Avon and Somerset Police Superintendent Andy Bennett has received a prestigious award at a national policing conference.
Supt Bennett was the recipient of the ‘Valuing Difference’ Award at the Police Superintendents’ Association (PSA) annual conference held in Stratford Upon Avon this week.
PSA President Paul Griffiths presented him with the commendation as part of the yearly President’s Awards, sponsored by Police Mutual.
Judged by the President and Vice President of the Association, they recognise the achievements of Superintendents and Chief Superintendents and the contribution they make to policing, to their colleagues and to the public.
Supt Bennett, who serves as the Neighbourhood and Partnerships Commander for Bristol, received the award in recognition of his work to develop and introduce the force’s Hate Crime Strategy and his work to build relationships with communities across the region.
His ability to earn trust from communities has enabled ground-breaking projects to take place, building key links between police and community groups. Many of Supt Bennett’s projects are the first of their kind in the UK and aim to help police officers better understand and support communities of all backgrounds.
President of the PSA, Paul Griffiths said: “It was an honour to present Andy with this award, of which he is a truly deserving recipient.
“As a service, we continually seek to better understand and reflect the rich and diverse communities in which we work, and projects such as Andy’s enable this to happen. The relationships he has built are crucial to in delivering policing services that are right for the public and as a service we can all learn from what he has achieved.
“On behalf of the PSA I would like to thank Andy for his continued dedication to his colleagues and the wider police service.”
Supt Bennett said: “It has long been my opinion that the only way to effectively tackle all forms of hate crime and the threats from serious and violent crime is to work in collaboration with the diverse cultures and communities of Bristol. Where those communities do not have trust and confidence in policing, crime can literally thrive.
“Over the past two years I have made it my personal mission for the police in Bristol to build new and lasting relationships with the people of Bristol and in particular our BaME and LGBT+ communities.
“We are using new innovative ways to engage and developing training for our teams to increase their cultural confidence and competence giving them the skills required to police in a multi-cultural society. Whilst this is a long term ambition, I am pleased to say that it is already paying dividends.
“I was thrilled to have received this award in recognition of my contribution however, I believe the success is shared with many other officers and community members who are stepping up to make a difference.