Police officers, special constables, police staff and members of the public have been recognised for their courage, compassion and professionalism at a commendation ceremony held at police headquarters in Newby Wiske.
The ceremony was hosted by Chief Superintendent Lisa Winward and took place on Thursday 15 January 2014.
Chief Supt Winward said: “The award ceremony has been an opportunity to acknowledge the bravery, commitment and dedication of officers, staff and members of the public who have gone way beyond what is expected of them.
“The stories we have heard are very humbling and highlight the tragic and sometimes dangerous situations often faced by police officers, staff and members of the public.
“It also gives us an opportunity to acknowledge the important and vital work going on in the background, carried out by staff who go the extra mile to help us continually improve our service to our communities and ensure we can meet future demands.
“The recipients have saved lives, brought justice for victims, made life better for people and shown care and compassion, acting in the best traditions of the police service. They should be very proud of themselves.”
The recipients of the awards are:
Janet Warin MBE and David Warin MBE were honoured for their dedication to influencing the behaviour of young drivers following the tragic death of their teenage son, Daniel, in 1995.
17-year-old Daniel died in a road traffic collision on the A170 near Pickering three weeks after passing his driving test.
Since the year 2000, David and Janet have worked with the “95 Alive” York and North Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership on the “Drive Alive” road safety campaign.
The campaign is aimed at new drivers and is delivered to Year 11 pupils in schools within North Yorkshire. Janet and David have spoken to more than 30,000 year 11 students about the devastating consequences of poor driving decisions.
T/Ch Supt Winward said: “Preventing road deaths is a major priority for North Yorkshire Police and influencing drivers’ behaviour is hugely important in our drive to reduce fatal and serious collisions.
“Janet and David’s work with young people is invaluable and their incredible bravery in talking about Daniel’s death is very humbling. We have nothing but respect and admiration for their dignity, compassion and dedication in helping the campaign to reduce deaths on our roads.”
Special Constable Edward Rushby, PC Richard Ellis and PC Nigel Klavins received a commendation after they rescued an 18-year-old woman from the River Ouse in York.
On the evening of 5 April 2014, North Yorkshire Police received a report that a woman was missing in York and there were serious concerns for her safety.
Around 15 minutes later, officers received a further report from a member of the public that they were with a woman on the embankment of the River Ouse at Clementhorpe. Despite attempts by the member of the public, the woman would not engage with them and jumped into the river.
The three officers arrived at the scene and using safety equipment, swiftly brought the woman to safety. She was otherwise unharmed was passed into the care of mental health professionals.
PC Nigel Klavins received a second commendation for his part in rescuing a woman from the River Ouse in York on 13 June 2014. In the company of two other colleagues, PC Klavins attended a report that a woman had jumped into the river near the Millennium Bridge.
The woman was seen walking into the river and the current quickly took hold of her carrying her off downstream. The officers arrived at the scene and located the woman floating down the river, going under the water, and clearly in difficulty. At one point she was seen trying to hold on to a log.
The Fire and Rescue Service were alerted and a boat was on its way, however, the officers recognised the urgency of the situation and despite the danger to themselves, they entered the river and rescued the woman, bringing her to safety on the river bank. They stayed with her and reassured her until an ambulance arrived. She was taken to York District Hospital suffering from the effects of the cold.
York-based Police Community Support Officer, Chris Simpson, is a former soldier and was commended for his work and commitment to the “Soldier On Project” which is a cooperative aimed at assisting ex-service personnel make the transition back into civilian life.
Chris works on the project in his own time and actively promotes it to relevant members of the community who he comes into contact with.
Founder of the “Soldier On Project”, Sue White, said: “Chris consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty with the work he has done to support individuals in the community and signposting them to the project. He also provides support to me to help keep the project running.
“I am proud that all of our hard work has not only resulted in a commendation for Chris, but has since been highlighted as excellent practice under the PREVENT strategy which is aimed at preventing people from being drawn into terrorism. We are now working towards our simple approach to supporting veterans at risk of offending, being rolled out nationally through this recognition.”
Sue added: “I am proud of us both and our work to build a sustainable community partnership that will make a real difference to peoples lives. Chris thoroughly deserves recognition for this really important work which he does in his own time.”
PCSO Chris Whitehorn who is based in Selby, was honoured for his quick thinking and bravery after chasing and catching a cycle thief while off duty and on a shopping trip to Leeds in July 2014.
Chris witnessed the cycle being stolen and confronted the offender who ran off. Chris gave chase while his partner alerted some local police officers. Chris caught up with the suspect and handed him over to the police officers who then arrested him.
Chris won the praise of the officers who described his actions as professional and brave. The owner of the cycle was also extremely grateful that Chris had prevented their cycle from being stolen.
Inspector Eamonn Clarke of Bedale Safer Neighbourhood Team, was on duty on Bedale High Street on Saturday 25 October 2014, when he came across 79-year-old Denis Peirson who had collapsed outside the Old Black Swan.
Mr Peirson was unconscious, not breathing and had a head injury. Insp Clarke immediately began CPR and after a few minutes, Mr Peirson regained consciousness and began breathing again.
With the assistance of members of the public, Insp Clarke reassured Mr Peirson until the ambulance service arrived and following medical treatment, he was discharged from hospital.
Insp Clarke was commended for his quick thinking and professionalism which saved Mr Pierson’s life.
PC Blair Taylor of Stokesley Safer Neighbourhood Team was commended after he resuscitated a man.
On 10 September 2014, a man went into the reception of Stokesley police station, saying that his brother had collapsed in the car, had become unresponsive and in desperation the man had stopped at the police station for help.
