Hemel Hempstead hero Frank Mason is to be immortalised in a book about real-life crime and the police efforts to bring his killer to justice.
The book, entitled Beyond The Call of Duty, comprises a collection of eye-witness accounts of police bravery, including the courageous actions of PC Mason in the 1988 cash van robbery which cost him his life.
Frank – who was just 27 when he was shot in the back as he tried to arrest one of the robbers outside Barclays in the town’s Bank Court – features in the story dubbed Ace of Herts.
The selfless officer, who was off-duty at the time of the attack, is remembered at the same spot every year by the county constabulary and his peers, family and friends.
The book, written by BBC crime reporter Ben Ando and retired police Chief Supt Nick Kinsella, details how – six years after his death – one of Frank’s murderers escaped during a prison transfer.
It tells the story of the painstaking work put in by the Hertfordshire force’s Sgt Siobhan McCabe, DCI Paul Maghie and PC Trevor Acors to capture James FrancisHurley 13 years later in the Netherlands. He was extradited from the Dutch prison in 2011 and returned to the UK to complete his sentence.
Former Chief Supt Kinsella said: “Interviewing the officers whose stories feature in the book was a humbling experience.
“To recognise their efforts is to recognise the work of brave officers across the country who face danger on a daily basis. We were pleased so many senior officers and public figures joined us to celebrate their officers.”
A donation from the sales of the book will be be made to the Police Dependants’ Trust to support its work with injured officers and the families of officers who have been killed on duty.
The charity’s chief executive said: “For many readers, this book will prove to be a real eye-opener, but as a charity working with injured officers and those left behind by those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, we’re only too familiar with the bravery of police officers.
“Donations from the sales of this book will make a big difference to one of the many police families in the UK going through the toughest time imaginable.”
Beyond the Call of Duty is available from bookshops and in e-book format from online retailers including Amazon. Click here to buy.