Seven officers from the National Crime Agency, who went above and beyond the standards demanded by their roles, have been recognised in The Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Anne Farrelly, one of four recipients of an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire), is recognised for her efforts to ensure justice was secured against a prominent politician and lawyer overseas, who used his power and position to sexually abuse under-privileged children and subsequently to try to evade prosecution.
Her acknowledgement comes after she worked tirelessly over six years to build a case against the former First Minister of the British overseas territory of Montserrat, David Brandt, ensuring that victims felt protected and heard, and that evidence presented at court gave them the best possible chance of justice.
Anne flew out to Montserrat at the height of the Coronavirus pandemic to support the trial, and was there to hear directly from the jury when Brandt was found guilty and sentenced to 15 years in prison. The verdict was one of huge importance in the East Caribbean, demonstrating that the law applies equally to everyone, no matter how prominent they may be.
Also awarded an OBE is Wayne Johns, who played a crucial part in the success of Operation Venetic - the UK law enforcement response to the takedown of encrypted communications service, EncroChat.
Pioneering a new national Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) role – which has been cited as without comparison in modern law enforcement history - Wayne went from leading a small team to supporting hundreds of other SIOs across the UK in collective pursuit of the highest harm criminals linked to EncroChat.
His expertise, leadership and investigative strategy provided foundations that all UK Venetic-linked prosecutions would later rely on.
Collectively, to date, more than 2,600 arrests have been made, over five tonnes of Class A drugs seized and 165 firearms removed under Operation Venetic.
Neville Lewis received an OBE for his role in advancing the NCA’s capabilities.
Neville has worked for over a decade to successfully embed data exploitation at the heart of UK law enforcement, with these efforts underpinning some of the NCA’s most notable operations.
He was fundamental to the creation of a unique capability that exploits data at an unprecedented scale. This has directly enabled thousands of arrests, safeguarded members of the public, and provided intelligence that drives crime prevention and an improved understanding of serious organised crime in UK communities.
The fourth OBE recipient is a senior NCA officer recognised for their outstanding international work.
The officer built close working relationships with law enforcement authorities in Pakistan, enabling a number of major and unprecedented successes against serious and organised crime impacting on the UK.
These included complex negotiations that helped achieve the largest ever recovery of assets under the UK Criminal Finance Act, and the first ever repatriation of corruption funds to Pakistan.
A further three officers have been awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire).
One of those officers demonstrated an extraordinary and sustained commitment to tackling serious and organised crime threats in Afghanistan, delivering exceptional work far above the level expected of an officer of his seniority.
He mentored around sixty local officers, pioneering new tactics to disrupt narcotics networks.
As the Taliban rapidly took control, the officer was instrumental in ensuring the withdrawal of key equipment, which, if seized by the Taliban would have created substantial security and humanitarian risks.
He was also vital to the safeguarding of more than 180 Afghan colleagues, often acting as their sole point of contact and submitting emergency applications to ensure families made it to safety, continuing to support them long after their arrival in the UK.
Another of the three recognised with an MBE joined the NCA as an Investigator in 2017 after serving in the armed forces and has enthusiastically applied himself to a number of voluntary roles within the Agency, including surveillance and Specialist Entry & Evidence Recovery (SEER) roles.
His grit and determination saw him pursue, and excel in, some of the most physically demanding roles in the NCA, despite challenges from using a prosthetic leg – an injury sustained from his military service in Afghanistan.
Drawing on his own experience, he provided resilience workshops across the UK to over 2,000 vulnerable teenagers and is planning a charity expedition to kayak the Brazilian section of the Amazon.
A third officer who has received an MBE does so for her inspirational leadership, which over a sustained period has nurtured high performing teams in a pressurised environment.
She has continually demonstrated an exceptional commitment to protecting the public from serious and organised crime, such as through volunteering for crucial out-of-hours safeguarding work outside of her usual duties.
The officer is particularly recognised by colleagues for her unfailing empathy and commitment to their morale and wellbeing. She has personally supported colleagues through mental health challenges, and spotted potential in officers from across the agency including under-represented groups, mentoring them to see themselves as leaders of the future.’
Director General Graeme Biggar said: “This is the highest number of NCA officers to have been recognised in a single set of The Queen’s Birthday Honours.
“I congratulate them, and know that all in the NCA can be proud of their skill and determination.
“Their achievements showcase the quality and breadth of the NCA’s response to serious and organised crime, and I hope they inspire others to consider a role with the Agency.”
2 June 2022