Town remembers fallen PC Frank Mason 28 years on

Chief Inspector Doug Black, left, and PC Chris Hulian
Chief Inspector Doug Black, left, and PC Chris Hulian

A police constable has been presented with this year’s annual Frank Mason Memorial Award for his ‘outstanding policing skills and service’.

PC Christopher Hulian, an intervention officer based in Dacorum, was given the commendation in a ceremony in Hemel Hempstead yesterday (Thursday, April 14).

Frank Mason floral presentations at Barclay's Bank, Hemel Hempstead.
 PC Chris Hulian with flowers

Frank Mason floral presentations at Barclay's Bank, Hemel Hempstead. PC Chris Hulian with flowers

The award is named after an off-duty police officer who was fatally wounded while intervening in a robbery in Hemel town centre 28 years ago.

PC Frank Mason was walking his dog on April 14, 1988 when he saw a security van being held up by armed robbers in Bank Court.

Frank displayed enormous courage and tackled the gunmen, but during his attempt to make an arrest he was shot in the back and died despite efforts to save him.

However as a result of Frank’s bravery, the security guard was able to run to the safety of the van.

Frank Mason award presentation at Hemel Hempstead Police Station. 
PC Chris Hulian, front

Frank Mason award presentation at Hemel Hempstead Police Station. PC Chris Hulian, front

The award is presented each year on the anniversary of Frank’s death to a Dacorum-based officer that has displayed his qualities of dedication, professionalism and selflessness in protecting the community.

The winner is nominated by their colleagues and selected by senior officers in the borough.

This year, it was PC Hulian who was presented with the award by Dacorum Chief Inspector Doug Black at Hemel Hempstead Police Station.

PC Hulian joined the force in 2004, at the age of 20. Since then, he has served with the intervention team – which responds to emergency 999 calls – in Dacorum.

His wife is a former Hertfordshire PCSO and is now a sergeant for the British Transport Police.

PC Hulian said: “It is an honour to receive the Frank Mason Memorial Award and be recognised by my fellow police officers for my work.

“Being a police officer has been a life-long ambition and I was delighted that my family and colleagues were there to see me collect the award.”

Chief Inspector Black said: “The Frank Mason Memorial Award gives us the opportunity each year to recognise some of the outstanding police work that goes on in the borough and at the same time remember, alongside Frank’s family and the public, the selfless commitment he showed nearly 30 years ago.

“It is the highest honour Dacorum can bestow upon its police officers and it was a pleasure to be able to present it to a worthy winner.

“PC Hulian has performed to an exceptionally high standard throughout his 12 years’ service in Dacorum, has tutored numerous student officers and has completed numerous notable arrests.

“It is his commitment, dedication, professionalism and hard work that merits him receiving this award.”

Each year, a short memorial service is held outside the bank where Frank was shot, and this time Detective Chief Superintendent Owen Weatherill addressed the crowd.

A minute’s silence in Frank’s memory was followed by the placing of floral tributes at Frank Mason’s memorial stone.

Those who laid flowers were Chief Constable Andy Bliss, Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd, mayor of Dacorum Councillor Gbola Adeleke as well as members of Frank’s family and Barclays Bank.