A REDBRIDGE police magistrate has been commended for her work in south east Asia following the tsunami on Boxing Day 2004.

Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) magistrate Aneeta Prem was in Thailand reporting back on the conditions under which police staff were working, and ensuring they were up to the best possible standards.

She was presented with her award by Met Commissioner Sir Ian Blair at a ceremony in Hendon last Wednesday, where she was praised for "exceptional leadership, assistance and support to Operation Bracknell, the United Kingdom's response to the south east Asia tsunami disaster".

Ms Prem is a magistrate and a primary school governor in Redbridge, and MPA lead member for the boroughs of Redbridge and Havering.

She travelled to Phuket in Thailand in January 2005 as lead representative of the Metropolitan Police Authority.

The main roles of the Met in Thailand were to help identify bodies and collect clothing and other belongings, Since returning Ms Prem has ensured that officers have also received appropriate counselling and support for any trauma suffered.

She said: "The MPA was proud of the role played by the multi-skilled teams of Met officers and staff - 187 in all - that were dispatched to Thailand and Sri Lanka.

"The teams included those with specialist forensic experience, expertise in liaising with bereaved families and experience in working on crime scenes and body recovery.

"The scale and complexity of the investigation was enormous and presented significant challenges.

"Seeing the scale of the work at first hand gave me a unique understanding of the complexities involved."