Safer Awards 2020 winners
Special Constable of the Year – Special Sergeant Shane Philips (Bishops Waltham)
Special Sergeant Philips has proven himself to be a highly capable officer, dealing confidently with many complex incidents. Two notable incidents took place at the end of 2018, in one case, while single crewed, he stopped a car that contained a number of identified perfume thieves, recovering many thousands of pounds worth of high grade perfume and resulting in four people being charged with theft. Two days later, he stopped a van being driven by a high risk missing person who was believed to be on route to attack another person. Shane intervened before the subject was able to achieve his aim, putting himself in harm’s way to protect the public and arresting a known violent individual. Not a bad week in the office!
Last year, he also used local knowledge and initiative to link a burnt out vehicle with an ongoing murder investigation, and was also the first on scene at a stabbing incident and had to administer Emergency First Aid to the individual. Congratulations on your awards, Shane.
Special Constable Team of the Year – Special Constabulary Arrests Team (Northern area)
This is a team that have taken on a challenge and delivered on all fronts. In a focused three month period last year, they completed 19 shifts and made 14 arrests directly, assisted with another 4, and called upon 66 properties to update intelligence. This was all on top of the usual response work.
The feedback from their Regular colleagues has been very positive and the arrests carried out by this team have helped bring offenders to justice, reduce the risk of associated harm to the public, reduce the demand placed upon others who have managing these outstanding suspects, and provided a unique opportunity for professional skills development as well as demonstrating how the Constabulary can be more effective and efficient in how they utilise their existing Special Constables. Congratulations to the whole team.’
Special Police Support Volunteer of the Year – Alfie Payne from Winchester Community Court
Alfie started volunteering with Winchester community court when he was 14 years old, progressing into the coordinator role due to his commitment and desire to have more involvement.
Alfie has adapted the processes to ensure that he is fully utilised and can take some of the pressure away from the leaders. Alfie has improved the procedure for completing the paperwork, making this electronic so it can be worked on anywhere, allowing people’s time to be used more efficiently whilst allowing the leaders to see the progress being made.
Alfie has shown a real passion in delivering community court and continually looking at ways the service delivery can be improved. He attends senior meetings and is able to give the viewpoint from a young person, ensuring that the programme stays relevant. He regularly takes on additional work to assist in training. mentoring new volunteers and has arranged additional training when he has identified an issue.
Police Support Volunteer Team of the Year – Chaplaincy Team
The Force Chaplaincy Team, led by Lead Chaplain Reverend Dom Jones, offer personal, practical and spiritual care to all officers, staff and their families through operational support, being a resource where faith and operational issues interact; by supporting police personnel when dealing with major and critical incidents, and by always having a smile on their faces and usually a bag of cakes!
The basic principle of chaplaincy is to provide safe, independent, confidential support and understanding to all, whether or not they have a defined religious belief.
But don’t just take my word from it, some of the phases used around the force have included “an integral part of the team”, “excellent/helpful/supportive,” “making a big difference”, “nothing short of superb”, “an ear to listen and a shoulder to lean on”. Warm words indeed, many congratulations to Dom and the team.
Police Cadet of the Year – Teigan Bailey (New Forest)
Op Koeman and Op Cloak are both initiatives run by the New Forest Local Policing Team that are designed to address and reduce volume crime affecting the lives of people in those communities, and Teigan has been involved in both.
Operation Koeman involves a preventative approach to tackling vehicle crime in beauty spot car parks where cadets and local officers have carried out extensive patrols and engagement with members of the public, with the intention of identifying potential victims and educating them in respect of keeping their vehicles and possessions safe whilst using the car parks.
Operation Cloak is similar to Op Koeman but relates to a joint preventative response to tackling burglaries within the New Forest area. Teigan has assisted on numerous occasions and provided valuable crime prevention advice and reassurance to local residents.
Teigan has a clear understanding of the objectives and benefits of both operations. She encourages her peers to assist, and has mentored them to assist with these and similar operations which greatly assist the local policing team. Congratulations Teigan.
