Merton Park Police Sergeant Dies At Work

Merton  HQ flag flies at half-mast

Police Sergeant Ian Harman, who covered the Merton Park and Cannon Hill area, collapsed at his desk and died on Friday (May 3).

Mr Harman, aged 47, is thought to have suffered a heart attack at his desk in the Merton Park and Cannon Hill Safer Neighbourhoods Team base, in Aberconway Road, Morden.

Despite the efforts of colleagues and a London Ambulance Service crew, the father-of-two (left) couldn't be saved.

The flag at Wimbledon Police Station has been flying at half-mast in his honour.

Borough Commander Darren Williams said: "Ian had been at Merton for five years where he was a hard working and highly regarded leader of the Merton Park Safer Neighbourhood Team. Tributes have been coming in from local people, partners and current and ex-colleagues who worked with Ian. The common theme is what a professional and friendly person he was and that he will be sadly missed by everyone.

"Our thoughts are very much with Ian's family and colleagues at this sad time especially his two sons aged 10 and 12. I would also like to acknowledge and praise all those that tried in vein to save Ian. This would be a tragic event for any borough but coming so soon after the death of PC Terry Elmer, also from the SNT, this has hit the borough very hard.

"We have been flying the station flag at half mast as a sign of respect to Ian and we have opened a Book of Condolence at Wimbledon Police Station for those of you wishing to leave a message for Ian's family".

Mr Williams later revealed how PS Harman was pivotal in the arrest of Stuart Hazell, who was sentenced to life after admitting the murder of 12-year-old Tia Sharp.

He said in August 2012, on the day that Stuart Hazell was formally named as the main suspect, Merton officers received information that someone matching Hazell's description had been seen on Cannon Hill Common. Ian immediately deployed foot patrols onto the Common whilst arranging for other areas to be covered by on an off-road motorbike.

The MPS helicopter and dog units had already searched the common without success but Ian was adamant that Hazell was still on the common. He also felt that the search was being hampered by well-meaning residents seeking to assist police. Ian changed the course of events by ensuring that the area was cleared of the public and then re-secured. Once this was done he called the helicopter and dog units back to location to conduct a more detailed search. Within five minutes Hazell was located and detained.

"This was so typical of Ian, his actions were exemplary as he controlled and lead a high profile critical situation. Just over a month ago Ian was formally recognised for this work at my Annual Commendation Ceremony where he was commended for Leadership, Resilience, Professionalism and Dedication to Duty," he added.

His funeral will be held at 2.45pm on Thursday May 23 at the Randalls Park Crematorium, Randalls Road in Leatherhead.  

His family have requested no flowers at the service. However, if people can make a donation to Jigsaw4u, a charity working to support children and young people through trauma, loss and bereavement. Cheques made out to Jigsaw4u with Ian's name on the reverse can be sent to the funeral directors: W A Truelove & Son, 121 High Street, Banstead SM7 2NS.

May 17, 2013