Police officers, staff, volunteers and partner agencies recognised at South Wales Police Annual Awards
DCC Matt Jukes welcomes guests to the South Wales Police Annual Awards 2013
The hard work of police officers, staff, volunteers and partner agencies that go above and beyond the call of duty was recognised at the South Wales Police Annual Awards 2013 Ceremony on Thursday, 10 October 2013.
A total of 17 awards were presented, ranging from the Police Officer Lifetime Achievement Award through to accolades for teamwork, innovation and bravery.
Held at City Hall in Cardiff and hosted by ITV News presenter Jonathan Hill, this prestigious event was the force’s eighth annual awards. It is fully funded with Willmott Dixon, Cassidian, SCC, Unit4 Business Sortware, SoftWare Enterprises Ltd, Niche Technology, Dolmans Solicitors, Civitas Law, Nation Radio, Cardiff Council, British Telecom, the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales, the West, Mid and South High Sheriffs, Highland Electrix, and Bettys Florists generously sponsoring the event.
Chief Constable Peter Vaughan says “I am immensely proud to lead a police force that makes a real difference to the communities it serves, and I feel privileged to work alongside such dedicated colleagues. This recognition is richly deserved and I send all winners and finalists my warmest congratulations.
“The event is also an excellent opportunity to show our appreciation for our partners, who help us to keep South Wales safe.
“I am also extremely grateful to all of our sponsors, many of whom have championed this event for a number of years. Without their support we simply would not be able to hold this annual awards ceremony.”
This year, the coveted exceptional bravery award was scooped by Sergeant Mark Davies, Sergeant Andrew Patterson and PC Christopher Bluck who in September 2012 responded to a call from Coity Mental Health Clinic alerting the police that a couple intended to commit suicide.
The couple were found at Ogmore by Sea wading into the water against the treacherous tide of the Estuary with their dogs in tow. They were quickly pursued by Sergeant Patterson, who was first on the scene, shortly followed by PC Bluck who had driven across the beach from Porthcawl.
The man and woman were eventually secured but extremely upset, resistant and suffering hypothermia, and the officers were faced with the tide fast approaching and in danger of becoming cut off. Sergeant Davies asked PC Bluck to take the couple to an Ambulance waiting at Newton beach, while Sergeant Patterson re-entered the water to rescue the dogs, during which he was bitten. Throughout this rescue operation the officers showed compassion and communicated with the distressed couple to return them to safety.
Two awards were also made for Teamwork and Exceptional Customer Service in recognition of Operation Sirius, the investigation into and conviction of Ben Hope and Jason Richards for the murder of Aamir Siddiqi and attempted murder of his parents in April 2010.
The Teamwork award went to the investigation team who trawled over eight years of CCTV footage, thousands of telephone numbers and lines of call data, which along with a public appeal and a community cohesion group led to the recovery of crucial evidence and intelligence. The investigation also involved working with colleagues internationally and the arrest of a suspect in India. The team worked tirelessly in the face of significant obstacles to prepare a sound prosecution case.
Natalie Tipper, Witness Care Officer, won the Exceptional Customer Service award for her role in supporting the 313 witnesses up to and throughout the trial of Hope and Richards.
She demonstrated superb organisational skills, tenacity and determination, overcoming a number of obstacles including tracking witnesses of no fixed abode, the cancellation of two trial dates and a change of court from Cardiff to Swansea. This was in addition to Natalie’s normal workload, which consists of an average 130 cases and 1200 -1500 witnesses.
Another highlight of the evening was the Special Recognition award which was made by Chief Constable Peter Vaughan to Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team, Western Beacons Mountain Search and Rescue Team, and Search and Rescue Dogs Association (SARDA) who serve the South Wales Police force area. These teams are staffed entirely by volunteers and provide an invaluable search and rescue service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They regularly respond to calls for assistance from South Wale Police and surrounding forces.
Nick McAllister, Team Leader, Western Beacons MSART says “We are honoured to receive this recognition for the joint work we do with South Wales Police. All our team members give their time freely, when the call comes for assistance to search or rescue members of our communities.
“To have our efforts appreciated in this way gives everyone involved in the team a boost, and strengthens their sense of pride as members of the volunteer emergency services.”
The ceremony closed with two Lifetime Achievement Awards made to an officer and staff member, with former Chief Inspector Maxwell Davies and Julie-Margaret Evans, Public Service Centre Operator recognised for their commitment to the force for over 30 years each.
