Two detectives who helped bring a former Eastbourne doctor who sexually abused children to justice have received awards.
Detective Constable Tina Baptista and Detective Constable Katy Hartley tirelessly carried out a complex investigation, culminating in a trial in December last year.
Sivaguru Narendran, known as Dr John Narendran, 78, of Sackville Road, Hailsham was found guilty of 13 counts of indecent assault.
He was jailed for 12 years. Click here to read the full story.
DC Baptista and DC Hartley were recognised at a special ceremony alongside other officers, staff and members of the public - all for their work with Public Protection Command.
'We will do everything we can to bring those responsible to justice'
All Narendran's victims were young boys who came into contact with him while he was working as a doctor at The Horder Centre, Crowborough and Eastbourne District General Hospital, police said.
Judge Barnes also praised Sussex Police detectives DC Baptista and DC Hartley after the trial for their work in getting justice for the victims.
DC Hartley said: “I hope the outcome helps the victims gain some closure on what happened to them and shows others we will take these reports very seriously and will do everything we can to bring those responsible to justice.”
Praise for staff at Public Protection Command
Chief Superintendent Jayne Dando, Head of the Public Protection Command, said: “Our officers and staff protect some of the most vulnerable people across Sussex.
"We work closely with partners and other police teams to protect both children and adults who are vulnerable through domestic abuse, sexual abuse or because of their mental health or circumstance. We also have strategic force responsibility for working with other agencies in the management of some of the most dangerous offenders in Sussex.
“It is an increasingly complex and challenging area of work, and the demand is growing all the time, but it can also be highly professionally satisfying.
“Our work is usually unseen by the general public, but although we do not wear uniform or patrol the streets we are still very much at the front line of operational policing.
“Much of what my teams do involves exposure to some of the most distressing and challenging personal situations, whether with victims or offenders, in our society.
“I am very proud of the dedication and resolute professionalism that our officers and staff show every day.”
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Police commissioner: 'Considerate approach and excellent investigative capabilities'
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “The police officers and staff who work in public protection roles rarely get the public recognition they deserve because of the sensitive nature of their investigations and the confidentiality they must provide to protect victims.
“I have spoken to many victims of sexual assault, exploitation and abuse and they tell me just how much they appreciated the way public protection officers treated them during the most distressing and frightening times, building the necessary trust for victims to provide evidence to identify and prosecute offenders.
“On behalf of those victims and the countless others that you deal you, I want to thank and commend you all for your patient and considerate approach and excellent investigative capabilities.”
For a variety of legal and personal reasons, it is not possible to report publicly on many of the awards at this time.
Anyone who is the victim of such offences, or knows anyone who is, can contact Sussex Police online or by calling 101 and arrange to talk in confidence to experienced investigators.