Police awards recognise “exceptional work” of police and public in keeping Norfolk safe

Chief Constable Simon Bailey speaks at the Police Norfolk Safer Community Awards (NOSCAs). Picture:

Chief Constable Simon Bailey speaks at the Police Norfolk Safer Community Awards (NOSCAs). Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

The 11th annual Norfolk Safer Community Awards (NOSCAs) celebrating outstanding contributions made by police officers, police staff and the members of the community in helping keep Norfolk safe have taken place tonight.

Chief Constable Simon Bailey hosted the event at the Holiday Inn, Norwich, where he was joined by all the shortlisted entries, event sponsors, and invited guests from the community, senior officers and staff.

Speaking about the event, Mr Bailey said: 'The NOSCAs provides us with the opportunity to shine a spotlight on the exceptional work and contributions of many of our officers, staff and residents.

'Policing is facing a number of challenges with the changing nature of crime and increased demand, which is why it's so important we take the time to recognise those who go above and beyond to protect and keep Norfolk a safe place.

'It must be remembered that while our employees are expected to make this important work a priority, local members of the community give their time voluntarily to help keep Norfolk a wonderful and safe place to live, work and visit. 'I would like to thank our partners and sponsors who continue to generously support the NOSCAs, helping us to make this event possible.

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'Lastly, I wish to congratulate everyone who was nominated for an award. With an increased number of nominations over last year and an extremely high standard of entries, competition was strong. I am proud to be in a role which allows me to lead a Constabulary so firmly focused on the needs of our community.'

The winners:

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• Student Officer of the Year (Sponsored by City College Norwich)

Winner: PC Tom Rimmer

PC Rimmer has thoroughly impressed his colleagues since arriving in Aylsham earlier this year. The outstanding quality of his work has been displayed in a number of cases including the arrest of a wanted man, playing an active part in numerous drug warrants and for his care of families involved in a case of sexual offences against children.

• The John (Cecil) Mason Volunteer of the Year (Sponsored by Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk)

Winner: Sally Mack

Sally joined the constabulary as a volunteer three years ago initially to assist Road Policing Family Liaison Officers. She identified that witnesses of accidents could also be considered victims in need of support. Sally has helped many people cope with the trauma of horrific incidents and is described as an absolute credit to the team providing excellent service and help to those in crisis. She recently won the Volunteer Award at the British Association for Women in Policing ceremony.

• Special Constabulary Officer of the Year (Sponsored by Eastern Daily Press)

Winner: Special Constable Astrid Barber

Special Constable Barber has worked on a number of assignments and operations, including many football deployments at Carrow Road and looks after new student special constables within the West Norwich district as a cadet leader.

Astrid works in a nursery as a full-time job, which takes a special kind of patience and care and this is reflected in the voluntary work she does for the constabulary. She is described as conscientious and hard-working with great attention to detail.

• Police Cadet of the Year (Sponsored by Sopra Steria)

Winners: Police Cadet Gabe Oyawa and Police Cadet Hannah Needham

Hannah joined the North Norfolk Cadets last year and was quickly promoted to Lead Cadet due to her eagerness to work hard and help others. She is a positive role model, attending all Cadet events and suggesting opportunities for further events the Cadets should attend. Hannah is described as easy going but hard working, a shining example of a police cadet and a real asset to the Unit.

Gabe is described as an amazing role model whose delightful nature inspires and encourages others. His enthusiastic and positive attitude shines at community events and his work ethic is described as fantastic. During a cadet weekend in the Peak District, he showed great perseverance during a strenuous hike in relentless heat, completing the hike, even managing to encourage others who were lagging behind.

• Police Staff Member of the Year (Sponsored by Reed Specialist Recruitment)

Winner: Charlotte Lilley

Charlotte has played a key role in reducing the number of hoax calls made to the police by children. After an increase in calls last year, she initiated an educational video highlighting the serious consequences of misusing 999. Charlie was also involved in a complex 999 call from the victim of a serious crime. Her quick thinking to alert the control room Inspector and to gain the victim's trust enabled a quick arrest of the suspect who was subsequently charged with a number of offences.

• Young Citizen(s) of the Year (Sponsored by Shell UK Exploration & Production Ltd)

Winners: Warren Ames and Matthew McCabe

Warren was involved in an incident in May this year whilst on his way to school when he found an elderly man who had fallen. Although this made him late for school, Warren called an ambulance and waited with the man until it arrived. His nominator says Warren deserves praise for his good deed, demonstrating that he acted with both compassion and maturity.

Despite all the challenges Matthew has faced, he is now leading a busy and fulfilling life, growing in confidence and often showing his lively sense of humour. He has recently joined Wymondham Police Cadets where he has been involved in several projects and is a popular member of the group. His love of The Bill set his career goal early on to achieve his Public Services qualification when he leaves school, with his ultimate goal being to become a police officer. Matthew intends using his own life experiences to help others.

