A BEREAVED Rugby couple have presented an award to a police road traffic officer who went the extra mile to help her community, in memory of their daughter who was killed by a dangerous driver.
George and Giulietta Galli-Atkinson have held the 23rd Livia Award for Professionalism and Service to Justice at a ceremony held at New Scotland Yard.
They founded the award in the name of their daughter Livia, who died at the age of 16 in 1998 when a driver mounted the pavement and ran her over while she was walking to her ballet class.
The award is made annually to an officer in the Metropolitan Police Service’s Roads and Transport Policing Command Serious Collision Investigation Units who is judged to have provided the most meritorious service to road death investigation, and who has provided the family of a road crash victim with outstanding commitment.
The 2021 winner of the Livia Award, decided unanimously by a panel including Rugby MP Mark Pawsey, was Det Cons Jackie Baxter of Chadwell Heath, who was praised for her outstanding devotion to duty, significant contribution to collision investigations, support to over 50 families through tragic events in their lives, and unwavering commitment to justice. The judging panel also noted her tenacity when acting on behalf of innocent victims and the commitment in the way she rebutted a driver’s defence of an ambush.
DC Samantha Searle of Catford was the runner up for the way she dealt with a difficult case where a child was killed by a hit-and-run driver, in which her evidence resulted in a charge of causing death by careless driving and causing death while unlicensed.
Giulietta and George Galli-Atkinson said: “Over 23 years, we have had the privilege of bringing to the notice of officials and the public, the kind of benchmark collision investigation and family liaison work that is a credit to the force and achieves a kind of justice for victims and their families.
“While the sentences that some of these perpetrators get are risible, the determination to show outstanding professionalism and integrity at the initial stage of the criminal justice process is the mandate of the Livia Award, and we are proud of and thankful to these practitioners and specialists who work so dedicatedly.”
The awards were presented by Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, and a message of congratulation from the Prime Minister to both awardees was presented by Mr Pawsey.
Mr Pawsey said: “It has been a privilege to support Giulietta and George in their work recognising the hard work of the police service when investigating road traffic incidents.
“The Livia Award, which remembers the tragic death of their daughter Livia after a driver mounted the pavement where she was walking, is a way of highlighting those officers who go above and behind, particularly in their support of victims and their families.”