Northfleet PC who foiled bank robbers honoured
PUBLISHED: 11:23 07 April 2011
» A police officer and former dog handler pivotal in bringing bank robbers to justice has been rewarded for his tenacity with a Chief Constable Certificate of Merit.
PC Mark Beaumont was singled out after his stop and careful search of a car used as a getaway from a series of robberies, including an attack at Lloyds TSB bank, Perry Street, Northfleet, in April last year, saw Gary McMeekin and Robert Blackburn arrested and later jailed.
While on patrol alone, he stop-checked Blackburn’s red Skoda only hours after the Northfleet robbery and his search discovered a firearm and pair of gloves hidden in the spare wheel compartment in the boot.
Chief Constable Learmonth awarded PC Beaumont his certificate on Wednesday. He said: “The arrest and recovery of a firearm and a pair of gloves provided significant forensic evidence linking Blackburn and Gary McMeekin to the armed robberies.
“The evidence and presentation at Crown Court was of such a high standard that guilty pleas were submitted from both offenders, avoiding lengthy trials, extra distress for the victims and high public expenditure.
“Police Constable Mark Beaumont is to be commended for his commitment and professionalism. His actions contributed to the success of the case and have served to enhance the good reputation of Kent Police.”
McMeekin and Blackburn were sentenced to 12 years and four years respectively.
Their other targets included a string of bookmakers in Strood and Snodland.