Last week saw the annual awards night for Northamptonshire Police, putting in the spotlight officers and staff who have gone the extra mile in the past 12 months.
The full list of winners is as follow:
Chief Constable’s Commendation and Boatman Shield of Courage
PC Ben Jeffries
On 4 July 2016 Ben was dealing with a report of a domestic incident in Northampton. He was talking to the man involved outside in the street while his colleague was inside. In a split second the male produced a knife and tried to stab himself in the stomach right in front of Ben.
Ben acted immediately and had to grapple with the man in order to prevent him causing serious injury to himself, as he thought he had stabbed himself multiple times.
During this act Ben sustained a deep cut on his left hand, which later required surgery.
Despite his injuries and bleeding profusely, he managed to take the man to the floor and restrain him, secure the weapon and calmly call for assistance.
Due to his quick thinking and bravery he put himself directly in front of danger in order to prevent the man from harming himself.
He has then continued to assist in the detention of the offender and taking the knife away from him to protect members of the public.
His first concern while being transported to custody was for the welfare of the person who had just stabbed him.
Ben went above and beyond the line of duty in order to save and preserve life, as well as protecting members of the public from harm.
John Fursey Police Staff Lifetime Achievement Award
Deidre joined Northamptonshire Police as a custody matron responsible for the safety and welfare of detainees. Dee then excelled as a police staff investigator where she was outstanding in her commitment to the best possible outcome for the victim leaving no stone unturned in her pursuit of justice.
She has always shown the highest ethical and moral standards and this has earned her the respect of prisoners, victims and colleagues.
Her work was to such a high standard she was responsible for tutoring police officers and she built up excellent relationships which are still apparent. Officers that were tutored 10 years ago still pop in and ask her for advice and a chat.
Dee now works within the Sexual Violence Team. The support she gives to victims is highly commendable. She was awarded a commendation in 2015 for the outstanding level of support she gave to the victim of stranger rape. The majority of victims say ‘if it wasn’t for Dee, I couldn’t have gone through the investigation process’.
Dee is somebody who cares passionately about victims and always ensures she works to the highest standards.
Dee is a deserving person to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Deborah Jeans Leadership Award
Det Sgt Julie Gallagher
DS Julie Gallagher has been the Head of the Cold Case and Sexual Violence Team for the past four years. This small team has developed as the organisation recognised the importance of ensuring undetected non-recent serious crimes are continuously reviewed and where appropriate ensures that the standard of investigation of crimes of sexual violence are victim focused.
Julie identifies priorities for the team, providing support where possible to live investigations whilst ensuring that emphasis is not lost on the cold cases. Within this role, Julie is frequently providing assistance and advice in relation to cases of sexual violence and she suggests actions needed to harvest the best evidence as well as the correct continuous support to many victims. When asked for ‘a bit of advice’, Julie is patient and friendly even when under pressure.
She has ensured that members of her team involved in recent sexual violence investigations provide the highest standard of support to victims. Julie is the point of contact with the Crown Prosecution Service and the Force for Sexual Offences; she provides advice to officers in respect of file building and submissions and acts as conduit between CPS and officers when there are issues to be resolved.
Julie instigated and arranged Sexual Violence training for officers, which have included experts in the field of forensics and psychology; all who have attended this training provides positive feedback. More recently Julie changed the style of the training to make it in the style of a ‘Hydra’ exercise, she marks and provides feedback to those who attend the course, often at home in her own time.
Julie is a key member of the Strategic Review Team, where she provides invaluable support to the Head of Crime at these meetings and is a continuous point of contact for the Head of the Regional Review Teams. At live incidents, she is a strong leader who is able to make sound decisions and direct staff to deal with tasks in order of priority. This was recently evident at a shooting incident at travellers’ site as well as other serious incidents during the same night.
Julie is an inspirational and caring person who is very conscientious about the standard of work she and others deliver.
David Ryan Memorial Cup
Sgt Steve Bedford
In late 2015, Steve stepped forward to take operational co-ordination of the force approach to Hate Crime. Working with the Strategic Lead, Steve met with numerous partners countywide, organised consultation events and activities and helped shape an emerging Multi-Agency Partnership approach to Hate Crime in Northamptonshire.
Steve consulted with representatives of BME, LGBTQ and Disability communities and individuals to first seek their advice and support and then their endorsement for a coordinated countywide approach.
By early 2016, Steve’s consultation activity had reached over 50 individual, statutory and voluntary sector organisation representatives across Northamptonshire, including establishing links with colleagues in Leicestershire Police.
