Police volunteers honoured at 2021 Lord Ferrers Awards

Police volunteers have been honoured for their work engaging young people on domestic abuse, supporting vulnerable people in communities, and encouraging people from diverse backgrounds to join the police during the pandemic at an awards ceremony attended by the Home Secretary and Policing Minister on Thursday 14 October.

The Lord Ferrers Awards celebrates the contributions of Police Support Volunteers, Special Constables, Volunteer Police Cadets, and volunteers supporting the work of Police and Crime Commissioners.

The Home Secretary attended the ceremony and presented the Volunteer Police Cadet Team Award to Gwent Senior Police Cadets for developing a youth advocate mentor role to proactively engage with young people on domestic abuse and coercive relationships.

The Policing Minister, meanwhile, presented honours to Bronwen Bishop of Avon & Somerset Constabulary for work engaging key stakeholders on vulnerabilities across two housing estates and Laurence Unthank of Surrey Police for work improving the potential and speed of the existing ANPR system which helped investigations across the south east region.

The ceremony returned this year after a break during the coronavirus pandemic and this year winners for both 2020 and 2021 were awarded across 11 categories at the ceremony at Lancaster House in London.

Elsewhere, Shilah McGregor from Northumbria Police has been honoured for inspiring cadets struggling during lockdown to take an active role in the cadet programme.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

It is heartening to see these volunteers joining our brave police officers working tirelessly to cut crime and protect the public during an unprecedented time.

Their selfless work putting the most vulnerable people in their neighbourhoods first and caring for their communities represents the very best in the British public.

I want to congratulate each and every one of the winners – they are a vital part of the policing family.

Former BBC News presenter Sir Martyn Lewis hosted the event.

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse said:

Volunteers are treasured members of the policing family and I have nothing but the highest regard for people who give up their free time to help keep their neighbours safe.

During a very tough year for everyone, this year’s winners are people who have helped engage young people on domestic abuse, supported vulnerable people in their communities and encouraged their police forces to become more diverse.

I would like to thank each and every one and encourage them to continue to play that vital role in society.

The winners are:

  1. Special Constabulary Individual Award – Emem Adegbola, Thames Valley Police: Emem proactively advocated for positive internal and external cultural diversity and inclusion, acting as a bridge between policing Corporate Communications and public communities of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnicity citizens by writing a blog and appearing on BBC Radio Berkshire.

  2. Special Constabulary Team Award – The Etal Lane Special Constable Response Policing Team Support Group, Northumbria Police: The Group became “acting tutors” for new recruits to the Special Constabulary in order to ease pressure on their regular colleagues, assisting with the transition from the classroom to going out on patrol and buddying up with the new recruits.

  3. Leadership Award – Esther McLaughlin, Gwent Police: Esther introduced a new leadership structure increasing support, accountability and strategic visibility for the Special Constabulary across Gwent which afforded special constables the same recognition as regular ranking officers and allowed teams to work more efficiently together.

  4. Volunteer Police Cadet Individual Award – Shilah McGregor, Northumbria Police: Shilah inspired many cadets who were struggling during lockdown to take an active role in the cadet programme through reaching out online and offering encouragement and support on an ongoing basis.

  5. Volunteer Police Cadet Team Award – Gwent Senior Police Cadets: The cadets developed a youth advocate mentor role to proactively engage with young people on domestic abuse and coercive relationships by delivering awareness sessions, roadshows, community events and promotional videos in partnership with the White Ribbon.

  6. Police Support Volunteer Individual Award – Bob Johnson, College of Policing: Bob has actively supported the Police Support Volunteer portfolio for a number of years, delivering a tool which allows forces to analyse the costs/savings of their volunteers.

  7. Police Support Volunteer Team Award – Black Police Association Outreach Volunteers: The Black Police Association Outreach volunteers engage with diverse communities to break down barriers and build trust and confidence in the police. They have also assisted in the delivery of interactive workshops on knife crime to engage young people on the effects of carrying knives.

  8. Employer Supported Policing Award – Network Rail: Network Rail give both special constables and police support volunteers five days additional paid leave to perform their policing duties.

  9. Technical Innovation Award – Laurence Unthank, Surrey Police: Laurence has expanded the potential, capability and speed of the existing ANPR system, continuously identifying improvements and enhancements to the tool, which has had a significant impact on investigations across the south east region, saving hundreds of hours of manual investigation.

  10. OPCC Volunteer Individual or Team Award – Chloe Hammond, OPCC Durham: Chloe, in her role with the Community Peer Mentors, has supported vulnerable people within the community to improve their circumstances, alerting the relevant services to safeguarding concerns where necessary and contributing to reducing the frequency of calls to the emergency services in County Durham.

  11. Volunteering in Partnership Award – Bronwen Bishop, Avon & Somerset Constabulary: Bronwen engaged key stakeholders on vulnerabilities across two housing estates to improve service delivery.

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