A former matron who had her British Empire Medal stolen during a distraction burglary has been given a new one after detectives teamed up with Hemel Hempstead MP Sir Mike Penning.
The lady, aged in her 80s, lives in the town and was targeted by criminals, who have been arrested in connection to the burglary which happened in July this year.
Two men gained entry to her home under the pretence of doing gardening work and while in the property they stole money as well as the victim’s medal, which she was awarded five years ago for her services to children’s care.
Detective constable Paula Mowbray, from the Dacorum Local Crime Unit, has been investigating the case and wanted to do something to make the victim smile again.
She said: “She is such a wonderful lady and it made me so sad to think she had lost her medal, which had been rightly awarded for all her hard work and dedication. My colleague DC Chris Phillips had the idea to contact our local MP Sir Mike Penning, who has been fantastic. He was willing to help straight away and kindly sourced a new medal.”
DC Mowbray and Sir Mike Penning MP visited the victim at home earlier this month in order to present her with her new medal, before spending some time chatting with her.
Sir Mike MP said: “I was very saddened to hear this story. To lose an honour such as this cannot ordinarily be replaced. It represents a lifetime of service and is worth far more to the recipient than it can ever be to the burglars.
“I was absolutely delighted to be able to help the lady and to be there when we presented it, which was a complete surprise for her. I pay tribute to the work of the police and their kindness in going out of their way to help this amazing lady.”
Two 17-year-old boys, from Aylesbury and Luton respectively, have been arrested on suspicion of burglary in connection with this case, as well as two other burglaries which occurred in Hemel Hempstead and Watford in July 2019.
They have both been released under investigation while enquiries continue.