Police awards honour heroes

Three police detectives who worked tirelessly to solve the mystery of Carmen Thomas' disappearance, and subsequently arrest her former boyfriend, are set to receive police awards for their work.

They are among more than 100 police staff and members of the public who will be presented with awards by the Minister of Police and the Commissioner during the annual Auckland police awards ceremony on Thursday.

Detective Inspector Mark Benefield, who led the Carmen Thomas homicide investigation, dubbed Operation Keppel, will be presented with a Silver Merit Award for his work on the case.

Detective Sergeant Graeme Timms and Detective Constable Anna Henson will also be honoured for their work.

In other awards, retired Superintendent Brett England will receive a Commissioner's Commendation for his professionalism and commitment as the pan-Auckland Operation Commander of Rugby World Cup 2011.

Several civilians will receive District Commanders' certificates of appreciation, including two men and a woman who intervened to help a woman in Parnell who had been assaulted and sprayed with lighter fluid by a man who was trying to set her alight.

Constable Anthony Hawkings will receive the Royal Humane Society's Bronze Medal for his part in saving the life of a woman who was trapped in a submerged car at Stanmore Bay in November last year.

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