Award nominations for Gorleston police

The dedication and initiative of Norfolk police officers has been recognised after they won a string of nominations for prestigious national awards.

Jane's Police Review Gala Awards are the most influential awards in policing. This year's event will take place in London next month and will be attended by key figures including home secretary Theresa May.

Three Norfolk officers and one team have been nominated after winning praise for going beyond the call of duty to serve the public.

Mrs May said: 'Police officers across the country demonstrate commitment and courage on a daily basis. These awards rightly celebrate special examples of dedication and bravery.'

PC Jason Howell, based in Gorleston, has been shortlisted for Community Police Officer of the Year.

He won praise for enlisting the help of a reformed criminal to tackle shoplifting. Working with the offender, he was able to identify why certain stores were targeted at certain times and helped retailers protect their businesses.

He overhauled the town's CCTV system and organised a Christmas 'shopwatch' scheme to help the force build up intelligence about known troublemakers.

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Chief constable Phil Gormley said: 'Jason is an asset to the town of Gorleston, to Norfolk Constabulary and indeed to the wider police service.'

PC Laura Symonds is among new recruits across the country to be shortlisted as Student Officer of the Year.

Based at Bethel Street police station, Norwich, she has been with the force for just 20 months. She regularly volunteers for extra duties such as policing public events, representing the force at a local youth leadership course, or taking on extra responsibility in the management of a missing persons database.

To improve the handling of domestic abuse cases, she arranged for community support officers to visit the homes of victims – a scheme which will be trialled more widely later this year. The force also praised her resilience in restraining an offender who punched her in the face soon after she went out on independent patrol.

Mr Gormley said she had 'laid the foundation for an excellent career with the constabulary.'

PCSO Joanne Robotham, from the Fakenham safer neighbourhood team, is shortlisted for Community Support Officer of the Year. She has been involved in supporting a local school over the past two years, providing support and guidance on issues ranging from crime-related incidents to supporting less able children.

She was also the driving force behind the implementation of a 'designated public place order' to tackle antisocial behaviour on a street in Fakenham.

The Magdalen and Bradwell local delivery unit and the NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Bradwell district nursing team has also been shortlisted in the Diversity in Action category. This follows Operation Comfort, designed to protect vulnerable elderly people for anti-social behaviour.