Other award categories and winners were:
South Wales Police in Partnership Award, sponsored by Unit4 Business Software & SoftWare Enterprises (UK) Ltd – Operation Thallium
Operation Thallium tackled the unlawful placement of horses on private land by members of an Organised Crime Group (OCG), perpetuated through threats and intimidation.
Diversity in Action Award, sponsored by Dolmans Solicitors – Somali Community Positive Action
The Somali Community Positive Action Team was nominated in recognition of their positive action programme aimed at increasing Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) representation within South Wales Police.
Problem Orientated Award, sponsored by Niche Technology – PS Justin Hardwick
PS Hardwick identified that there was a disproportionate number of incidents of at Pinetree Court, an independent hospital. He worked with the management team to ensure early intervention and correct reporting, which coupled with an increase in customer satisfaction amongst residents and staff led to the call outs to the facility decreasing by 30% and recorded crime by 50%.
Leadership Award, sponsored by SCC – joint winners – DI Jason Davies and Carl Walters
DI Jason Davies
DI Davies was nominated for his success in leading Operation Bastion, tackling the distribution of heroin in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot. Within weeks the team had sufficient evidence to arrest and convict the local dealers, and went on to pursue the hierarchy of the organised crime group. This resulted in the arrest and charge of 34 offenders who were sentenced to a total of 110 years imprisonment.
Carl’s nomination recognises his commitment to guiding the reform work streams to implementation. His can do attitude, humility and recognition of others work gained the trust of his colleagues, and gave confidence to all that the new systems would be delivered effectively.
Excellence Award, sponsored by Cardiff Council- CSO Dominic Edgell
CSO Edgell was recognised for his proactive response to community issues. He is responsible for a number of excellent campaigns including ‘CLICK IT or TICKET’ where he gained the support of Welsh international footballers and rugby stars to raise awareness amongst primary school pupils of the dangers of not wearing a seatbelt. He has also led on the ‘Night in the Cells’ charity venture and a Panic Alarm initiative.
Innovation Award, sponsored by Civitas Law – Public Protection Reform Team
A multi-disciplinary Public Protection Reform Team was tasked with ensuring that South Wales Police safeguard the most vulnerable in our communities. The team’s innovative work spanned almost two years and secured an additional 25 resources for Public Protection Units including four dedicated Mental Health Liaison Officers.
Extra Mile Award, sponsored by Cassidian – Scott Michael
Scott began volunteering at the Mounted Section four years ago, and plays an active role within the department. He assists with the day to day running of the yard, volunteering twice a week come rain or shine, and never says no to a new challenge. The welfare of the horses is Scott’s priority and his hard work helps enable the horses to be effectively deployed to their patrols.
Specials Award of Distinction, sponsored by BT – Special Constabulary Olympic Team
This team of 36 Special Constables were nominated for their contribution to the Olympics. Operation Baton was the security detail for three key venues and the 36 special constables contributed almost 1,000 hours in just two weeks. They worked for up to 14 hours at a time and epitomised the forces values: professional, proud and positive by actively engaging with the public and promoting the Olympic experience with exuberance.
Welsh Learner of the Year, sponsored by Nation Radio – Justin Hostettler-Davies
Justin Hostettler-Davies was recognised his commitment to learning Welsh, achieving 94% in his WJEC Mynediad examination, and for his support for his fellow learners in arranging and preparing extra revision sessions before their exam.
Community Officer Shrievalty Cup by the High Sheriffs of Mid, South and West Glamorgan – CSO Natasha Foster
CSO Natasha Foster has worked hard to tackle drug abuse through education and enforcement; tackle gun and knife crime; reduce anti-social behaviour; and improve community cohesion. From this engagement work, she has also submitted high levels of intelligence. Natasha is also a Hate Crime Support Officer and works with harder to reach groups.
Student Officer Achievement Award, sponsored by the Worshipful Livery Company of Wales – PC Arabella Rees (Llanishen Police Station)
PC Rees has demonstrated an exceptional level of commitment and enthusiasm for all areas of policing, and is described as being “as adaptable as a chameleon”. She is currently undertaking a project to improve the process for police staff making the transition to become a police officer, and she has also taken the brave step to become a Police Family Liaison Officer at this early stage in her policing career.