A police officer who was instrumental in bringing down a “millionaire” mugging ring and the officers who caught people suspected of raiding phone shops were among those commended for their bravery.

At the Barnet Borough Commander’s commendation ceremony at Middlesex University on Wednesday, Detective Constable Reg Pickering was commended for his “dedication, professionalism and leadership" in dealing with two violent gangs who preyed on vulnerable people.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Strong of Barnet Police described how DC Pickering had worked every day for eight months to help foil gangs who stole more than £2million in London and the home counties by following wealthy people home from expensive restaurants in the West End, Kensington and Knightsbridge.

He said: “Reg worked with the London Crime Squad to arrest the entire criminal network.

“He was so committed he worked every day for eight months to make sure he missed no robberies.”

DC Pickering said: “I worked to look at every crime that came in overnight to make sure the right team took over as early as possible. Knowing the pattern of the crime meant I could pick up on the gang’s mistakes.”

Also commended at the ceremony were PC Abid Aslam and his colleagues, PC Ray O’Brien and PC Silviano Muruatetu, who arrested a gang of youths targeting Carphone Warehouses in Edgware and Golders Green.

Speaking during the ceremony, DCI Gary Randall commended the officers for their bravery in capturing and detaining two violent suspects who had stolen £4,000 from the Carphone Warehouse in Golders Green, fled down the tracks of the Northern Line and threatened members of the public as they tried to escape Golders Green on a bus. 

He added: “The speed of action of the officers as they restrained the suspects meant no one was injured and the stolen property was recovered.”

The suspects have been charged with conspiracy to commit burglary.