Police Cadet Team of the Year Award – Portsmouth North Cadet Unit
Through their positive engagement with the community, the Portsmouth North cadets have received a grant from the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth to go towards their Unit. They also have a positive relationship with the Mayor, thanks to the commitment of the Staff and the Cadets to volunteer in the City. As such, this year the Unit has volunteered more than 400 hours which, between just 4 Cadets and 4 Staff, equates to nearly 54 hours per team member, a remarkable effort. Such events the Cadets have been involved with include the Great South Run, the Poppy Appeal and Remembrance Day. The Cadets also secured funding from the Tesco coin collection, all of which goes towards improving the wellbeing of the Cadets and the running of the Unit. Congratulations to the Portsmouth North cadets.
Police Cadet Leader of the Year Award – Cadet Leader Matthew James (Portsmouth South)
Matthew has always taken on and managed tasks which are over and above what is expected of him as a volunteer. He is always willing to help and has been a tremendous support to the cadet central team, and to other units and leaders.
He is a role model to other leaders within the scheme and represents the Constabulary to the highest standards. He is committed to his role and his cadets and the force continually receive outstanding feedback from staff internally and partners regarding the work that he has done with cadets.
He is most deserving of this nomination and recognition for his contribution to the cadet scheme. Congratulations Matthew.
Youth Commission Volunteer of the Year – posthumous award to James Bowman (Basingstoke)
It is with great sadness that James Bowman passed away just before receiving his Safer Award from the Police and Crime Commissioner. James’s father asked that the award was still made at this event. In James’ memory and to recognise the significant contributions he made, the Youth Commission Volunteer of the Year was posthumously awarded to James Bowman.
James has been a volunteer with the Youth Commission for 3 years, and last year took on additional responsibility to lead a team of members looking at the issue of serious violence. James fully embraced the role, showing great skills in terms of encouraging and developing members, leading by example. James has relished the opportunity to throw himself into training to ensure his knowledge is up to date, and representing young people’s voices at Violence Reduction Group meetings across the area.
James’ passion to change his peer’s lives for the better is always visible, and he constantly champions for young people from all backgrounds to have their say. He has met with young offenders to listen to their views, as well as running numerous workshops with groups such as the Princes trust and YMCA.
James is a team player who will always step up in all elements of the youth commission. During lockdown, he embraced a new challenge and learnt how to create and edit a video of members work to share on our social media platforms, as well as posting daily inspirational quotes to the rest of the volunteers to keep their spirits up – truly living the “we’re in this together” motto.
The issue of serious violence is never far from his thoughts though and the plans he had made for a peace sculpture in Basingstoke were not going to be stopped by a pandemic! Adapting the original idea for a large scale project, he met with various agencies and agreement was reached to work in partnership with Hampshire Cultural Trust to commission a sculptor to run workshops with small numbers of young people who are at risk of, or have experienced, knife crime.
James attended the sessions to hear from the young people and educate them on the causes and devastating effects carrying knives can bring. During one workshop, MP Maria Miller visited and he impressed her with his desire to make a difference, and then took it in his stride when interviewed by BBC South Today moments later.
Independent Custody Visitor Panel of the Year – the Isle of Wight Panel, Richard Gulley (Isle of Wight)
The Isle of Wight Panel led by Richard Gully have been a shining example to the rest of the county of how to operate, embracing diversity and supporting new team members through excellent standards of training, teamwork and flexibility.
They have piloted new working practices and improved data collection methods. Every team member has been dedicated to providing an excellent level of service to the Scheme and have made special effort to ensure that detainees are well cared for and treated with dignity while in custody.
Among other routine duties, Richard has devised a training logbook to ensure that new team members are aware of the standards and benchmarks required to meet the national standard of custody visiting, this will be adopted by other panels.
Independent Custody Visitor of the Year Award – Carol Green (Timsbury, near Romsey) and Pauline Shorney (Romsey) from the South West Panel (joint winners)
Carol and Pauline have both made exceptional contributions to custody visiting, and they have gone beyond their roles to support the safety of those in custody during the pandemic. They were the only two members of the South West Panel that did not fall into a vulnerable group and could therefore continue visiting.
