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Constabulary’s volunteers recognised at annual awards ceremony

11 Jun 2019
  • The event was held during National Volunteers' Week.

  • More than 150 guests attended to honour the work of volunteers - including cadets and the Special Constabulary.

  • Eleven awards were handed out, as well as 39 long service certificates.

More than 150 guests came together at Police Headquarters in Welwyn Garden City to celebrate the valuable contribution that volunteers make to the Constabulary.

Held during National Volunteers’ Week, on Thursday evening (June 6), the sixth annual Citizens in Policing Awards honoured the dedication of the force’s 340 Police Support Volunteers and 300 Volunteer Police Cadets.

It also recognised the achievements of Hertfordshire’s Special Constabulary and those who volunteer in schemes that provide independent scrutiny delivered through Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner’s office.

The ceremony was opened by Superintendent Julie Wheatley, who leads the Constabulary’s Workforce Development department, before Chief Constable Charlie Hall and guests of honour Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire Robert Voss and High Sheriff Sarah Beazley presented the awards, in front of an audience of volunteers and their family and friends.

Addressing guests on the night, Chief Constable Hall said: “Hertfordshire Constabulary is committed to working with our local communities to reduce crime, catch criminals and keep people safe. Our Police Support Volunteers play a crucial role in supporting the constabulary to achieve these aims.

“I would like to thank all our volunteers for their support and dedication. We value greatly the commitment that they make to policing.”

The first awards handed out on the evening were for long service, with 30 people completing two years, five people marking five years and four people notching up an incredible 10 years’ service.

Next up was the Volunteer New Recruit of the Year award which recognises a volunteer who has made a real impact to their team within their first year of service. This was won by Jacob Vickers. Jacob joined the Citizens in Policing Team in July 2018, after finishing university, and has provided excellent support around events, social media and the running of the Mini Police programme.

This year’s Volunteer Team of the Year award went to Operation Busi-Bee. Following the success of Neighbourhood Watch in Hertfordshire, the need was recognised to encourage businesses in the county to sign up to their own ‘Business Watch’ scheme, in order to receive alerts and crime prevention advice from their local policing team.

In 2018, 12 volunteers were recruited to the newly-formed team, to support the development of Business Watch across the county. Since then they have forged strong links with their local neighbourhood teams, compiled a database of businesses across the county, validated over 1,000 existing businesses and signed up 500 new businesses to Business Watch.

Bardhyl Agallili was named Volunteer Advisor of the Year. Bardhyl has been the lead volunteer for the Bovingdon DriveSafe Scheme for more than four years and, during that time, has gained the respect of the volunteers he supports due to his commitment, reliability and hard work.

His calm, cheerful, polite and approachable attitude and the way in which he will change his schedule in order to be visible and support the volunteers, ensures that they feel valued.

There were joint winner of this year’s John Cawley Award for Outstanding Volunteer Contribution, namely Bob Gunning and Kitty Moores. The accolade is presented in memory of the late John Cawley who volunteered tirelessly on the western side of the county until his sudden and sad death in 2011. It recognises a volunteer who contributes many hours and has made a real impact.

Bob joined as a volunteer in 2015 and has immersed himself in a number of different volunteering roles, his main one being assisting the Local Crime Unit at St Albans. He has also taken part in role play scenarios for student officers and cadets and has recently been recruited to the Use of Force Scrutiny Panel.

Kitty volunteers with the Constabulary’s Historical Society and Public Protection Unit and has done some exceptional work. She has scanned hundreds of documents and created folders for offenders, which has greatly assisted the PPU in going from paper documents to an electronic filing system. Kitty is always on time and never appears to stop. Without her, the unit would not be as efficient and the work she has done has helped save the PPU office valuable time.