• Investigator of the Year (Sponsored by Barclays)

Winner: Detective Constable Matthew Symonds

DC Symonds has worked on many serious and complex cyber-crime investigations in the last year, combatting the growing threat of children being exploited online.

His outstanding and detailed knowledge of complex investigative methods has helped to protect the most vulnerable. In a recent case, DC Symonds, while working on a separate investigation, linked it to a dangerous offender previously unknown to the justice system. As a result, a very young victim was identified and safeguarded.

• Problem Solver of the Year (Sponsored by Northgate Public Services)

Winner: Police Sergeant Danny Leach

Sergeant Leach has been instrumental in the implementation of a drone capacity for Norfolk Constabulary. His knowledge and expertise of using drones alongside a well-coordinated rescue effort enabled him to systematically search and find a man missing at Titchwell Marsh. He has since made a full recovery. Danny is continuing to working hard to support the future of police drones use in Norfolk.

• Community Citizen(s) of the Year (Sponsored by Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk)

Winner: The Lunch Club

The Lunch Club in Felthorpe has grown from humble beginnings to become a well- supported and invaluable community of people who meet once a month in the local village pavilion to provide lunches, in particular for the elderly who may be alone or unable to regularly meet up with friends or family.

It is run by volunteers who aim to bring together members of the village and surrounding area. The Lunch Club provides a social lifeline for many and has promoted a sense of community in the village.

• The Chief Constable's Special Recognition Award

Recipients: Deputy Chief Constable Nick Dean, now Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire Police and Police Constable Tom Farrell

• The Hannah Witheridge Special Recognition Award

Recipients: Acting Sergeant Amy Lucas and Police Constable Chris Boden

• The Bravery Award

Recipient: Police Constable Frances Peters

• Community Officer of the Year – Police Officer (Sponsored by Eastern Daily Press)

Winner: Police Constable Nigel Robinson

PC Robinson is one of the dedicated beat managers in Great Yarmouth who is described as a strong and ever-visible presence in the town centre, respected by residents and traders alike.

Nigel works with store detectives, street wardens and CCTV staff to help combat retail theft. He has also focused on tackling drug crimes and is currently working proactively to try and reduce street begging in Great Yarmouth. One of his nominators says Nigel brings a wealth of knowledge and policing skills to his beat

• Response Team of the Year (Sponsored by Dell EMC)

Winner: Team 1 Norwich West

Team 1 Norwich West has had a successful year and shown a can-do attitude to everything that comes their way. They carry a high crime workload and have successfully prevented drug-related crime and saved lives. Members of the team recently received formal recognition after saving the lives of two vulnerable people. Their work ethic, personal pride and standards are admirable and worthy of recognition.

• Police Dog of the Year (Sponsored by Royal Canin)

Chosen by Norfolk Constabulary's Facebook community

Winner: Police Constable Jamie Ward and Police Dog Neeko

PC Jamie Ward and PD Neeko were deployed to a pursuit in the Wisbech area in October 2017 which involved a Volkswagen Golf.

The driver was wanted by police, suspected of being involved in the supply of drugs. The pursuit then turned onto a road with a dead end, resulting in the driver and passenger abandoning the car, running across the A47 bypass into a field and then onto a nearby housing estate.

PC Ward arrived on scene five minutes after the car had been abandoned and when directed to the last known sighting of the driver. Neeko immediately picked up a track, taking PC Ward towards a large fence which surrounded the back garden of a house. The area was searched to no avail but Neeko picked up another track running parallel to the row of houses.

After getting to the last house, PD Neeko lifted his head and pulled towards the driveway where, underneath a parked caravan, he found one of the suspects hiding.

The suspect was identified as the driver of the Volkswagen who was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving, failing to stop and possession of an offensive weapon.

• Outstanding Team of the Year (Sponsored by Slater and Gordon)

Winner: Children and Young Persons – Safer Schools

The Safer Schools Partnership Team identified the need to educate children in Norfolk on drug-trafficking and worked alongside a theatre company as well as with Schools Officers to produce a play highlighting the risks involved.

All secondary schools in Norfolk agreed to host the play and feedback was incredibly positive, praising the team for engaging students in difficult and challenging topics. Steps are now being taken to expand the reach to other age groups.

• Safer Neighbourhood Team of the Year (Sponsored by Co-op Secure Response)

Winner: Norwich East Safer Neighbourhood Team

Norwich East Safer Neighbourhood Team is nominated in recognition of their professionalism and hard work in keeping Norwich a safe and enjoyable place to live and visit. The team has tackled crime and anti-social behaviour in the city centre. Their dedication to increasing the visibility of officers and working effectively to engage members of the public and businesses has raised the positive profile of Norfolk Constabulary considerably.

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