Search

Pioneering Romford police officer honoured by the Queen

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.

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 18:55
The power cut is causing delays between Liverpool Street and Shenfield

Trains between Liverpool Street and Shenfield are delayed this evening due to electrical supply problems at Forest Gate.

Yesterday, 17:08
Right Choice Insurance Brokers staff take part in this year's Wear It Pink event. Picture: Vicci Shaughnessy

Insurance brokers were tickled pink as they raised money for a breast cancer charity,

Yesterday, 16:46
Mayor, Cllr Linda Trew, with Stefania Rossi and the team at the Utopia re-launch

A beauty salon has received a glamorous makeover.

Yesterday, 15:34
Angel Williams, 13 (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

A 13-year-old Romford girl who went missing last week has been found safe and well, police have confirmed.

Most read news

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Biffo and Bobo better stay away from the town of Vendargues this Halloween.

As a state of emergency is declared in Burkina Faso, what does the future hold for its president and people?

It might not be moving very fast but it’s still causing problems.

After staging an Ebola-themed night, a nightclub has been forced to make an apology after hundreds complained about the tasteless event.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition