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, 14:30
The fire brigade were called after a car caught fire in Chase Cross Road, Collier Row Picture credit: Derek Higgs

A passer-by has captured the moment a car erupted into flames this afternoon.

Yesterday, 13:35
Havering College of Further and Higher Education Quarles campus in Harold Hill

A college campus could be sold to the council and redeveloped into homes or new education facilities.

Yesterday, 13:20
Anyone with information about missing Tara Webb should contact police via 101 or by tweeting @MetCC

Police are appealing for the public’s help in tracing a missing woman described as vulnerable.

Yesterday, 10:30
Romford Samaritans June, Dennis and Margaret outside Romford station where they have been giving advice to people on Blue Monday

It wasn’t all doom and gloom on the day dubbed the most depressing of the year as three well-wishers gathered outside a station to cheer up commuters.

Yesterday, 09:30
A man lays a wreath during a Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration event at the Imperial War Museum in London.

“We need to respect everybody in our community and eliminate hate,” warned the leader of Havering Council.

Yesterday, 09:00
The Romford Shopping Hall grotto raised £1,887 for the Harold Hill First Scout group. L to R Joanna Paveley, Jenny Lamb, Santa, Michelle Fitzgibbons and Barbara Hall

Santa’s visit to a busy shopping centre in the borough has helped to raise nearly £2,000 for a scout group.

Yesterday, 07:00
Essex Military and Flying Machines Show in Upminster.

A long-standing air show which draws in thousands of people each summer will not be staged in the borough for the first time in 10 years.

Mon, 16:30
A dream came true for six-year-old Ishmael Belony. Picture: Griffiths Photographers.

A brave boy who spent nearly the first year of his life in hospital got the chance to walk out with some of his football idols.

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

Are you in need of a new kitchen? Try our competition and you could win a brand new one!

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.

MyOffers H&M Competition

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