Officer who helped support families of Shoreham air crash honoured

A Sussex Police officer who has helped families affected by disasters including 9/11, the 7/7 bombings and the Shoreham air crash has been recognised in the Queen's New Year Honours list.

Louise Pye
Louise Pye

Detective Constable Louise Pye has been awarded with the Queen’s Police Medal for her services over the past three decades.

The 47-year-old joined Sussex Police as a patrol officer in Brighton in 1987 before becoming a CID officer in the town.

Eleven years later she oversaw the introduction of a training programme for officers whose roles included liaising with the families of victims of serious crime or disasters. The following year Sussex became one of the first forces in the UK to operate such a team.

Louise, who is based at police headquarters in Lewes, also worked as a detective in the major crime team, but it is family liaison that has been her career passion.

Police said she worked with family liaison officers and families involved in the 9/11 New York attack, the 7/7 London bombings and the aftermath of the tsunami that devastated many coastal areas around the Indian Ocean in 2004.

More recently, she led and continues to work with more than 20 officers who are supporting the families of the victims of the Shoreham air crash in August 2015.

Louise said: “I am extremely proud to receive the Queen’s Police Medal and hope that it will help to promote the work and awareness of police family liaison officers.

“My job has allowed me to meet some very talented and conscientious officers who volunteer to work with families in some of the most difficult of circumstances.

“For me, becoming a police officer was driven by my desire to investigate serious crime, while also supporting victims of such crimes. It has often been challenging, but has provided some of the most worthwhile and rewarding times of my career.

“I would especially like to thank colleagues who have supported me over the years, Sussex Police who have allowed me to continue in this role and to those who proposed and supported my nomination.”

Chief Constable Giles York said: “I join all of my colleagues at Sussex Police in extending our congratulations to Louise on her QPM, which is richly deserved.

“It recognises the enormous personal commitment that Louise has put in to developing the role of family liaison officers not just in Sussex, but much more widely and she has become established as one of the country’s leading authorities on what is now an essential element of modern policing and crime investigation.”

Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, Brandon Lewis, said: “The Queen’s Police Medal recognises officers like detective constable Louise Pye, who have made a vital contribution to policing through distinguished service, and I congratulate her on receiving this award.

“This year, I am particularly pleased that more than half of those receiving awards will be from junior ranks, and will be rewarded for their tireless work tackling crime and keeping our communities safe.”

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