Search

Pioneering Romford police officer honoured by the Queen

PUBLISHED: 12:00 12 April 2014

Frank with his British Empire Medial

Frank with his British Empire Medial

Archant

A pioneer of the Neighbourhood Watch scheme and a British Empire Medal-winning police officer was buried last month at the age of 84.

Frank shortly before he fell illFrank shortly before he fell ill

The first Neighbourhood Watch was set up in England in 1982 and three years later, the Queen recognised Hornchurch resident Sgt Francis Courtney for his tireless work in Romford and for setting up the first watch scheme within the Metropolitan Police area.

After a five-year battle with cancer Mr Courtney, who was known as Frank to family and friends, was laid to rest on March 24 in Herongate Wood, Billericay.

His widow June, 66, of Burnway, said: “He was one of the pioneers in Havering.

“Neighbourhood Watch hadn’t been rolled out in the Met yet.”

Irish-born Mr Courtney started his career in the Royal Ulster Constabulary but as the Troubles began he moved to London with his first wife and their two children.

He started teaching at police training schools where he instructed the future Mrs Courtney.

The pair hit it off in 1967 and remained together until he died.

Mr Courtney worked in forces all over the capital and in the early 1980s the couple moved to Hornchurch where they settled with their two children.

He worked as a crime prevention officer in Romford for 10 years until he first retired from the police.

Mrs Courtney said: “He was a family man and didn’t have a social life.

“He was happy at home with his family.

“He was always out of the door last and the first back home.”

Mr Courtney leaves four children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

“I can see a little bit of all of them in him,” said Mrs Courtney.

Cllr Robert Benham, member for community empowerment, said: “Mr Courtney certainly left us with a successful legacy to be proud of.”

The family wish to show their appreciation for Saint Francis Hospice, which cared for Mr Courtney in his final years.

To donate go to justgiving.com/Faye-Courtney.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 17:21

Police are appealing for the public’s help to find a missing teenager who frequents Romford Ilford and Chigwell.

Yesterday, 16:09

Havering’s brilliant young people have been rightly recognised at last night’s fantastic Jack Petchey Awards.

Yesterday, 12:36

A young entrepreneur who started his console repair and modifying business at just 16 years old, says he’s “the best” at what he does.

Yesterday, 10:32

The borough’s engineering hopefuls look set to receive a huge boosts to their futures as plans for an £11m Havering College construction centre have been unveiled.

Yesterday, 07:00

In the first in a series of monthly health specials, we look at north east London’s healthcare and discuss with local experts the biggest challenges it faces.

Mon, 15:43

Rainham MP Jon Cruddas has blasted a housing association’s “constant failure to provide quality services” after Orchard Village residents were left without running water for almost 24 hours.

Mon, 15:13

Tube drivers are to stage a 24-hour strike next month after voting in favour of industrial action in a dispute over working conditions.

Mon, 12:51

Search engine optimisation (SEO), a process to make sure customers find your business online, is a key tool in a small business’s digital marketing arsenal.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now