Recognising the men and women who go above and beyond in policing was at the heart of this year’s Be Proud Awards, which were celebrated at Cadbury House Hotel, Congresbury on Thursday, May 18, 2017.
The awards, jointly hosted by Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens and Avon and Somerset Constabulary, rewarded 22 individuals and five teams for their hard work in ensuring the communities of Avon and Somerset are safe and feel safe.
Special guest and Team GB Paralympic Footballer, James Blackwell, joined the finalists and their guests for the evening’s awards ceremony and also presented the overall force winner award to the Policing Team of the Year.
PCC Sue Mountstevens said: “Reading through all of the nominations we received for the awards made me feel incredibly proud that we have so many inspirational, selfless and dedicated people working hard to make our communities safe and feel safe.
“I am incredibly grateful to everyone who took the time to nominate and tell us about those individuals and teams who have made a difference to you personally or to your local community. These awards give us the opportunity to recognise and reward their efforts.”
“To our finalists, winners and everyone who was nominated I would like to wish you all a very well done and say thank you for all you do.”
Chief Constable Andy Marsh said: “These awards are a tribute to every police officer, staff member and volunteer within Avon and Somerset who show real commitment to making a difference in our communities.
“I often receive letters from the public, many of whom write to thank those of you who have been there for them in their darkest moments. The level of professionalism, care and understanding you show in these situations is outstanding and these awards are an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate all those of you who dedicate their time to do this.
“It’s very humbling and I’m incredibly proud of everyone who has been nominated for an award.”
Earlier this year, nominations came in from far and wide across Avon and Somerset outlining the commitment and dedication of police officers, response officers, members of staff, special constables, investigative officers, specialist operations, volunteers and teams.
Across eight categories, finalists were chosen to attend the ceremony to be presented with certificates by the PCC and Chief Constable. Towards the end of the night the overall winners for Avon and Somerset in their categories were announced:
Neighbourhood Officer of the Year – PC James Rochford
James was nominated by a local resident, who for the past 18 months has been experiencing abuse from a neighbourhood. James’ nomination said: “Nick-named Rocky by his colleagues, James has been my rock and is an asset to the Constabulary.”
On being presented with his award by BBC Radio Bristol’s Emma Britton, PC James Rochford said: “I’m completely surprised and overwhelmed. I was just doing what I do with any other member of the public on my beat to be honest. I didn’t realise I had much quite such a difference to Mr Crooks, but from what he said I do.”
Response Officer of the Year – PC Anne Snell
Anne is an officer who is 100% committed to providing the best investigation. She’s described as an individual who shows compassion and support above what is expected to all victims, especially those she meets in her role as a sexual offences first responder.
Somerset based Anne was presented her award by Chief Constable Andy Marsh and on receiving the award said: “I am very humbled to have even been nominated. Thank you everyone who has supported me, especially my team, past and present because you really cannot do this job alone.”
Investigator of the Year
Presented by sponsor Deloitte’s Adam Boothby, this individual’s nomination form said: “As someone who’s been a Crime Scene Investigator for the past 26 years, this individual has a proven ability to analyse crime scenes and accurately understand the sequence of events”.
Police Staff Member of the Year – Rebecca Marshall
Rebecca was nominated for her holistic approach to women offenders called the SHE project which encourages Support, Help and Engagement to move women away from the criminal justice system and get them the help to tackle the root causes of their offending.
On receiving her award from Mike Parfitt of sponsor BT, Rebecca said: “I’m delighted to be the overall Avon and Somerset winner. My work is really important. It makes a difference to people’s lives. I work with some amazing organisations in the voluntary and charity sector who support people. I feel proud that I’m doing the job that I do.”
Police Support Volunteer of the Year – Nick Gough
In his nomination Nick is said to be ‘instrumental in increasing the safety of the local neighbourhood by ensuring he works with the police, partners and residents to provide sustainable solutions to local problems’.
Unfortunately Neighbourhood Watch Chair Nick Gough was unable to attend the ceremony, so Head of Neighbourhood and Partnerships, Chief Superintendent Ian Wylie accepted the award from PCC Sue Mountstevens on his behalf.
Special Constable of the Year – Hope
As well as being a Special Constable, Hope also dedicates her time as a Volunteer Cadet Leader. Hope’s nomination describes her as an asset to the Constabulary and ‘between her work as a Special and as a Cadet Leader, she is an inspiration to the next generation’.
Special Constable Hope received her award from David Farrell, Chief Officer of the Special Constabulary. On receiving the award Hope said: “I’m really proud to be the overall winner and it means a lot to me that local people and my colleagues have recognised what I do. I’ve always tried to do the best that I can.”
##Specialist Operations Award – PC Tina Newman
Tina has been the Constabulary’s Sex Work Liaison Officer for the past 14 years, supporting her colleagues who deal with prostitution on a daily basis. In her nomination, Tina’s knowledge and understanding of street sex work in Bristol is described as outstanding.
Tina Newman was presented her award by sponsor SEA’s Steve Hill. Tina said: “There are a lot of people that enable me to do this job. I couldn’t have achieved the success we’ve seen, without the charities we work with in particular One25. It is our partnership working that allows the women to go and get the help they need.”
Policing Team of the Year – Operation Hazel
Operation Hazel was the name given to the team involved in enforcement days of action set up to tackle county lines activity. County lines is the term given to activity involving organised drug gangs from major cities targeting vulnerable drug users across the country. To date the team have executed 75 search warrants and have arrested 93 people.
After receiving their award from special guest and Team GB Paralympic Footballer James Blackwell, on behalf of the Operation Hazel team, Detective Chief Inspector said: “To win overall is absolutely tremendous; a fantastic effort from the team and all the other partnerships agencies that work with us. We are going to take what we’ve learned from this operation forward to the next operation that comes along.”
The Be Proud Awards are only possible thanks to our proud partners including The Bristol Post, Unison, BT, Double Tree Hilton Cadbury House, Deloitte, AN: Event Services, Nomura, Securitas, Western Daily Press and SEA.