Posted: 11.09.20 at 18:27 by Nick Hudson
AN ATHERSTONE police community support officer found himself one of nine lives in the spotlight at a special Covid-secure awards ceremony last night.
PCSO Gavin Scott’s “commitment” to the town was commended at the first of two Chief Superintendent’s and Director’s awards which have been held over by the Warwickshire force because of the virus.
The ceremony had originally been scheduled to take place earlier this year but was postponed in the wake of the pandemic and a new in-house style format adopted to ensure social distancing.
PCSO Scott was among a group of committed officers and staff – recognised for going “above and beyond” their duty to protect communities across the county.
He was lauded for having been instrumental in bringing some of Atherstone’s most prolific offenders to justice.
As well as building a rapport with the community’s more vulnerable and troubled individuals, PCSO’s Scott’s “diligence and quick-thinking” has helped with numerous arrests in the town while his intelligence work has also been praised.
The level-headedness and calm manner of two more PCSOs – Joanne Jackson and Helena Seal – during a concern for safety incident involving a distressed woman in Rugby was also recognised at the ceremony.
Thanks largely to the pair, the incident was safely resolved and the woman was able to get the appropriate support and guidance.
And the speedy actions of PC Michael Harrison – performing first aid when a colleague was choking at Stratford police station – saw him rewarded with a commendation.
Police Constable Matt Phillips played an integral part in a long-running investigation into animal cruelty involving a breeder who was illegally removing the ears from American Bulldogs.
The PC’s dedication and work with partner agencies resulted in an 18-week custodial sentence suspended for 12 months, the offender being banned from keeping dogs for 15 years and paying costs of more than £10,000.
Local Policing Chief Superintendent Ben Smith presented commendations while members of staff were recognised by Director of Enabling Services, Tania Coppola.
Director of Enabling Services, Tania Coppola recognised the efforts of three staff members by handing out Director’s awards.
Lou Kendrick’s communications work as part of the force’s Change Team has involved the creation of branding, logos, merchandise, presentations and guides.
Her commitment, enthusiasm, effort and planning was recognised as helping to embed problem solving across the organisation while Sarah Hunt was commended for promoting and bringing the #UncoverYourPotential campaign to life.
The centrepiece of the campaign – a video starring officers and staff of all roles and ranks across Warwickshire Police – showed creativity, innovation and significantly helped Women of Warwickshire with their first major piece of work to tackle sexism within society.
And police staff investigator Caron Moss was commended for her professionalism, tenacity and dedication as part of Operation Viper.
The investigation, which involved a series of serious acquisitive crimes, resulted in three men being convicted to more than 47 years in prison for offences against 33 victims in Warwickshire and the wider region.
Chief Supt Smith said: “These awards have been given for the extraordinary efforts of individuals and teams across the force.
“They have displayed bravery, commitment and dedication to protecting people from harm and making our communities even safer and the officers and staff should be rightly proud of their actions.
“All the awards are incredibly well-deserved and it is an honour for me to be able to recognise these achievements.”
Ms Coppola added: “Our aim is to provide the best possible service to our communities and workforce and each of the recipients has played a role in ensuring we continue to do just that.
“I am extremely proud of those who have received Director’s awards, particularly during a challenging period and would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for their hard work and commitment.”
Warwickshire police and crime commissioner Philip Seccombe added: “These awards are designed to recognise the extraordinary work of those who go above and beyond to help make our communities safer.
“Whether officers of staff, everyone has a part to play and it’s important we take the time to acknowledge and thank those hard-working professionals within the police service who dedicate their career to helping others.”