Police awards Top night for heroes and heroines
THE heroes and heroines who protect our communities were applauded and lauded at the Avon and Somerset Neighbourhood Policing Awards.
After a celebratory dinner at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Cadbury House Hotel in Congresbury, the district award winners for seven categories were congratulated and the much-anticipated overall force winners were announced last night.
Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens launched the awards to replace the Community Policing Awards, which were run by the former police authority.
Describing last night as one of the highlights of her 11 months as commissioner, she said: "It's a privilege and an absolute honour to be in a room with so many inspirational, selfless and dedicated people."
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Beaming with pride, Chief Constable Nick Gargan described the award winners as "heroes", who had showed outstanding professionalism as part of a "super police force".
The officers of Avonmouth and Shirehampton scooped Neighbourhood Beat Team of the Year.
The team is made up of beat manager PC Amanda Patterson and PCSOs Abigail Elliott-Taylor, Zaheer Bulbul and Leanne Wood, overseen by Insp Mark Runacres and Sgt Matt Britton.
PC Patterson said: "We feel absolutely humbled that this has been voted for by our community and by members of the public."
The Public Recognition Award for response officers went to PC Amanda Kay, stationed at Weston-super-Mare. The 39-year-old's eventful year included saving a woman who had tried to hang herself.
The Outstanding Customer Service Award was shared by Bristol PC Keith Openshaw and Maliha Berridge, who works at police headquarters on the Citizen Focus Unit.
PC Openshaw has been a member of the Public Contact Team since 2005, during which time he has been a constant support to Bristol's diverse communities, in particular the Muslim community.
Maliha Berridge provided invaluable help to a Muslim man who had been in a forced marriage.
Volunteer of the Year was another joint award, shared by South Gloucestershire cadet Jemima Suffolk, the youngest recipient, and the Taunton Street Pastors.
Jemima, 17, who goes to the Grange School sixth form, said: "I was so shocked to win. This has reinforced what I want to do – become a PCSO."
Adrian Secker was crowned Neighbourhood Beat Manager of the Year for his leadership of Twerton and Westmorland in Bath, since 2008.
He has worked tirelessly with other agencies to reduce crime and disorder.
Susan Venn-Adams was the winner of Police Community Support Officer of the Year. She showed "professionalism, support and kindness" to the family of four-year-old Dylan Cecil, who died after falling from a jetty in Burnham-on-Sea in August last year.
Special Constable of the Year was Paul Andrews, the area officer for Minehead responsible for managing, recruiting and training Specials.
The awards were sponsored by the Bristol Post; Workhouse Creative Marketing; BT; Wessex Water; Cadbury House; SEA; Unison; Rolls-Royce; Jupiter; Wedlock Charitable Trust and Nomura.