He set up a champion group of officers and staff within the Force, implemented a Hate Crime and Incidents risk assessment and escalation process in the county, drew up a countywide partnership strategy (presenting this to the Partnership Hate Crime and ASB Strategic Group) and worked with partners at NCC to begin to draft a delivery plan. He implemented methods for monitoring hate crime reports to ensure any early risks were identified and addressed, worked with Community Engagement colleagues to support victims and raised awareness countywide through communications activity.
He is currently assessing training needs with a view to implementing a training and awareness programme for officers, staff and partners countywide, in partnership with colleagues in Learning and Development.
Steve’s commitment to this work has been outstanding throughout.
Without his commitment and involvement, progress would have been far less rapid or far reaching.
Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Award
Police: Det Sgt Keith Morson (colleting on behalf of colleagues)
East Northants Council: David Oliver (colleting on behalf of colleagues)
Wellingborough Council: Gill Chapman (colleting on behalf of colleagues)
Operation Worcester was a large scale multi-agency investigative and reassurance and community operation aimed at tackling gun, gang and drug issues in Wellingborough and East Northamptonshire.
A multi-disciplinary partnership team was established alongside investigative and enforcement activity, playing an important role in building public confidence, generating intelligence enabling effective enforcement and prevention and reassuring the community.
The investigative strand was led by Detective Inspector McBride, Detective Sergeant Morson and Temporary Detective Sergeant Curlett. They were faced with a multitude of offences including
attempted murders, firearms possession, offences of stabbings and knife crimes and large scale drugs supply. These officers designed a targeted and proactive approach identifying key gangs and nominal and specifically enforced against these resulting over 30 warrants being executes, 15 viable firearms being recovered, in addition to numerous imitation firearms and over 50 arrests being made. In excess of £50,000 of drugs and cash was seized, with resulting prison sentences currently exceeding 45 years. Recently the team obtained convictions for two offenders in an attempt murder.
Inspector Mead, Inspector Alexander-Lloyd and Sergeant Valentine led the community strand. Gang awareness workshops were delivered to over 200 internal and external partners, working alongside national experts.
A Gold partnership strategy has been developed and is owned by the Community Safety Partnership. A tactical delivery group called the Safer Stronger Neighbourhood Partnership (SSNP) has been implemented with representation from the local communities, NREC, WACA and other key support networks.
More than 100 partners have been trained in the use of ECINS so we can jointly manage children at risk and this is supported by our early intervention meetings to support local family and children.
Community Hubs have been opened in key locations and Goodwill Solutions are leasing one hub bringing key training, skills and employment opportunities to the area. A ‘Comic Relief’ bid has been
submitted for £150,000 by Service Six, which was supported by the SSNP, to work specifically with females at risks from gangs.
A community fun day attracted over 700 local residents to the area and provided some initial engagement around the activities they would like to see and the recruitment of 20 new volunteers. New residents associations and street watches have been developed and nurtured, showing positive signs of community empowerment.
High Sheriff’s Trust and Confidence Award
Sgt Sally Trattle
Sally receives this award because of the innovative work she has done over the last year to increase public trust and confidence in Northamptonshire Police to use stop and search powers ethically and fairly. This has seen a process embedded with public scrutiny at its centre where the views of the community initiate real change.
The “Reasonable Grounds Panel” has resulted in the grounds for every stop search being examined since October 2014. It has also brought about a Stop and Search Symposium to develop officer guidance relating to search grounds; this is now the force threshold used to determine whether the grounds for a search are reasonable.
Officers are held to account for searches they undertake and supervise. This has not been universally popular but the development opportunities provided to those who needed extra help to use their powers ethically and correctly have resulted in significant improvements. Most notably supervisors now examine search grounds judiciously, offering advice and guidance where they fall short. This is a significant change.
The founders of StopWatch described the Reasonable Grounds Panel as the most forward thinking and exciting stop and search development they had seen in ten years, identifying it as real public scrutiny.
Maureen Wilson Memorial Team Award
Missing Persons/POLIT Team
DI Andy Rogers, DS Nickie Deeks, DS Marie Turner (Collecting on behalf of colleagues)
Since being established in 2014 the POLIT team have executed almost 200 warrants under the Protection of Children Act securing 21 successful convictions, safeguarding numerous children through multi agency working alongside social services, education, health and the local authority.
POLIT have managed several large scale investigations including Op Gopher, where, through the arrest of a local offender, the team discovered a paedophile ring based within the UK leading to three further arrests and the safeguarding of children within their families who had been targeted for sexual abuse.
