A BRIDGWATER-BASED police officer has taken a top accolade at a national family liaison officer (FLO) awards ceremony held in London this week.

PC Lou Phipps was one of six officers shortlisted from 12 nominations for the prestige Brake road safety charity’s ‘Outstanding Officer Achievement Award’, held at a special ceremony held at the House of Commons on Wednedsay, July 3..

The award went to an officer from Nottingham but Lou and another officer from The Met were ‘highly commended’ from the six FLOs shortlisted. It was clear that the standard of entries was exceptionally high across the board, and the judges had the unenviable task of making their choices in each category.

Her nomination followed her involvement with the Potts family, after Matt Potts was killed following a fail-to-stop incident in Bristol in 2009.

The professional relationship that developed was strong enough that Wendy Potts (Matt’s mother), felt empowered to make contact with Lou, after a number of years.

Wendy and her friends wanted to show solidarity and empathy towards the families of those that were killed in the Manchester Arena attack in 2017 and turned to Lou for help.

Lou’s supervisor Sgt Andy Parsons, the force’s family liaison co-ordinator, who nominated his colleague, said: “I’m very pleased that Lou was shortlisted – it was richly deserved. Formal recognition of the excellent work that our family liaison officers do, sometimes goes unnoticed.”

Lou said: “I’m honoured to have been nominated and blown away to have received a Highly Commended in the Outstanding Officer Achievement Award when so many other FLOs have done such a fantastic job without recognition”.

Chief Constable Andy Marsh, said: “The work Louise has done with Wendy Potts and her family following the tragic death of her son Matt is just one example of the many bereaved families Lou has supported in her role as a family liaison officer."