TEAMWORK and the specialist local knowledge of awarding winning police officers were behind the successful arrest of Chippenham murderer Matthew Chapman following his brutal killing of Russell Nixon.

First responders at the scene of the murder in London Road on May 10 2017 have been rewarded for their outstanding team work at the Wiltshire Police Force Awards held in Devizes last night.

What had started as a routine weekday shift for police officer Les Fletcher, rapidly turned into one of the biggest murder investigations controlled by Chippenham station.

Fast paced and positive teamwork by officers from the local community police team identified likely locations where Chapman might have gone to, after he brutally beat his victim first at a home in Derby Close and then on the street.

PC Fletcher was the first police officer on the scene and called for backup once he realised the scale of the incident.

Receiving his award last night, he said: “When we got there the victim was still alive. We were down to minimal numbers if staff as it was a weekday and not the busier weekend period. The team work and professionalism from everyone and the way they all pulled together stuck out to me.

“The local knowledge our officers had meant that we found and arrested the offender within the hour.

"The offender was covered in blood and we got him because we had already spoken to a number of key locaitons in the town that we thought he might have gone to.

“I think other officers realised how serious the incident was when they heard the urgent tone in my voice as I spoke to control.

“This sort of incident doesn't happen very often in Chippenham but our training just clicked into place on the day and it was exciting to be part of. I am told that the scenario is used as a training package for other officers now."

PC Fletcher joined Wiltshire Police 2004 after transferring from Devon and Cornwall constabulary.

Chapman, of Wood Lane, was sentenced to spend a minimum of 18 years in prison for the death of 38-year-old Mr Nixon.

Police officers, special and members of the public from across Wiltshire were rewarded for a range of fearless and brave actions during the awards ceremony held in the Corn Exchange in Devizes last night.