago with a local authority team dealing with fraud before he joined Her Majesty’s Customs & Excise.
He served as an investigator, taking on drugs traffickers, before enhancing his skills as staff officer when SOCA was formed. His wealth of experience is now focused on dealing with the ever-evolving cyber crime field – where the projects in which he has been involved have made a significant impact.
Outside of work, Greg has competed internationally in karate as well as being an assistant coach for the England team and an ambassador for the sport.
The officer has also served as a magistrate and worked on a major project to mentor young people from Black and Minority Ethnic communities in London.
“I am both surprised and delighted to receive the BEM,” Greg concluded.
NCA Director General Lynne Owens said: “Greg’s extraordinary law enforcement career is matched by his achievements outside of work, where he has sought to mentor and coach young offenders through the charity ‘100 Black Men’.
In his current role he has been instrumental in the Cyberchoices campaign aiming to prevent young people becoming criminals in the use of technology.
“I thank Greg for all he continues to do and congratulate him on his BEM.”
Honorary BEM is 'very special' for committed officer
A respected law enforcement professional who has dedicated much of her career to helping the vulnerable has received Royal recognition for her efforts.
Claire Meaney – who works in the NCA’s Modern Slavery Human Trafficking Unit – said she was honoured and humbled to receive an honorary British Empire Medal.
She added: “I am very proud, not only for me but my family, friends and colleagues.
“You cannot do a job like this on your own – you really depend on the support of those you love and your teams. I want to share my award with them.”
A committed and experienced officer Claire, who is an Irish national, started her public service some three decades ago when she joined the Metropolitan Police. After two years in uniform, she moved into a variety of detective roles, including major investigations, before she was seconded to the National Crime Squad.
The creation of the Serious Organised Crime Agency in 2006 saw her heading up the organisation’s Vulnerable Persons’ Team.
Claire still has huge passion for the role and her work has a new focus in the NCA with the drive against modern slavery – a priority threat for UK law enforcement. Her ethos of public service continues as a volunteer outside of work.
She has set up youth clubs, served as a school governor and currently acts as a safeguarding officer at her church. Claire emphasised: “Any award is an honour but the BEM is very special.”
Director General Lynne Owens said the accolade was well-deserved. She added: "Throughout her career Claire has made an outstanding contribution to protecting the public, working with vulnerable people is emotionally demanding and challenging, yet Claire is known for her patience and generous support to colleagues and her wider contribution through her voluntary work is truly exceptional.”
Firearms specialist ‘humbled’ at MBE
A committed officer who has dedicated most of his career to the firearms field has said he is “humbled and delighted” at his recognition in the New Year Honours list.
Mark Williams’ extraordinary work in law enforcement – which began in the Metropolitan Police more than 40 years ago – was rewarded with the MBE.
He admitted: “I had no idea that the award was coming at all – I am really humbled that people think that I deserve this and I am obviously delighted.
“When the letter telling me about the award arrived I had to read it a couple of times before the news sank in.”
Mark’s tenure in law enforcement saw him work in several operational roles before he joined the Met’s Specialist Firearms Unit in 1994. Whilst there he received a commendation from the then Commissioner for the response to the attempted jewellery robbery at the Millennium Dome.
He remained in the role for more than 20 years before joining SOCA as chief firearms instructor, a post he continues in today.
Mark stressed his work remained a vocation, adding: “It is a fascinating area.
“I have always been an operational officer and armed policing appealed – it is always at the forefront of law enforcement and is about tackling the most serious threats.”
NCA Director General Lynne Owens said: “Mark’s dedication to protecting the public is marked throughout his law enforcement service. He has led the tactical planning for significant high profile firearms cases, including Operation Seventy, in which 22 automatic assault rifles, nine Skorpion machine pistols, 58 magazines, two silencers and around 1000 live rounds of ammunition were seized, leading to the conviction of five men and prison terms topping 90 years.
In addition to that he has developed and obtained the licensing of our specialist armed operations capability.
His work to protect the public from the most serious criminals is impressive as is his commitment to the challenging yet valued field of armed policing. I am delighted that he has been recognised in the award of an MBE.”
International officer ‘completely shocked’ at OBE
An officer who is currently on an international posting has admitted being left speechless at being made an OBE in the New Year Honours list, for his work in protecting the public.
Nick Shah – who currently is deployed as an international liaison officer covering South Africa – has served in law enforcement for nearly 30 years, having originally joined Wiltshire Police in the late 1980s.
He was initially in uniform before becoming a detective, in a career that has seen him work in a Regional Crime Squad, National Crime Squad, SOCA and now the National Crime Agency
Nick admitted: “I was completely shocked when I was told about the OBE.
“I have enjoyed every minute of my career – there have been many great colleagues over the last three decades and mentors who have helped me progress.
“My current work is very rewarding – I remain very proud to be an NCA officer.”
NCA Director General Lynne Owens said: “Nick’s contribution to law enforcement spans some three decades in policing and our national agencies.
“He has worked in a wide range of intelligence and investigator roles and, whilst the detail cannot be given here, I can say with confidence that the UK public has been protected as a result. I am delighted that his service is now being formally recognised – many congratulations on being made an OBE.”