Recog­nis­ing stars in a force for good


The Chronicle - - News - By LISA HUTCHIN­SON

Re­porter FOR­GET X Fac­tor and Strictly Come Danc­ing – there is a pub­lic vote hap­pen­ing right on your doorstep.

Northum­bria Po­lice want you to vote for your favourite cop or po­lice staff mem­ber in the local Pride and Polic­ing Awards tak­ing place this month.

The force is get­ting ready to host its an­nual awards that recog­nise the achieve­ments of of­fi­cers and staff. But this year, for the first time, they want you to get in­volved and de­cide the win­ner of its ‘Out­stand­ing Con­tri­bu­tion’ cat­e­gory.

The awards cer­e­mony recog­nises a host of ded­i­cated po­lice work across 12 sep­a­rate categories in­clud­ing; Po­lice Of­fi­cer of the Year, Po­lice Team of the Year and Vol­un­teer of the Year. And Kon­ica Mi­nolta, Op­tima Health, Uni­son, Po­lice Fed­er­a­tion, In­te­gral and Eurofins have all spon­sored the 2018 event.

The vote is open un­til mid­night on Thurs­day, Septem­ber 20, and who scoops the Out­stand­ing Con­tri­bu­tion award is up to you. The three nom­i­nees to choose from cover a range of great achieve­ments such as; tack­ling anti-so­cial be­hav­iour and mod­ern day slav­ery, sup­port­ing vic­tims of do­mes­tic abuse, im­prov­ing com­mu­nity con­fi­dence and sup­port­ing vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple in a local psy­chi­atric unit. The nom­i­nees are:

Chief In­spec­tor Jon Bens­ley has been nom­i­nated by his col­leagues for his out­stand­ing work in Blyth. He de­vel­oped the 12 streets ini­tia­tive, which aims to im­prove qual­ity of life for res­i­dents in Cow­pen Quay. Thanks to his ef­forts, mul­ti­ple agen­cies are now work­ing to­gether for the long-term ben­e­fit of the com­mu­nity. He was also in­stru­men­tal in a re­cent mod­ern day slav­ery case in Blyth, which saw vul­ner­a­ble local peo­ple be­ing ex­ploited. To­gether with his team, his com­mit­ment to the case saw the of­fender put be­hind bars for 8 years.

Neigh­bour­hood In­spec­tor Neil Hall and staff mem­ber Al­lan Brown have been jointly nom­i­nated for their work around do­mes­tic abuse. They helped to de­velop the Bright Sky app, which helps those af­fected by do­mes­tic abuse and ha­rass­ment.

It’s been de­signed to log in­ci­dents of do­mes­tic abuse with­out any con­tent be­ing saved on the de­vice it­self, en­abling users to record in­ci­dents in a se­cure jour­nal tool. The app pro­vides sup­port and use­ful steps to con­sider if leav­ing an abu­sive re­la­tion­ship. Neil and Al­lan were key in bring­ing to­gether the Voda­fone Foun­da­tion, who de­vel­oped the app tech­nol­ogy, with Hes­tia, a do­mes­tic abuse char­ity, to be able to launch the tech­nol­ogy na­tion­ally.

Po­lice Con­sta­ble James Des­mond was nom­i­nated for his work as Hos­pi­tal Li­ai­son Of­fi­cer at St Nicholas’ Hos­pi­tal, a spe­cial­ist psy­chi­atric unit, over the past 10 years. His reg­u­lar pres­ence and per­son­able na­ture has won the con­fi­dence of the ser­vice users and staff. He’s helped break down bar­ri­ers and build up trust be­tween the po­lice and hos­pi­tal pa­tients. He has ed­u­cated staff and of­fi­cers, has re­duced crime and dis­or­der and dra­mat­i­cally re­duced the num­ber of vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple go­ing miss­ing.

Chief Con­sta­ble Win­ton Kee­nen said: “I look for­ward to th­ese awards ev­ery year. It’s a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity for us to cel­e­brate what is great about polic­ing. Our Out­stand­ing Con­tri­bu­tion award ac­knowl­edges those who have gone the ex­tra mile in the name of Northum­bria Po­lice and in the ser­vice of our com­mu­ni­ties. That is why I’m pleased this year that it is open to the pub­lic to de­cide who the win­ner is.”

To help the pub­lic cast their vote Northum­bria Po­lice have made a short film of each nom­i­nee and their achieve­ments. You can find all the in­for­ma­tion and vote here. {www.northum­bria.po­­polic­ing] The win­ners will be an­nounced at the cer­e­mony at the end of the month so don’t miss your op­por­tu­nity to vote. Chief Con­sta­ble Win­ton Kee­nen

Chief In­spec­tor Jon Bens­ley

Neigh­bour­hood In­spec­tor Neil Hall (right) and staff mem­ber Al­lan Brown

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