Outstanding achievements, incredible feats of bravery and commitment to protecting people from harm recognised at special awards ceremonies
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Our officers, staff, Specials and volunteers are all committed to supporting victims, tackling and preventing crime and protecting the most vulnerable people across Warwickshire.
But many go above and beyond - either personally or within a team - and it is this dedication that has been recognised at two recent awards ceremonies.
Owing to COVID-19, an in-house format was adopted with Chief Superintendent Suzanne Baker and Chief Superintendent Emma Bastone presenting commendations and Director of Enabling Services, Tania Coppola handing out Director’s awards.
Among those to be commended during the first event held at the force’s Leek Wootton headquarters on Monday (24 January) were PCs Charlotte Davis, Calum Samson and Adam Fletcher.
Together they performed CPR and attempted to save the life of a man who was found hanging in Atherstone in May 2021.
The professionalism and quick actions of PCs Leanne Ganley and Leah Hathaway were also recognised after they were the first officers on scene at a collision in September 2020.
The pair found an unresponsive patient but managed to re-establish a pulse and carried out CPR until the ambulance arrived.
Inspector Wayne Boulton picked up a commendation on behalf of Leamington’s Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) for their work on Operation Switch.
Established in June 2020 following two murders, the operation was designed to help alleviate community tension as well as protecting those people vulnerable to gangs and county lines.
Despite being at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team worked tirelessly using intelligence to disrupt runners for county lines gangs, safeguarding individuals at risk of being cuckooed and making more than 20 arrests – seizing drugs, cash and weapons.
The “significant” contribution of Detective Constable Damian Murray to the demanding area of tackling online child sexual abuse was also acknowledged during the ceremony.
DC Murray has demonstrated enthusiasm and professionalism in his work – becoming a subject matter expert and has helped to not only bring perpetrators to justice but also identify, protect and support those targeted, exploited and sexually harmed by criminals online.
The event saw two officers - Inspector Chris Spencer and Inspector Steven Davies - presented with their National Police Promotion Framework (NPPF) Level 5 management certificates.
Detective Sergeant Amjad Iqbal was part of a team commended for its tenacity and determination following a complex case in Nuneaton involving rape, false imprisonment case and other sexual offences.
Officers from the Serious and Complex Crime teams worked long hours and were eventually able to secure a guilty plea from the defendant.
Also among the award recipients was Digital Investigator Katrina (Kate) Houston who has made a profound impact despite only recently joining the force.
Kate took it upon herself to design and implement a new training programme to help officers forensically examine mobile phones – going above and beyond her role to ensure the force could effectively operate in a changing digital landscape.
Chief Inspector Darren Webster was commended for his role as firearms commander as part of Operation Heddle in November 2020.
An event in Rugby that had the potential for severe disorder, CI Webster’s leadership skills, professionalism and decision-making along with the hard work of officers and commanders ensured it passed without incident.
The awards evening saw PC Daniel Bryant rewarded for showing immense professionalism when faced with a challenging concern for safety incident in Corley in January 2021.
With a distressed man threatening to jump off a bridge, PC Bryant was able to use his experience as part of the Mental Health Triage Team to calm him down, encourage him to get medical help and ultimately, save his life.
The quick-thinking, proactive work of PC Chris Batchelder was also highlighted during the ceremony.
Out on patrol in Rugby in April 2021, PC Batchelder noticed a suspicious vehicle, which led to the arrest of a man who was wanted by numerous forces in connection with more than 20 theft offences relating to catalytic converters.
Special Constable Adam McGill was commended having come across a serious two car collision near Stratford while off duty in November last year.
SC McGill was able to keep the patients calm, give first aid until paramedics arrived and relay critical information to the control room, which ensured a swift response from emergency services.
In June 2021 PC Faye Gardner displayed immense compassion and commitment when dealing with the victim of a domestic incident in Stratford.
PC Gardner engaged with the victim – remaining with her while she sought treatment in hospital - staying well beyond the end of her shift and helping to secure vital evidence.
The awards continued to flow on Thursday (27 January) with PCSO Katrina Campion being among those to receive a commendation.
