Men and women who serve their communities, going above and beyond the call of duty, were celebrated last week at the annual Neighbourhood Policing Awards at Cadbury House Hotel, Congresbury.
The awards reward dedicated officers, staff and volunteers for their hard work in ensuring communities are safe and feel safe. The awards are organised jointly by Avon and Somerset Police and Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens.
Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “These awards are a chance for us to celebrate some of the most inspirational, selfless and dedicated people working in our communities."
"These awards are particularly special for me because the nominations come from members of the public.”
Acting Chief Constable John Long said: “These awards provide a fantastic opportunity for local people to show their support and recognition for our officers, staff and volunteers. It is clear the winners are very much part of the communities they serve.”
Across seven categories, winners were chosen for each policing area (Bristol, Somerset, and South Gloucestershire, Bath and North-East Somerset). The overall winners are:
PC Natalie Draper who works in the Thornbury area and received her award from Acting Chief Constable John Long said: “I feel ecstatic. I work with an outstanding team who are very supportive of each other in the work they do.”
Natalie’s nomination form said: “Natalie is very knowledgeable of the people and the area, working tirelessly to ensure there is a visible policing presence. She is a true ambassador for the police force.”
After collecting his award, Ian said: “It was a real surprise to see Noel again. I didn’t expect that at all, or to win the overall award. A lot of the recognition should go to the multi-agency and community we work with on a daily basis.”
Ian’s nomination form said: “Ian is a real asset to the community he serves, going the extra mile time and time again. Not only is he well known in the community, he was instrumental in setting up a Dreamscheme on his beat.”
The Outstanding Customer Service Award was accepted on his behalf by Somerset Area Commander Chief Superintendent Daimon Tilley.
In the nomination, it said: “I feel I owe you a massive thank you for the help and support you gave me over the past few weeks. Because of you I now look up to the police with huge respect. Thank you, you potentially saved my life.”
Bristol Area Commander Chief Superintendent Jon Reilly accepted the award from Paul Hackett of sponsor Key Forensics as PC James Diffey was unable to attend the ceremony.
The person who nominated James said in their nomination form: “Because of PC James Diffey I have gone from victim to survivor. By being so calm and words of help and reassurance he saved my life as he made me feel that I did have a choice. Thanks to James I am alive, happy and safe.”
After receiving their award Sergeant Andy Murphy said: “The team were absolutely delighted to hear they had won the award. Halcon One is a truly a multi-agency team and includes the community and it is great that the other partners have been recognised for their contribution through the team award.”
The nomination for the Halcon One team said: “This is the most brilliant example of policing there is - the multi-agency approach is amazing. This team is accessible and approachable and give more of their time than you could ever expect.”
SC Ryan Cox who is based in Bristol received his award from David Farrell, Chief Officer of the Special Constabulary. On receiving the award Ryan said: “When I found out I’d won I was gobsmacked to be honest. I don’t expect anything though for being a Special Constable, I do it because I love the job.”
Ryan’s nomination form said: “Ryan shows tremendous commitment and dedication to volunteering and supporting policing the communities of Bristol. He has a wonderful manner with people and is a calming influence in many situations.”
Winner Michael Rich supports the running of Community Speedwatch in Bath and North-East Somerset. After receiving the award Michael said: “It was very good for them to consider me for these awards. There is a lot more work to do and there are almost 250 volunteers across the area and any of them could have won it.”
Michael’s nomination form said: “Michael has shown extreme dedication and professionalism in his role as the local Community Speedwatch Administrator. We are extremely grateful to Michael for his constant hard work and enthusiasm.”