Constabulary’s volunteers recognised at annual awards
Main article content
Hertfordshire Constabulary recognised the hard work and dedication of its Police Support Volunteers (PSV) during the annual Citizens in Policing Awards.
The awards were held in person at police headquarters in Welwyn Garden City on Wednesday evening (25 May), for the first time in three years.
The constabulary currently has around 160 PSVs who work in 66 different roles across the county. Between them, they have contributed almost 5,500 volunteering hours over the past year, despite several interruptions to their duties during the pandemic.
These include role play volunteers, Historical Society volunteers and Safer Neighbourhood Team support volunteers, as well as Special Constables and Volunteer Police Cadets.
Their support means that officers’ time is freed up to focus on frontline duties.
Chief Inspector Martin Turpin, from the constabulary’s Workforce Development Team, said: “Once again, the awards proved a great success and it was so nice to be able to celebrate these great achievements in person, after a break of three years due to the pandemic.
“Our volunteers show huge dedication and commitment, and their contribution is invaluable. I’d like to say a huge well done to all the nominees and winners for everything that they do to support the constabulary and their local communities.”
The evening started with a look back at some of the great work the volunteers have undertaken, before long service award presentations were made to those who had served two, five and 10 years respectively.
The category winners were then announced:
Exceptional Contribution to OWL sign-ups - Kim Hellen (Broxbourne) Kim joined the constabulary as a volunteer for the Broxbourne district in 2016. Since then, she has entered the details of almost 14,000 new members onto the Online Watch Link (OWL) (opens in a new window) community messaging system.
RAPPAW Partners of the Year – Jane Evans and Bonnie (countywide) The RAPPAW team is made up of volunteers and their trusty four-legged companions, who provide after care and support to vulnerable witnesses and victims of crime, to help them feel more at ease and restore their trust and confidence. Jane and Bonnie are RAPPAW stalwarts, being among the first to join the scheme in 2016. They are always among the first to volunteer for new deployments.
Exceptional Contribution to Mini Police & Schools Award for Mini Police – PCSO Richard Bunn (Welwyn Hatfield) Richard was a double award winner on the night, thanks to the huge dedication and commitment he has shown to the scheme in Welwyn Hatfield. According to feedback from schools across the county, Richard was shown to have made the biggest difference to the children involved with Mini Police.
Cadet Achievement Award – Broxbourne and Cheshunt Cadets This award was presented to the cadets who had shown real dedication and community spirit at a particular event. It was awarded to the Broxbourne and Cheshunt group for their community litter pick in Grundy Park, alongside the local youth council. Between them, 12 bin liners of rubbish were collected.
Young Cadet Leader of the Year – Jamie Head (St Albans and Harpenden) This award recognises a cadet who has made a successful transition into being a young leader and has made a valuable contribution to their unit. Jamie became a leader in 2018 and progressed to the role of head cadet. He has recently taken on the role of session delivery, planning and preparing every cadet session.
Cadet Leader of the Year – Steph May (Hertsmere) & Charles Pilbeam (Welwyn Hatfield) This award recognises a cadet leader who has shown outstanding dedication and commitment to the development of their unit and been an inspirational role model. Steph and Charles were joint winners. Charles has been a leader for more than 20 years now, while Steph has been helping to run the Hertsmere group for around four.
Special Constabulary Student Officer of the Year – SC Cherry O’Donnell This award recognises a Special student officer who has shown exceptional commitment and dedication throughout their training with the Special Constabulary. Cherry was exceptional during training and was always the first to support her teammates. She displays genuine care and compassion to victims of crime and has completed in excess of 2,000 volunteer hours, making more than 40 arrests.
Volunteer Advisor of the Year – Julie Morrison (RAPPAW scheme) Julie is a volunteer advisor for the RAPPAW scheme and provides support to vulnerable people, as well as police officers and staff across the county.
John Cawley Award for Outstanding Contribution – Tom Parkin (Buntingford) Tom has volunteered in the Buntingford rural community for more than nine years, providing a crucial link between the constabulary and the farming community.
Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Lewis Cocking said: “It was a great honour to see all the fantastic work that is undertaken by these amazing people across the county.
“The nominees and winners go above and beyond their civic duty to make our communities safer. As a valued part of the police family some of these volunteers enable even more criminals to be taken off our streets.”