Both Carol and Pauline willingly volunteered to continue frequent visiting, ensuring the wellbeing, safety and dignity of the detainees during a period of great uncertainty and rapid change.
Their exceptional services to custody visiting, particularly during COVID-19, have ensured that OPCC was able to monitor vulnerable people facing difficult times.
Carol will be moving away from Hampshire early next year after five years of service as a volunteer and will be sadly missed by the South West panel.
Neighbourhood Watch Volunteer of the Year – Kate Bishop (Basingstoke)
Kate has supported Neighbourhood Watch in Basingstoke by working on the steering committee and also taking on the extra task of Secretary, which is in addition to her primary role as an area co-ordinator.
Working with the Neighbourhood police team and borough councillors, she has managed to increase the Neighbourhood Watch coverage and now there are over 1200 members. Much of this increased traction is down to raising the Neighbourhood Watch profile on social media.
Her communications network shares information on crime and safety issues as well as many matters of community interest, and Kate is eager to ‘signpost’ members to relevant resources.
She has brought social media expertise to the Basingstoke group and is eager to share her knowledge with other schemes. She has arranged monthly meetings for members and the public where they can meet Councillors and Neighbourhood Watch representatives to discuss mutual concerns.
Kate is a younger member of the team who has made a valuable input to community safety in Basingstoke.
Outstanding Volunteer in Offender Management – Ian Sparshott (Southampton)
Ian is a volunteer with the Community Rehabilitation Company, which provides probation services for low and medium risk offenders across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, including Southampton and Portsmouth.
He has dedicated the past 3 years to this, completing over 700 hours volunteering both in the support group and meeting service users in the Southampton area. He has brought extensive benefits to service users and to other volunteer mentors, some of which have also been service users.
Ian’s commitment has undoubtedly contributed to the survival and impact of a local network group that assists service users to secure housing and part or full-time employment.
Ian’s lived experience as an ex-service user gains him the respect of the service users, it has also enabled him to help other volunteers better understand their role. He has had a real impact on the development, support and motivation of other volunteers, playing a significant role in their training.
Ian’s commitment, resourcefulness and creativity has not faltered during the pandemic. His continued support has been of huge value during the really challenging months that the first lockdown presented to the service; impacting not just the service’s management and support of service users, but also the services of other organisations that work alongside them.
Outstanding Volunteer Support to Victims – Lorraine Perry-Murdoch (Milford on Sea)
Lorraine has been volunteering with the Victim Care Service for nearly 4 years. Over this period, the service has continually strived to improve the support offered to victims, and Lorraine has been reliable and consistent throughout. She is a strong advocate for the VCS, attending events to highlight and promote the service.
Lorraine has trained in a multitude of crime types including Hate Crime, Road Traffic Collisions, Harassment and Sexual Violence and always give her everything to support clients, including actively listening to their needs and completing safety planning, all showing compassion and empathy as the service looks to build the resilience of their clients. Lorraine is not afraid to push for more for her clients, whether that is encouraging them or advocating on their behalf.
Despite all the challenges that COVID-19 has brought, Lorraine has remained a full supporter of the Victim Care Service and has provided support to more than 15 individuals since March alone. Lorraine is an active member of the volunteering team, attending volunteer meetings regularly and is always amongst the first to volunteer for any tasks that need a helping hand.
The VCS really cannot stress how valuable the support is that Lorraine gives to clients, assisting them to move beyond the crime, and how much the VCS appreciate all the time and effort she puts into her volunteering.
Commissioned Partner Volunteer of the Year Award – Cliff McCelland (Chandlers Ford)
Cliff has been volunteering with Restorative Solutions since undertaking his initial training in September 2018.
He has followed a varied path in life, with careers in the military, finance and running corporate events. In 2016, Cliff was ordained at Winchester Cathedral alongside his wife, Sarah. He joined the chaplaincy team at HMP Winchester and has been an inordinate advocate for restorative justice within the prison since becoming a restorative practitioner.
Cliff has been fundamental to the work within the prison. He escorts other practitioners to meet offenders, assists with talking about restorative justice to the men within the prison and has attended several prison staff meetings to talk about his experiences as a volunteer and the benefits of restorative justice for all.