The team also successfully prosecuted a deputy headteacher in Corby who was found in possession of over 105,000 indecent images of children. He was sentenced to two years in custody and will be prevented from working with children upon release.
An ongoing investigation under Op Hazy has identified victims linked to a fake Facebook profile which was being used by an offender to incite juveniles into sexual activity. The team are still tirelessly working on identifying all of the victims.
The team deal with protracted enquiries whilst also progressing further warrants, regularly liaising with other police forces as the offences involve victims and offenders across the UK. The team regularly review distressing evidential material so as to identify offences and safeguard victims from further offences.
Dennis Baker Memorial Award for Vision and Values
This is awarded to Mark Manning for his contribution to the implementation of the Niche record management system. His advanced understanding and grasp of systems, processes and workflows, together with his ability to help others visualise these, proved vital in the weeks following implementation.
He spent considerable time patiently training his fellow team members in how the system and processes work, to ensure they could continue to do their job. He also designed and shared guides within the department that have helped them rapidly become the Force’s experts on Niche and able to pass that knowledge and skill to other departments.
Mark’s colleagues describe him as a calm, funny and talented trainer/coach who always has time to help anyone out. He is a ‘Niche Oracle’, who supports them in its use and continuously strives to improve it.
What his colleagues say: “Mark was key to delivering a quality back record conversion for the new system and his attention to detail, sound decision making, appropriate level of challenge and good humour have been evident throughout and I cannot speak highly enough of his brilliant contribution.”
“Mark is real credit to the Force; his knowledge of Niche is first rate and his ability to share this knowledge with colleagues on a daily basis so they too understand the system is fantastic. He goes above and beyond what would be expected of him every single day and without him I really do feel that Niche would have overwhelmed CMU and we would not be performing as we are now.”
“Mark is very much a credit to Northamptonshire Police …and is more than worthy of recognition for his fantastic work ethos.”
Deirdre Newham Cup for Justice
Det Supt Mark Behan
Mark has been instrumental in bringing about a wholesale change in culture within Northamptonshire Police. Upon taking command of Professional Standards Department he established links throughout the Force to engage all officers and staff in the application of the
Force’s values. This is demonstrated by PSD involvement in Supporting The Front Line meetings, engagement with crime and safeguarding as well as FCR and Specials to guide behaviours in the direction of the Force Values. No single officer has done more to engage all parts of the organisation with cultural change.
Mark has increased the professionalism of PSD by reducing investigation times, bringing cases to closure more rapidly for all concerned whilst still insisting on the highest standards of ethical investigation.
Whilst Mark has presided over these changes he also provided discipline with compassion and proportionality. He is pioneering the changes to reduce defensiveness and bring about a culture of ‘Nourishment Not Punishment’. This includes sharing learning across the organisation, not just through meetings with managers but raising the profile of PSD by personally engaging with all roles and ranks, initiating the ‘Learning the Lessons’ bulletin as well as meeting with complainants.
Mark has proposed to take this principle further by utilising the mentoring resource available across the Force to help nurture and improve those who pass through the disciplinary process thereby improving performance, supporting development and working to instil the values of the Force in those who perhaps have not lived up to them in the past.
Mark has empowered commands to more effectively resolve complaints by dedicating a member of PSD staff to assist them to deliver local resolution more effectively thereby getting it right more often, more quickly and delivering a better service to our communities. This shows Northamptonshire Police to be open to change, not defensive and a caring organisation that is ethical, principled and striving to improve and change.
It is not just within the organisation that his approach has been recognised. Police Federation representatives in Northamptonshire are the envy of their colleagues due to the working relationship Mark has engendered and HMIC have provided very positive feedback on his courageous, ethical and proactive approach. Importantly Mark has the Force values and ethics close to his heart and sets an example to all whilst delivering his role with compassion.
The Superintendents’ Association Award for Excellence
PC Nikki Brooks
On Monday 4 July 2016 PC Brooks was crewed with PC Jeffries when they deployed to a domestic incident in Hardlands Road, Northampton. During the incident PC Jeffries was stabbed in the hand by the man involved in the domestic dispute. PC Brooks came to the assistance of her colleague, who at the time was bleeding profusely, and took control of the offender by restraining and handcuffing him, giving her colleague time to disengage from the male and obtain medical attention.
While dealing with the suspect PC Brooks did not know exactly what had happened, only that her colleague had been stabbed to his hand, she had no idea where the knife was or if the man was still in possession of it but she still assisted her colleague in restraining the male without concern for her own safety.
As her colleague was receiving medical attention PC Brooks maintained her professionalism and composure in making sure the male was under control and preventing him from causing any further harm to himself or others.