Two North Yorkshire Police officers are to receive the Queen’s Police Medal in this year’s New Year’s Honours.
North Yorkshire Police’s lead for mental health and suicide prevention, Inspector Bill Scott has been honoured for his work in transforming how North Yorkshire Police responds to people with mental health problems across York and North Yorkshire.
Police Constable Sara Widdrington, who is a Youth Officer based in Scarborough, has been honoured for her work in protecting young people.
Inspector Bill Scott
Inspector Scott has been instrumental in the establishment of health-based places of safety and placing mental health workers at the heart of policing – both on the streets and in the Force Control Room.
He successfully bid for £1m funding from the Police Knowledge Fund to carry out an academic research programme which has led to the roll-out of bespoke mental health training for all front-line staff.
He has set up partnerships with charities and mental health organisations to provide early intervention for people who frequently call the emergency services due to their mental ill health, he is part of the project to make York and North Yorkshire a Suicide Safe and Mental Health Friendly county and is currently developing a project to address mental health problems among prisoners to prevent re-offending.
He spent nearly six years as the Association of Chief Police Officers’(now the National Police Chiefs’ Council) Project Manager for the policing operation for the 2012 Olympic Games and was also Assistant Chief of Staff to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick, when she was the National Director for Counter Terrorism.
In March 2015, Normal Lamb, Minister of State for Care and Support wrote to Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner to thank him for his personal contribution to the health crisis care agenda and for his instrumental work in relation to the opening of places of safety across North Yorkshire.
Inspector Scott joined North Yorkshire Police in 1994 and before that was a Special Constable (volunteer) with the force for four years.
After finding out about his award, he said: “I’m incredibly proud to have been nominated for this award, which came as a complete surprise! Over the last 24 years, and in every role I’ve undertaken, I’ve been honoured to work with some incredible colleagues. Recently, working with people to improve policing responses to mental distress has been truly humbling, and is my genuine passion. This award is recognition of a team effort, and spurs us on with our efforts to do even more to help vulnerable folks.
“As the son and grandson of police officers, the privilege of wearing the North Yorkshire Police uniform is immense. I only wish my parents were still here to share this news, as I know they’d have been proud of their little lad!”
Minister for Policing and the Fire Service Nick Hurd, added: “Inspector Scott has shown tremendous commitment and innovation, particularly in supporting people with mental ill health. He is a worthy recipient of the Queen’s Police Medal.
PC Sara Widdrington
PC Widdrington is a Youth Officer based in Scarborough. This is her third year in the post and follows a five year secondment to the Youth Justice Service. She is passionate about working with young people, protecting them from harm and diverting them away from offending and the criminal justice system. She has an unstoppable drive and determination, consistently going beyond what is expected of her.
Her area of responsibility covers 17 secondary schools and 60 primary schools where she proactively focuses on personally helping the most vulnerable young people and shares her knowledge and experience with her Police Community Support Officer colleagues who support her by going into schools to speak to young people about issues such as internet safety, bullying and sexting.
She was integral to the police response to a local problem around ‘legal highs’ and worked hard to tackle the issue before it was nationally recognised as a high priority. She continues to educate young people about the dangers of substance misuse.
By closely working with partners in the council, the Youth Justice Service and her policing colleagues, she goes works tirelessly mile to get the best possible outcomes for young people who offend and ensure the consequences of their offending are proportionate. Her philosophy is one of education before enforcement, which sometimes means challenging and educating her colleagues as much as it does educating young people!
In 2014 she won the Emergency Services Category in the Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain Awards for her heroic actions, when off duty and out shopping with her son, in disarming and restraining an armed robber.
She joined North Yorkshire Police in 2003 and took up her current role in 2013.
Speaking about her award, PC Widdrington said: “It is a true honour to be awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service. I am overwhelmed with pride.
“Throughout the years, I have worked alongside many committed and passionate colleagues within North Yorkshire Police to improve the way we engage with children and young people.
“I have also worked closely with a number of fantastic partner agencies such as The Prevention Service, Multi Systemic Therapists, Youth Justice Service, Children and Families, schools and colleges. who have all been relentless in their dedication making a positive difference within young people’s lives.
“I would like to thank my wonderful family and friends for their constant support and encouragement.”
Minister for Policing and the Fire Service Nick Hurd, added: “PC Widdrington has played a vital role as a Youth Officer for North Yorkshire Police, being responsible for working with 17 secondary schools and 60 primary schools. I would like to thank her for her tireless service. I am also encouraged that more than half of the Queen’s Police Medals continue to be awarded to rank and file police officers, in recognition of their hard work in cutting crime and keeping communities safe.”
North Yorkshire Police’s Deputy Chief Constable Lisa Winward, added: “Bill and Sara are outstanding officers who both truly deserve this recognition. They are the pride of North Yorkshire Police.
“I am thrilled they have been recognised for their efforts in very different, yet equally vital, areas of policing which drive improvements in the way we keep our communities safe.
“I cannot express how proud I am that two North Yorkshire Officers have been recognised in this way. They are a credit to our force and on behalf of everyone at North Yorkshire Police, I thank them for their hard work and exceptional commitment.”Posted on in News stories