One area of work that Cliff has taken a lead on is with the Hate Crime Awareness Courses. He has run many of these courses with offenders who have received out of court disposals for Hate Crimes in the community. Furthermore, he has taken this program and developed it to be used within the prison setting. Using restorative principles and having restorative conversations with the offenders has resulted in them being able to reflect on the harm caused to their victims. Consequently there have been referrals to the Restorative Solutions service and restorative processes carried out where the men have communicated with their victims.
Community Volunteer of the Year – Mohammad Alzetani from Awaaz FM Community Radio (Southampton)
Mohammad has been volunteering at Awaaz FM for some time now and thanks to him, the station has access to a younger audience.
Statistics show that the younger generation are more likely to flout the rules of the current restrictions due to the lockdown. It is therefore important for broadcasters such as Awaaz to have on board a young person who is able to relate to the younger generation more easily. The fact that Mohammad’s father is a consultant at the local hospital makes his inclusion even more appropriate, necessary and important.
Mohammad has been working hard to disseminate information to the younger generation regarding the rules of the current restrictions as well as giving hard evidence on the need for this, thanks to the first hand information he has received from his father. Together they are able to give out a message that is important not only to the safety of the younger generation but also for the safety of the public.
Mohammad has also managed to work remotely from home using the latest technology on social media including Zoom and Skype amongst others. His show is interactive, meaningful and educational not only for the younger generation but also for the wider public listenership.
Safer Superhero Award – Wellstead Primary School Cyber Ambassadors (Hedge End)
Wellstead Primary School in Hedge End, Southampton, enrolled a group of 8 students to take on the role of Cyber Ambassadors in May 2019. Alongside teaching and school commitments, Mrs Street and the Cyber Ambassadors pulled together an action plan. They vowed to work with peers from KS1 and 2 using an engaging and interactive approach to share learning and promote cyber education.
They have worked tirelessly engaging with peers through assemblies, creating staying safe online characters and an online safety notice board which shares messaging with both children and their trusted adults. Their efforts to engage with peers go beyond the classroom.
As part of Antibullying week last year, the Cyber Ambassadors and their teacher launched a cyberbullying poster competition. They received a great amount of entries which were informative, showed understanding and knowledge of e-safety. This evidently showed the powerful impact of peer to peer education.
Some of the original Cyber Ambassadors have now moved onto secondary school, but the school recognised the importance of the role and has recruited a new set of Cyber Ambassadors who received their training at the beginning of this Autumn term.
Their passion for their roles was evident during their input at a celebration event for Cyber Ambassadors in Winchester alongside their head teacher, where they confidently showcased work they have completed, and interacted with secondary school students and professionals, including the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable.
Posthumous Police and Crime Commissioner Special Recognition Award – Colin Joyce (Southampton)
Colin was a volunteer for Southampton Youth Offending Service, and helped to ensure Referral Order panels ran effectively, something that was acknowledged in an external inspection last year.
Colin was very engaging with the young people he worked with, their parents and with Youth Offending Service staff. It was always apparent that he wanted the best outcome for the young person and would always be flexible in accommodating rearranged meetings when needed as he clearly wanted to be involved in the process.
Colin was a voice of reason within every panel and had an excellent balance between rehabilitation and responsibility taking. Colin set a great example to newer panel members who I am sure will have learnt a lot from him. Nothing seemed to phase or deter Colin and, as the Commissioner referred to, he never let on how ill he may have been and never moaned about being isolated during lock down. He vocalised his appreciation for efforts of panel members, families and young people as well as staff members. He will be missed at the Panels.
Before joining the Youth Offending Service as a volunteer, Colin was a magistrate appointed to the West Hampshire Bench. During his time, Colin was held in the highest regard by his fellow Magistrates and Court staff alike. He had a very sensible and reasoned approach to dealing with those before the Courts. Colin sat on both Adult and Youth benches until July 2016 when he reached the set retirement age of 70.