Next up was the Cadet of the Year award, which was awarded to George Mugridge. Aspiring police officer George joined Hertford & Ware Cadets in 2016 and has represented the unit at both county and national competitions, where he displayed outstanding leadership and communication skills. He has served as Head Cadet for Hertford & Ware and is now the Lead Cadet, a role which involves him overseeing the Head Cadets team, co-ordinating events and encouraging cadets to attend. He also trains cadets in drill, uniform maintenance, theft and road traffic collision scenarios. He has been heavily involved with the group’s social action project, Achieve Care and led on the presentation for this project at a national awards ceremony, presenting to a group of Chief Constables, High Sheriffs and Lord and Lady Lieutenants.

Mitchell Walker was named Young Cadet Leader of the Year. Mitchell was one of the first to join when the Broxbourne cadet unit was formed and subsequently became the first to complete the entire National Volunteer Police Cadet (NVPC) workbook. He was selected as Broxbourne’s Mayor Cadet for the year September 2016 and went on to become the group’s first Young Leader in January 2019. He is always one of the first to arrive and last to leave at cadet sessions and, without being asked, he organises the setting up and putting away. Mitchell’s positive attitude has encouraged other cadets to follow in his footsteps.

Cadet Leader of the Year was awarded to Kevan Ball. Kevan has been a Cadet Leader at Watford for 20 years and, despite working full time as an Safer Neighbourhood Team officer, he has shown tremendous commitment. Each session he encourages the cadets to think more about the different aspects of policing and not to be afraid to speak up in front of fellow cadets. He makes each session fun, whilst ensuring the cadets gain an understanding and knowledge of policing and also instils the importance of teamwork. Kevan encourages the cadets to participate in community events in Watford, working with the SNT or local charities.

A new category was introduced this year to recognise Exceptional Contribution to the Mini Scheme. This was won by Olivia Dixon. Olivia has introduced Mini Police into all three schools in her area of Stevenage and one school in the neighbouring ward. She has created two new interactive sessions, one of which was an age appropriate presentation around drugs, after it was revealed by the National Crime Agency that children as young as 11 are being exploited by gangs running county lines drug networks. She shared this presentation with the Mini Police coordinators and it has subsequently been disseminated countywide. She works hard to promote Mini Police and has been on local radio to talk about the programme.

The Special Constabulary Student Officer of the Year award went to Special Constable Richard Liversidge. Since his attestation in November 2018 and despite working full time, Richard has already completed more than 35 duties, totalling over 230 hours. In addition, he has assisted the Hatfield Warrants Team with their operations. Richard has demonstrated a willingness to become involved with a wide variety of jobs - from dealing with violent offenders making off and supporting mental health patients, to performing life-saving CPR. His attitude, commitment and professionalism is described as being ‘gold standard’ and what every regular Intervention team wants from their Special Constabulary colleagues.

Rounding off the evening were the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Citizens in Policing Awards, which were presented by PCC David Lloyd and Volunteer Officer Stephanie Evans.

Mr Lloyd said: “Volunteering is the DNA of what makes this country great. I strongly believe that as citizens we all have a role to play in creating and maintaining a safe community. Keeping Hertfordshire the safe county that it is today is ‘Everybody’s Business’. 

“It is clear that all our volunteers are extremely committed to their roles and I want to take this opportunity to thank them for their hard work and on-going dedication.”

PCC Volunteer of the Year was won by Ben Richardson from the Community DriveSafe Team in Bovingdon. Ben applied for a DriveSafe scheme in Bovingdon in July 2014. Since that time he has supported and guided his group of volunteers, who rarely miss a month of roadside speed monitoring. Ben has produced resources which he has freely shared with other DriveSafe groups across Hertfordshire, to assist with their vehicular understanding and recording.

The Independent Dog Welfare Advisors took the award for Volunteer Group of the Year. The team are very passionate about the role and the welfare of the dogs is paramount. All of the volunteers have shown their commitment to the scheme by attending all meetings and even freeing up plans to be able to make late notice visits. The volunteers have assisted the Volunteers Team when speaking with other forces to help schemes get up running, share best practice and provided useful insights. During the last year, the six volunteers have completed 45 visits.

More information about the Constabulary’s Police Support Volunteer Scheme and how you can get involved, can be found here.

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