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Tribute paid to senior press officer Nishan Wijeratne by Essex Police and Suffolk Constabulary

November 21, 2014, 1:58 pm

Nishan Wijeratne started his career in the police service in 2000 when he joined Essex Police as an assistant press officer. Nish, as he was known to his many friends, progressed through the ranks of press officer and senior press officer and also went to Suffolk Police on secondment as press office manager for a year. In 2012 he returned to Essex Police. He recently managed to secure a permanent promotion to Suffolk as senior press officer and took up that role in August 2014.

During his time at Essex he managed the media response for many of high profile cases including the murder of Jack Large in Chigwell in 2007, the murder of Sandra Gant in Clacton 2003, the murder of Jay Whiston in Colchester in 2012 and Operation Dartford, child sexual exploitation in Southend in 2014.

Nish continued to be involved in Operation Dartford despite moving to Suffolk Police and such was his dedication he was even updating the media from his hospital bed when the jury went out for their deliberations.

In Suffolk, Nish oversaw the media response to the murders of two men on a travellers site in Beck Row in March 2011 and had returned to Suffolk earlier this year in time to lead on communications for the first Ipswich V Norwich football match for several years.

No job was ever too big or too small and Nishan tackled everything with sensitivity, compassion, understanding and professionalism. He was many officers ‘go to press officer and equally had made many friends across the Essex and Suffolk media making for a positive working relationship.

As well as offering his support and guidance following major crimes being committed, Nishan was also committed to helping both forces in their efforts in crime prevention and education.

In Essex, he organised campaigns educating youngsters about the dangers of imitation firearms and supported the Police Online Investigation Team (POLIT) with their education of children about the dangers of the internet.

In Suffolk, he played a key role in many campaigns, ranging from road safety to crime prevention, but had also embraced his new senior role with typical enthusiasm, supporting and developing junior members of staff in the press office team.

Never one to shy away from a task Nishan often carried out radio interviews when no one else was available, normally updating the public about road closures following serious collisions.

He was a real advocate for the police service, enjoyed nothing more than accompanying officers on a night shift patrol, and was a credit to Essex Police.

Although he had recently moved on he leaves behind a huge hole in the Essex Police press office as well as a lasting legacy of a can-do attitude, tremendous team support an unforgettable and just occasional outrageous sense of humour.

The same is true in Suffolk, where Nish made so many friends among officers and staff, who will remember him fondly for his professionalism, sound judgement and, importantly, enthusiasm and laughter.

The funeral of Nishan Wijeratne will take place on Wednesday 26th November 2014 at 1.30pm, at St Nicolas Church, Witham. The family have requested no flowers, but donations can be made to Kidney Research UK at www.justgiving.com/NWijeratne

 
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