Colin also had a keen interest in Mental Health and worked with the local Magistrates Association representative to get mental health diversion workers in the courts for those needing support. Prior to joining the Magistracy, Colin was a Samaritan and on the board of visitors to HMP Winchester.
Colin will be sadly missed by people working within the Criminal Justice System. His commitment to the Criminal Justice System was significant and he showed this dedication right up until the end of his life.
Criminal Justice Volunteer of the Year – the Listeners at HMP Winchester
The Listeners is a group of volunteer prisoners that are trained by the Samaritans to support and listen to other prisoners that are in crisis, vulnerable or on the brink of safe-harming. This is an unpaid role which is staffed by the Listeners 24/7. There are on average a team of about 8 to 12 people covering this support network to their peers which, at times, can be very demanding given the unique environment they are in. The group is very much a safety net for prisoners to reach out to in their time of need and distress. The COVID national restrictions has seen greater time spent in cells by the population and less face to face family contact, all of this has put greater demand on this valuable team.
Police and Crime Commissioner’s Commendation for an Exceptional Contribution during the Coronavirus Pandemic to:
- Mr Ali Beg from AWAAZ FM Community Radio in Southampton for his efforts in getting the mosques in Southampton to agree to broadcast their sermons every Friday on the radio during Ramadan. This meant that people could pray at home in a safe way during lockdown and still feel as part of a congregation during that time. It limited the number of people who were going out, or thinking of going out, and kept people safe. The elderly and vulnerable were particularly supported by this initiative.
- Tim Mcllroy, a Volunteer Chaplain HMP Winchester, for his work in the Prison Chaplaincy Team during the start of COVID and increasing his hours to provide much needed pastoral support to those in the care of the prison and its staff.
- To the Offender Management Charity Spurgeons for their work in Offender Management at HMP Winchester. The team have worked extremely hard during these exceptional times to support the families of offenders in Winchester and networking with those inside. The family’s pathway to reducing reoffending is key to ensuring desistance upon release, and the Spurgeons network has gone over and above to keep the family links strong.
- To Rachel Lewis and Phylicia Andre for setting up a COVID-19 Support Group in support of the elderly, vulnerable and those needing to shield during the pandemic. They organised a large number of volunteers to help with shopping and prescription pick ups, set up a call centre with a dedicated phone number and developed professional processes to help with call tracking. They added a “chat service” and promoted their services widely. They established the service professionally and very quickly and supported several communities.
- To Natasha Thurlby-Woolford and Angie Westbrook from Winchester Crown Court. Both Natasha and Angie have worked very hard to make changes in the court to enable cases to be heard again in a COVID-safe way. They have helped to plan, facilitate and deliver two metre spacing to be set up in the courtrooms. Changes have been made to ensure that jurors are kept safe whilst in court, including creating the space so that they can socially distance in the courtroom and the jury return to a second courtroom for their deliberations. It would have been very difficult to get jury trials up and running in the way that they did without them.
- To Fiona Sullivan and Jen Culver from the Local Criminal Justice Board who saw a dramatic increase in their workload since COVID hit, including the creation of a criminal justice recovery group and associated sub-groups. That Fiona and Jen have ably adapted while maintaining their usual high standards under such pressure is remarkable. That so many people in the criminal justice set-up are depending on them week in and week out to be kept up to date, to momentum going through such rapid change is also deeply impressive. That they continue to deliver with patience and good humour is truly a massive credit to them.
- Circles South East Team of Jessica Parkes, Sandrine Mcklocklin, Michaela Jarratt, Nin Williams. For their support of a service user, who had been convicted of sexual offences that had been facilitated by great absences of life skills, people skills and ability to communicate needs. The group found that the pathway for rehabilitation was not a smooth one, everyday obstacles that life posed threatened to curtail the progress that the service user made due to the service users lack of resilience. Combine these everyday problems with additional challenges posed by COVID-19, and the challenge of reintegrating while identified as a sex offender and the task was at times overwhelming for the service user. Through the volunteers intervention the service user is now more confident, independent, happy and assertive, shifting massively from the behaviours and characteristics that allowed an offending lifestyle to germinate. The volunteers have been committed, responsive and accountable to the community in ensuring a safe integration.