PC Taylor ran outside, got the man our of the car and commenced CPR with the man laid on the pavement until the arrival of paramedics.
Paramedics continued to work on the man throughout the journey to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough. Once in hospital the man showed signs of improvement and his circulation began to recover. Paramedics confirmed that without the actions of PC Taylor, the man would have been declared deceased upon arrival at hospital, but due to his actions he had a fighting chance.
Despite the efforts of medical staff, the incident did not have a happy ending and two hours after being admitted to hospital, the man sadly passed away.
Sergeant Paul Richardson was commended after he helped to save the life of a suicidal man who he kept talking on the phone for 90 minutes while other officers searched for him.
In October 2013, police received a report that a man had left several notes for friends threatening to take his own life on an undisclosed train line.
Numerous officers were deployed to search for the man in the York area. In the meantime, Sergeant Richardson made enquiries to find out the man’s phone number and managed to make contact with him.
He kept the man talking for an hour-and-a-half while his colleagues searched for him. Sgt Richardson eventually persuaded the man to hand himself over to the police so he could get the help he needed.
After the search area was narrowed down, the man saw the officers looking for him and made contact with them as a direct result of talking to Sgt Richardson. The man said at the scene, that were it not for Paul’s actions, he would have taken his own life.
PC Phil Coles who is based at Scarborough was commended after trying to save the life of a man who had hung himself in Scarborough. Police received a report that a man had hung himself at an address in the town and was not breathing. PC Coles, who is a trained Police Support Unit medic, was one of the first officers on scene along with a single crewed paramedic.
PC Coles immediately offered to help the paramedic in performing chest compressions, this was to allow the paramedic to call for assistance and prepare other life-saving aids. PC Coles carried out chest compressions for around 30 minutes, freeing the paramedics up to concentrate on other techniques.
Sadly the man did not survive, but PC Coles has been acknowledge for his actions in trying to help resuscitate him.
PC Alastair Foy and Nicola Manning, who are based at York, were commended for saving the life of a man who had hung himself. PC Foy was a student officer at the time of the incident and had been on the beat for just over a week.
Officers were called to an address in York where they found the man hanging and unconscious.
They were the first on the scene and immediately cut the man down and began CPR until paramedics arrived and took over treatment. The man eventually regained consciousness and was taken to hospital.
PC Manning was commended for her professionalism and mentoring a student officer in a very distressing and challenging situation. PC Foy was commended for his swift actions, practical approach and application of first aid techniques.
Acting Traffic Sergeant Zoe Billings of the Major Collision Investigation Team, based in Thirsk, Traffic Constable Andrew McLeod who is based in Harrogate and Inspector Michael Barron (now retired), were commended for their dedication and painstaking work during the investigation into a fatal road collision near Gargrave which saw Debbie Barker jailed for three years for causing the death of Tom Bannister while she was over the drink drive limit.
The investigation included many complex lines of enquiry involving medical expert witnesses and unprecedented processes. The evidence gathered and presented by A/TS Billings and TC MacLeod resulted in an early guilty plea, sparing Mr Bannister’s family the distressing ordeal of a Crown Court trial.
The investigation presented numerous challenges to the officers who never faltered in their drive to get justice for Mr Bannister and his family.
On 5 November 2014, Police Community Support Officers, Caroline Richman and Jason Johnson, who are based at Filey, escorted a man home who had walked into the reception area of the Evron Centre in a drunk and confused state, claiming he wanted to be arrested.
When they arrived at his home, the man picked up a kitchen knife and held it to his own throat. Through their caring and professional actions, the two PCSOs managed to keep the situation and the man calm as they restrained him and took the knife from him. The man was subsequently taken into custody and handed over to the care of mental health professionals.
The two PCSOs were commended for their professionalism and going beyond their roles.
Police staff member, Emma Connolly, a District Account Manager based at police headquarters, who, among many things, manages police station front counters, received a commendation for her work in transforming the way exhibits are recorded. Exhibits are items that have been seized or used as evidence in criminal investigations.
Emma faced numerous obstacles in the system development and in the design of the training package. However, throughout the project, Emma showed an impressive level of personal responsibility, tenacity and professional knowledge. Designing, proposing and developing the package, which enabled the system to be rolled out force-wide, improving the service to the force and to members of the public.
Ch Supt Winward said: “The storage, retention and disposal of exhibits is vital to ensure that evidence is preserved and recorded correctly. Emma has shown leadership and determination, overcoming many obstacles to deliver a key piece of work to streamline working practices and improve efficiency in a very important area of police work.”
North Yorkshire Police’s Force Control Room has recently introduced a system called “Thrive”, designed to move towards a more victim-based approach and increase efficiency and effectiveness by assessing each call based on the threat, harm, risk, investigation opportunities and vulnerability of the victim. This assessment, at the first point of contact, then determines the engagement level required to resolve the issue. Each caller will then receive a bespoke service based on that assessment.
Force Control Room Deployment Manager, Victoria Henderson, was commended for her work on the project to introduce the “Thrive” concept. Over 18 months Victoria was instrumental in designing and developing the training packages to staff, as well as supporting and coaching staff in the control room, while still carrying out her day job.
Ch Supt Winward said: “Giving victims the best possible service and deploying our resources where they are needed most is a priority for us, especially in financially constrained times. The result of Victoria’s work is that the force now focuses attention on the victims who need the most help and thousands of hours of officers’ time has been freed up to allow them back on the beat, protecting our communities.”Posted on in News stories