The bravery, dedication and professionalism of police officers who serve communities across Norfolk – often putting themselves in harm’s way in the process – was recognised at an awards event at Dunston Hall.

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Now in their fifth year, the EDP-sponsored Norfolk Safer Community Awards (Noscas) 2012 highlight the work of officers, staff and members of the local community who have all given something back to our county and, in the process, have helped the constabulary improve their service.

Norfolk’s chief constable, Phil Gormley, said: “The night was about recognising some of the fantastic work that takes place in our communities across the county, particularly when the constabulary and local residents work side-by-side.

“It was a tremendous evening and I’m extremely proud of the dedication and commitment shown by so many people in helping to continue to make Norfolk such a wonderful place to live, work and visit.”

The winners of each award category were announced last night and each received a cut-glass trophy from Caithness Crystal, presented by the award category sponsor.

Readers of the EDP voted for the three Community Officer of the Year awards by completing entry forms in the paper and nominating online.

Tim Williams, development editor at the EDP, said: “Our desire to accurately and fully represent Norfolk’s successes, spirit and community values means these awards are a great way to involve our readers in recognising the achievements of our local police force.

“A police force, which as we have once again recently been able to remind people, plays a huge role in maintaining Norfolk as one of the very safest places in the whole of the UK.

“This is the fifth year of these awards and once again the EDP is delighted to have been involved in their promotion and publicity.

“This year, as previously, we encouraged people, via the EDP, to nominate their favourite police officer, special and PCSO.

“The number of responses received is undoubtedly a reflection of the good work our police carry out and the high esteem in which Norfolk police is held locally.”

peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

The winners were:

Community Officer of the Year - Police Officer

Winner: PC Ian Smith

Runner Up: Sgt Julia Sandell

PC Smith was nominated for his straightforward honest style alongside a caring and understanding attitude as an officer with Sheringham Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT).

Comments made about PC Smith included “Ian has won the respect and gratitude of the whole town for his police work”.

Community Officer of the Year – PCSO

Winner: PCSO Martin Chapman

The other short-listed candidate withdrew and did not want any publicity.

PCSO Chapman was short-listed for his exceptional community work in Cobholm and Southtown, showing commitment, empathy and passion for the area and its residents. He often attends community events and meetings on his days off and his work with the local Gypsy and Traveller community has developed relationships of trust with the women and young people on site, helping increase their equal access to local services.

Community Officer of the Year – Special

Winner: SC Duncan Palmer

Runner Up: SS Paul Wheeler

During the last two-and-a-half years Special Constable Duncan Palmer has shown outstanding commitment. He helps develop less experienced Specials and his clear ability as a potential ‘future leader’ has recently been acknowledged with an award for Rotary Youth Leadership.

Student Officer of the Year

Winner: PC Laura Webb

PC Webb finished her student officer training in July 2010 and this summer completed her probationary period with the constabulary. Her work with colleagues and the Vulnerable Person Directorate led to the arrest of a sex offender breaching their community order. PC Webb’s beat manager stated “this was an excellent piece of practical problem solving” and earned her an area commander’s good work recognition.

She also assisted in the investigation of one murder and one attempted murder and was awarded a chief constable’s Good Work Recognition for her part in another operation last December.

Investigator of the Year

Winner: DI Rickie Botwright

Runner Up: PC Keith Wiseman

DI Botwright led Operation Feed, a complex investigation centred on the sexual exploitation of young Lithuanian women in Great Yarmouth. As well as the inquiry, there was a focus on gaining the trust and providing protection for the women who were controlled by an organised crime gang. The small team led by Rickie secured 15 indictments. All were found guilty with sentences totalling more than 50 years.

The John (Cecil) Mason Volunteer of the Year Award

Winner: Jamie (Jay) Beales

Runner Up: Peter Ellenger

Jay was nominated for his work as a Police Support Volunteer in Great Yarmouth. During the last two years he’s taken the lead on several initiatives including the night time economy and several safety campaigns for the Operational Partnership Team.

The Reach Out Award

Winner: Mandy Allen

Runner Up: PC Maria Lambert

Mandy has worked tirelessly to engage with Norfolk’s diverse communities. Her work makes a real difference to how the police service responds to community needs. Particular successes this year include engaging with the travelling community and supporting a group of African women who have been victims of domestic abuse.

Continuous Improvement Award

Winner: Policing Review Team

Runner Up: Abraham Eshetu

The team was formed to review the Frontline Policing Model and design a new structure, which would not only save £1.6 million pounds but also improve methods of working in key areas. The structure was delivered on time, exceeded the savings needed and resulted in an improved force performance on the previous year.

Young Citizen(s) of the Year

Winner: SC Clayton Freeman

Runner Up: Lucy Baxter

At 16 Clayton joined the Police Youth Panel and after two years applied to become a Special Constable. One year on he continues to use his energy and enthusiasm to inspire other young people on the panel. His quick thinking and investigatory prowess was acknowledged earlier this year with a good work recognition from the chief constable.

Problem Solver of the Year

Winner: Great Yarmouth Operational Partnership Team (OPT)

Runner Up: Stephanie Stearman

The team was responsible for bringing together key stakeholders in the town to form a Community Alcohol Partnership aimed at helping to tackle street drinking among youths and adults.

Community Citizen(s) of the Year

Winner: Reg Taylor

Runner Up: Community Speedwatch – Bradwell

Reg was nominated by the Commoners Youth Club for his work in getting the club up and running on the Gorleston estate. His efforts have encouraged young and old people to get together with regular activities and he’s established a Hate Crime Forum to find solutions to local problems.

The Excellence Award

Winner: PC Steve Downes

Runner Up: PCSO Dawn Kemp

PC Downes, from the Norwich OPT, was nominated for his work with one perpetrator whose behaviour was out of control and ended up with a prison sentence. Rather than releasing him immediately to re-offend, PC Downes persuaded the CPS and mental health professionals to carry out a more detailed assessment.

Outstanding Team of the Year

Winner: Joint Events Planning Unit

Runner Up: Custody Department

The team has delivered a high quality service despite significant operational challenges including preparations for the Olympic torch relay and operations linked to the games themselves.

Safer Neighbourhood Team of the Year

Winner: Acle SNT

Runner Up: Norwich South SNT

The strong Safer Neighbourhood Team at Acle pioneered the use of a restorative circle as a method of resolving problems of low level crime and anti-social behaviour. It resulted in resurrecting the youth club, funding for a new BMX and skatepark – and a dramatic reduction in incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour in both Brundall and Acle.

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