Dedication and hard work recognised at constabulary awards ceremony | Suffolk Constabulary

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Dedication and hard work recognised at constabulary awards ceremony

The hard work and dedication of police officers and staff at Suffolk Constabulary, and others who support their work, was recognised at the force’s Annual Awards ceremony.

Dignitaries including Suffolk High Sheriff George Vestey and Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore joined Chief Constable Gareth Wilson for the event, held at Suffolk New College on Wednesday, 13 June.

A number of officers and staff were recognised for their work including a detective sergeant who supported a victim to break the cycle of abuse after a number of years.

Award winners:

The Sue Poole Award for Innovation in Domestic Abuse Work – Provided by the Suffolk Domestic Abuse Partnership and sponsored by the family of Sue Poole in her memory after her tragic death in 2010. Sue worked tirelessly to support adults, young people and children affected by the impact of domestic abuse. 

Winner: PC Nicola Burnham-Slipper; Police Headquarters (PHQ), Ipswich.

Nicola has gone above and beyond delivering high standards of service in respect of a recent case of domestic violence.  Despite reluctance by the victim to pursue a formal complaint, Nicola continued to provide support, personal visits and regular updates over a number of weeks to the victim. This led to both a man being charged and safeguarding advice being given to the victim.

The Cheryl Lloyd Award – Presented in memory of Cheryl, who lost her life on duty in June 2005, to the practitioner or team that has excelled in the field of staff training and development.

Winner: Siobhan Hemmett; Landmark House, Ipswich.  

Siobhan is the force’s Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Coordinator. She has developed training packages in conjunction with health partners and delivered it to a variety of staff and officers as well as providing valuable inputs to trainee negotiators and police cadets.  Siobhan has been a huge influence on helping to share the Constabulary’s approach to how we manage the demand relating to mental health.

The Nishan Wijeratne Award – Presented in memory of Nishan, a senior press officer with the Constabulary who sadly died nearly three years ago.

Winner: Charlotte Driver, PHQ, Martlesham.

Charlotte is the Cyber Crime Supervisor and has always been very willing to help highlight the work of the constabulary whilst fostering good media relations. She has always been willing to conduct regular interviews for media, whether print or broadcast and, when being interviewed, shows skill in getting key messages across clearly.  

Runner-up for the award for this was sergeant Vicky McParland and the panel wanted to recognise her excellent work by way of a Chief Constable’s Certificate of Merit.  

The Sheepshanks Trophy – Presented to the constabulary in 1992 by the late Captain Robin Sheepshanks OBE who was chairman of the then Police Committee. This award recognises the member of staff or team that has built community confidence.

Winner: The Rural Policing Team; countywide.

The Rural Policing Team is a small but dedicated team. The team is extremely knowledgeable on subjects relating to rural crime and have forged excellent relationships with partners, including the National Farmers Union.  They hold meetings around the county to meet members of the rural community to establish their issues. They have provided fantastic support and reassurance to the local rural community and much of the work of the team has been recognised nationally as best practice and they are seen as a shining example of what can be achieved.

The Agnes Chaplin Trophy – In 1988 Mrs Chaplin, from Little Bealings, failed to return from a country walk.  Teams of officers, together with dog handlers searched the area and six hours later she was found by a police dog and handler in a hedge and badly tangled in barbed wire. The trophy was established following a donation to the dog section by Mrs Chaplin’s husband and is awarded for the best job undertaken by a dog team in the operational field.

Winner: PC Stephen Vaughan and Police Dog Nipper; Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing and Firearms Operations Unit (RPFOU), Acle.

In January a report was received of a missing 50-year-old woman.  Her car had been located.  Due to severe weather conditions the helicopter was unable to assist. Steve was deployed into a wooded area with Nipper. At this point the woman had been missing for several hours in dark, wet and freezing conditions. Within 10 minutes of being deployed Steve and Nipper located the woman in a dense part of the woods and, although still alive, she was extremely cold and had attempted to end her life. Without Steve and Nipper the ending could have had tragic consequences.

The Proud to Serve Suffolk Award for Victim Satisfaction - This award, sponsored by Archant, is for a member of staff who has gone the extra mile to support a victim of crime or anti-social behaviour.  

Winner: Detective Sergeant Natasha Bailey; Ipswich Victim Care Centre.

Natasha serves within one of the three Safeguarding Units in the Constabulary.  A 21-year-old woman made a significant disclosure to Natasha about being the victim of domestic, sexual and financial abuse for many years. Natasha built up a good rapport with the victim and made various referrals for support. Funds were made available to buy the victim clothing, toiletries and a mobile phone. Natasha also escorted the woman to appointments including a bank meeting so she could open an account. The female is now living independently having been supported to break the cycle of abuse.

Also nominated for this award was PCSO Louise Manning who was recognised for her excellent work by way of a Chief Constable’s Certificate of Merit.

The Proud to Serve Suffolk Award for Tackling Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour - Sponsored by former Suffolk Police Authority chairwoman Mrs Gulshan Kayembe, this award recognises the individual or team that has been most effective at dealing with crime.

Joint winners: The Incident and Crime Management Hub (ICMH) & the Neighborhood Support Teams (NST); Countywide

In April 2016 the ICMH was formed to deal with the majority of high volume low risk crime and works with the locally based NSTs to progress enquiries that require police attendance to investigate. In 2016 the demand was forecast for 50 jobs per day. Throughout 2017 demand has been closer to 100 per day. To cope with this demand the teams have implemented a number of initiatives including change of shift pattern to better reflect demand. Officers and staff have worked tirelessly and have a positive approach to problem solving.