Her hard work, determination and diligence ensured the conviction of a prolific offender after a year-long investigation.
Staff member Mark Mason was presented with a Director’s award by Tania Coppola for his work helping to design, develop and deliver a new Vetting Case Officers training package.
A first for UK vetting, it enables our force to have a course that ensures vetting case officers are trained in a more consistent, cost effective and efficient way.
The professionalism, personal resilience, and levels of investigative competence shown by Detective Constable Lisa Walker was also rewarded at the event.
Part of a team responding to incidents involving vulnerable children in April 2021, she performed to an exceptionally high standard both individually and collectively – working to ensure they were safeguarded from further serious harm.
Sergeant Mark Calvert, Police Staff Investigator Roger Hazelwood and Detective Constables Mark Lowndes, Tristan Pettitt and Emma Mackay were all presented with a commendation in recognition of their dedication, commitment and professionalism when dealing with two serious sexual offence cases.
After a woman reported being assaulted in Leamington, the team’s tireless efforts resulted in crucial CCTV evidence being secured and the defendant being jailed for nine years.
Also commended was Detective Constable Gemma Carroll who took ownership of a complex rape and domestic abuse case involving a vulnerable woman in March 2019.
Despite initial trepidation from the victim, DC Carroll carried out a comprehensive investigation over a two year period, which saw the defendant sentenced to 12 years in prison after he was found guilty of two counts of rape and one of actual bodily harm (ABH).
Detective Constable Alex Brown was praised for his response to a report of items being stolen from a trailer on Castle Mound Way in Rugby on 15 January 2020.
Along with another colleague, the pair were involved in a lengthy foot chase over dark and muddy fields and ultimately were able to secure the arrest of two individuals.
The speedy actions of Detective Constable Chloe Betteridge – who came across an 80-year-old man collapsed in the street while driving home from work in Nuneaton in January last year and performed life-saving CPR – saw her rewarded with a commendation.
The penultimate award winners were the Communications Data Investigations Unit (CDIU) – made up of Detective Sergeant Martin Metcalfe, Ryan Hinton and Joy Caws – who were recognised for their personal resilience, teamwork and professionalism.
Established in April 2021, the team has provided a 24/7 365 day a year service offering specialist support to officers seeking communications data. Despite many of the team being new to the role, they have undergone intense training courses and looked to share their learning at every opportunity.
The final recipient of the evening was Detective Sergeant David Gardner who was presented with his National Police Promotion Framework (NPPF) Level 4 management certificate.
In total, around 200 officers and staff are set to receive a Chief Superintendent commendation or Director award as part of this latest round of recognition – many of which will be presented by their line managers.
Detective Chief Superintendent Suzanne Baker and Chief Superintendent Emma Bastone said: “The impact that COVID has had on local policing since March 2020 simply cannot be overstated.
“In this job no two days are the same, but in spite of the challenges thrown at them during the pandemic, one thing that has remained consistent is the commitment of our officers, staff, specials and volunteers to ensuring the force’s vision and values are implemented.
“They have carried on in the face of adversity – some even moving away from their families to keep on doing the job – all with the ultimate aim of catching criminals, bringing people to justice and keeping our communities safe.
“Over the course of the two ceremonies we heard about incredible feats of bravery and impressive operational outcomes as well as great partnership working, support for the most vulnerable members of our community and a host of other remarkable achievements.
“Warwickshire Police is a fantastic family-oriented force and we are immensely honoured to be able to acknowledge these individuals and present awards in recognition of the devotion they have shown to protecting our communities from harm”
Director of Enabling Services, Tania Coppola added: “The past two years has been particularly challenging for most both in and out of work, but despite this, individuals continue to go above and beyond to ensure the best possible service is given.
“Being involved in award ceremonies is always a privilege for me and having the opportunity to pause from the day job and recognise the role an individual or team has played is something I really enjoy.
“I am proud of those who have received Director’s awards and would like to thank them not only for their hard work but also for their dedication and commitment to providing excellent public service in what has no doubt been a difficult time for Warwickshire Police.”
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