Community heroes from across Avon and Somerset have been presented with ‘PCC Pride Awards’ in recognition of their outstanding work at a ceremony held at Police Headquarters in Portishead today (Tuesday, August 18, 2015).
Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens was joined by Avon and Somerset Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Watson for the ceremony to celebrate officers and staff making a difference in the communities that they serve.
Nominations came from members of the public, from across Avon and Somerset and recipients included police officers, a police community support officer and a local council Anti-Social Behaviour Caseworker.
PCC Sue Mountstevens said: “It is clear from my discussions with local people that there are many individuals going above and beyond what is expected of them. These silent stars play an outstanding role in making our communities safer and stronger. They are a credit to the public that they serve and it is important that we take the time to recognise their exceptional work.”
PCC Pride Awards were presented to the following individuals:
PC Stuart King – Bristol
Stuart is responsible for the dementia missing person harm reduction initiative through the use of a GPS safety device. While attending a dementia awareness meeting, Stuart met a representative from the Bristol Dementia Action alliance Group, whose wife lives with dementia. During their conversation, they discussed a GPS monitoring device which aided services in the search for missing dementia sufferers. He recognised the benefits of the scheme and following a lot of hard work, the device is now available and supporting people in their everyday lives.
Stuart was nominated by Pat Lacey, whose husband suffers from dementia and uses a device, she said: “The monitor gives my husband freedom and provides me with reassurance every day. Stuart has been brilliant.”
PC King said: “It is lovely to know that the initiative is helping people to feel safe and secure. It’s not a substitute for care but will hopefully give many people a degree of autonomy that they may not otherwise have.”
PC Gemma Harper and Clair Sandilands – Weston-super-Mare
Gemma is the Weston-super-Mare Beat Manager and Clair Sandilands is a North Somerset Council Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) Caseworker. The pair introduced a dispersal zone in the town centre, which gave officers the power to move on any group causing a nuisance. They continued by spending months collating evidence and building a case for Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBO) for two persistent street drinkers. The offenders regularly caused harassment, alarm and distress to the local community, including assaulting and obstructing police officers who were called to deal with their behaviour. Two CBO’s were granted in a first for Avon and Somerset Police, which bans both men from being drunk in public and should go some way to tackling the issues.
They have been nominated by town centre Manager Steve Townsend for their partnership working in tackling alcohol-related ASB. He said: “They do this not for recognition but because it is the right thing for the public. They really are unsung heroes.”
PC Martin Hudd – Fishponds
Martin helped to diffuse community tension and was nominated by a Mr Dowsett, who had been reluctant to contact police regarding the issues he was facing. He was concerned that time may not get spent on a matter which was not deemed an emergency but Martin put his mind at rest.
Mr Dowsett said “Martin listened, understood and believed me. He dealt with the matter so skilfully and is a great example of effective and efficient policing.”
PC Hudd said: “This nomination was completely out of the blue. I do my job to provide long term solutions to problems experienced in the local community rather than to get recognition but I’m delighted to receive this award.”
PCSO Sheryl Drewitt – Filton
Sheryl was nominated by a local resident after she helped them in securing and gating several of the alleyways at the back of their homes in the Filton area of Bristol. After residents had campaigned for seven years, Sheryl helped to secure funding, rallied support and implemented the necessary changes to secure the area. Sheryl was described as being relentless in her support of the local residents – she knocked on many doors, communicated with the wider community about the necessity of the changes and even helped in negotiating quotes with contractors. Her dedication to the cause has resulted in her nickname within the local community, the “Alley Gate Queen”
Sheryl’s nominator said: “We really needed her help and she was there for us, all the time – and believe me, it took time! Thank you so much Sheryl.”
Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Drewitt said: “I was shocked but overjoyed to be nominated for an award. I became a PCSO 12 years ago and am honoured to serve the community that I live in myself. I was happy to act as a driving force for the local project, which will reduce crime and make residents feel more secure, but I could not have done it without the passion and support of local residents.”
PC Chris Rogers – Emersons Green and Chipping Sodbury
Chris is a response officer who has been nominated for his brilliant, honest and non-biased approach to policing. The local family who nominated Chris wrote in their letter that they’d like Chris to be recognised for his high standard of professionalism; he showed empathy and compassion when dealing with the family. They described him as dedicated in getting to the truth and remained completely impartial throughout.
The nomination said: “We have never met such a genuinely nice person who is as sincere as Chris. Our family hold him in very high esteem.”
PC Rogers said: “I am surprised and delighted to have been nominated. I was simply doing my job – listening and helping members of the public. It means a lot to me that it has touched the local community.”
If you would like to nominate someone for the PCC’s Pride Awards click here.
People are encouraged to put names forward as nominations for the PCC’s Pride Awards. The awards are open all year round and decisions will be made quarterly.
Posted on Tuesday 18th August 2015