Runner up, the Ipswich West Safer Neighbourhood Team, was recognised for its excellent work by way of a Chief Constable’s Certificate of Merit.

The Proud to Serve Suffolk Award for Leadership – Awarded to the supervisor who demonstrates outstanding leadership.

Winner: Pete Bate; PHQ, Martlesham.

Pete Bate is the Contact and Control Room (CCR) Systems Problem Solving Manager.  He leads a small team, maintaining critical CCR infrastructure. This includes user testing and training for the new digital telephony system, the most complex and exciting CCR change in decades. Pete has led his team through this challenge, seizing the opportunity to develop staff and inspire them to seek innovative solutions.

Also nominated for this award were the constabulary’s cadet leaders who have been recognised by way of a Chief Constable’s Certificate of Merit.

The Proud to Serve Suffolk Award for Teamwork – Sponsored by Mr Martin Smith, this award is presented to the member of staff or team who has displayed excellent teamwork.

Winner: PC Nikki Holley; Landmark House, Ipswich.

Nikki is a response officer and part of a team based at Landmark House in Ipswich. Nikki has displayed excellent team working skills in two areas: as an acting sergeant on the team and also as a mentor for student officers when they have been placed on both local and corporate action plans.  As acting sergeant he has showed excellent decision making skills dealing with difficult incidents, proving he has good leadership qualities by directing and supporting colleagues, and encourages the team to function as a unit to achieve the best possible results.

The Proud to Serve Suffolk Award for Innovation - Sponsored by Mrs Joanna Spicer, this award recognises the member of staff or team who has come up with innovative solutions

Winner: Detective Constable Tom Farrell; PHQ, Martlesham.

Tom works within the Joint Force Intelligence Unit. Over many years Tom has worked closely with the Child Rescue Coalition, a Florida-based charity working to identify online child sexual exploitation suspects. He frequently suggests techniques to improve accessibility of data to law enforcement agencies  and has used his own knowledge of digital investigation techniques to develop an original method that reveals the identities of offenders previously thought to be beyond the reach of law enforcement in the UK and internationally.

The Proud to Serve Suffolk Award for Police Support Volunteers - Sponsored by Mr Colin Spence.

Winner: Community Speedwatch; Countywide

The Community Speedwatch volunteer team is not a police scheme but a community initiative administered by volunteers who support other volunteers carrying out the speed checks.  Currently the scheme has in excess of 700 community volunteers across the county. As of November 2018, 12,320 speeding vehicles had been recorded for the year and a total of 7,530 warning letters sent.  It is the Community Speedwatch volunteers who provide the focus for the scheme, each of them giving their free time to provide management function, without which the scheme would not work.  

Also nominated for this Award was cadet leader William Thornett. The panel wanted to recognise his excellent work by way of a Chief Constable’s Certificate of Merit.  

Proud to Serve Suffolk Award for the Special Constabulary - Sponsored by Mr Martin Ashburn, this is awarded to the officer who has given meritorious or exceptional service to the constabulary and/or community. This does not solely relate to hours performed but also to exceptional performance in either single incidents or ongoing work and initiatives.

Winner: Special Inspector David Howse; Haverhill

Special Inspector David Howse joined the Special Constabulary in 2009 and has performed an impressive 7,800 duty hours, working almost every Friday and Saturday late shift to provide resilience to the town of Haverhill and support his regular colleagues. His colleagues have described him as amazing and willing to do anything to help. More recently David has begun working with Highpoint prison intelligence staff to conduct visitor drug operations which involves the coordination of special constables to search visitors who are suspected bringing contraband items into the prison.  

Also nominated for this award was Ayman Al-Aride whose excellent work was recognised by way of a Chief Constable’s Certificate of Merit.

The Proud to Serve Suffolk Award for Police Cadets - This is awarded to a police cadet for exceptional achievement. This could be through outstanding service, for continuous improvement or for overcoming personal difficulties.

Winner: Charlotte Rayner; Sudbury.

Charlotte applied to the cadet scheme wishing to develop her confidence and speaking in front of people. Last year, Charlotte achieved what she had set out to do when she presented on stage at the Police Cadets Annual Conference in Coventry and also spoke in front of her fellow Cadets across the county with an inspiring speech at the Cadet Annual Parade. Charlotte has now left the cadets but returned to Sudbury Cadet Unit as a cadet leader.

Chief Constable Gareth Wilson thanked the principal, staff and students of the college for their assistance with hosting the evening and congratulated all of the award winners and nominees.

He said: "On the night we heard remarkable examples of service and dedication which is a reminder of what an outstanding service we have the privilege of working in. This achievement would not be possible without the dedication and commitment of all our staff - regular officers, police staff including police community support officers, special constabulary officers, volunteers and of course the tremendous support of their partners, families and friends.  I would like to give my personal thanks to all the award recipients for the valuable contribution that each and every one of them has made to the policing of this county.”

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore added: "Following the recent tragic events in Ipswich, which have shocked and saddened all of us, the annual awards celebration was a great opportunity to recognise some of the good things in society.

"As PCC, and on behalf of the whole county, I'd like to congratulate all recipients and thank them very much for what they have done and continue to do in keeping us all safe. In many cases their dedication compassion and commitment is way above the call of duty and that's why Suffolk is such a great county.”