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.

0 comments

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 16:30
Motorists on the A13 between Wennington and Rainham

Reckless drivers are endangering the lives of Havering residents by reaching speeds of up to 124mph, the fastest clocked in London last year.

Yesterday, 15:54
Lawrence Webb  ( Ukip )

A Havering councillor is standing as deputy of one of the candidates in Ukip’s leadership election.

Yesterday, 15:13
Luke Hudson (centre) with his mum and dad on his 21st birthday.

The son of a taxi driver who tragically died at the wheel of his cab has paid tribute to the “best dad anyone could have asked for”.

Yesterday, 12:16
Seven men have been arrested by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and four tonnes of toxic waste removed after two fuel laundering plants were discovered in Essex on Wednesday Picture: HMRC

Seven men, including one in Hornchurch, have been arrested and four tonnes of toxic waste removed after two fuel laundering plants were discovered in Essex on Wednesday.

Yesterday, 07:00
Parents at Parsonage Farm Primary School fought off expansion in 2015

Councillors have criticised the borough’s plans to expand schools, claiming that school kitchens are already failing to provide hot meals for pupils.

Thu, 16:29
Police at the scene last night (credit: donatassimkus.com)

Three men have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a shooting in Gidea Park last night.

Thu, 15:26
British Transport Police

A man has been identified and will be interviewed by police after a disabled commuter was pushed and slapped on a train.

Thu, 12:02
Jim Reynolds pictured with Stalkers Lily

Romford Greyhound Stadium has terminated its contract with a high-profile trainer after accusing him of “bringing the integrity of the sport into question”.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

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

Competitions

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

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