Home Secretary honours special constables and police volunteers

Home Office hosts annual Lord Ferrers Awards to mark the extraordinary achievements of volunteers in policing.

Police volunteers who have tackled child sexual exploitation, protected vulnerable and elderly people from falling victim to doorstep scams, decoded data for cyber investigations, and assisted covert internet investigators to credibly emulate young people online have been honoured for their work at an awards ceremony in London on 15 September 2016.

The Lord Ferrers Awards recognise the outstanding contribution of special constables, police support volunteers and volunteer police cadets. They also acknowledge the support employers and their employees offer their local force.

Nine winners were announced at the ceremony at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, which was attended by Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service, Brandon Lewis.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said:

"Volunteers strengthen our police forces and make a vital contribution to keeping our communities safe.

"The Lord Ferrers Awards celebrate the professionalism, dedication and sacrifice shown by special constables, police support volunteers and cadets.

"I want to thank all the nominees for their commitment and drive and for making a real difference in the communities where they serve."

Minister for Policing and the Fire Service Brandon Lewis said:

"As today’s awards ceremony has shown, volunteers bring diverse and valuable skills from outside police forces which complement the roles staff and officers play in delivering the best service to the public.

"Policing has a long and proud history of volunteering and I was delighted to hear of the inspirational work being carried out across England and Wales by all today’s nominees."

The government is currently bringing forward legislation in the Policing and Crime Bill to transform the powers and roles of police staff and volunteers. These reforms will, for the first time, enable volunteers to be given powers without becoming a special constable, and set out the core list of powers only available to a police officer holding the office of constable.

Award winners

Ferrers Special Constabulary – Individual Award: Bobby Dev, South Yorkshire Police

Bobby designed the Inspiring Youth Scheme for teenagers from marginalised minority ethnic communities at risk of criminality, gangs and radicalisation.

The scheme encourages young people to reach their potential through mentoring and motivates pupils to achieve good exam results, with high performers receiving the Inspiring Youth Award.

Bobby’s scheme has provided a positive influence on these communities and is known to have directed an individual away from being radicalised and leaving the country.

Ferrers Special Constabulary – Team Award: West Yorkshire Police Safeguarding Team

This team of special constables were brought together to reduce opportunities for offenders to find places to harm and sexually exploit children.

The team created an engagement plan with organisations such as hotels and snooker halls to educate employees about the signs of child sexual exploitation and help them to reduce the chances of their premises being used for grooming.

The team have improved working relationships between statutory, voluntary and business communities and their enforcement work resulted in two immediate premises closures and 12 written warnings.

Police Support Volunteer – Individual Award: Adam Maxwell, National Crime Agency (NCA)

Adam has enabled the National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU) to interpret and analyse real time data sets in cyber investigations. Using his coding skills, Adam produced a tool that was compatible with the NCA’s IT programme, which allowed the cyber team to visualise large data sets within minutes and speed up the investigation process.

Adam’s programme has been adopted as part of the agency’s international outreach programme and is being introduced across law enforcement both nationally and internationally.

Police Support Volunteer – Team Award: REVIVE, Lincolnshire Police

Volunteers in Lincolnshire have set up the Repeat Elderly Vulnerable Intimidated Victim Engagement (REVIVE) scheme, which aims to befriend and advise vulnerable and elderly members of the community about staying safe from scams.

The REVIVE team are paired with individuals and meet with them regularly to make them aware of these sorts of crimes. This scheme has alleviated pressure on neighbourhood police teams and safeguarded multiple people in the community.

Volunteer Police Cadet – Individual Award: Tarik Hardadou, Metropolitan Police Service

Tarik has worked tirelessly to support the local community and other police cadets over the years. He has trained junior cadets at one of the Metropolitan Police’s after school clubs, set up a stop and search workshop to improve public confidence in stop and search in his borough, and put together a drill instruction video to teach new cadets how to complete drill moves correctly.

He was also invited by the Princess of Morocco to visit the country and present to the King of Morocco’s personal police service about the benefits of Volunteer Police Cadets (VPCs). Now 18, Tarik is applying to become a special constable.

Volunteer Police Cadet – Team Award: Cleveland Police Cadets

Cleveland Police Cadets have all trained to become Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends to ensure the Cleveland force area is a better place for people living with dementia.

As well as raising awareness of dementia in the community, the cadets provided training to local police teams and arranged a series of socials for elderly people. For example, last year the cadets hired a cinema to show a dementia friendly screening of White Christmas for people from local care homes. They have also trained care home residents in the use of a Microsoft tablet to enable them to Skype friends and family.

Volunteer Police Cadet – Team Award: Metropolitan Police Service

The Specialist Crime Operations Youth Council (SCOYC) have acted as advisers to the Specialist Crime and Operations Command, providing a young Londoner’s perspective on tacking some of the most complex policing issues in the area.

The cadets have tutored the Paedophile Unit’s covert internet investigators on emulating young people online. This increased the credibility of the unit’s online profiles, which was a critical factor in a 412% increase in predatory paedophiles being brought to justice and over 22 vulnerable children being safeguarded.

The council also canvassed young Londoners, including hard to access gang members, on what more could be done to tackle the rise in knife crime. SCOYC produced an online pledge #ChooseALifeNotAKnife calling for Londoners to stand against knife crime. The hashtag features on all Metropolitan Police anti-knife crime literature and council members have appeared on local and national media to promote the campaign.

Employer Supported Policing Award: Openreach BT, Greater Manchester Police

Openreach BT is an employer ambassador for Greater Manchester Police (GMP). They have given employees who are special constables 10 days paid leave to conduct their duties and acted as an employer spokesperson to encourage other organisations to support the force’s employer supported policing scheme. Openreach’s involvement with the scheme has prompted other organisations to sign up and increased the number of special constables available to serve their communities.

Leadership Award sponsored by ASCCO: Celvyn Jones, Cheshire Police

Celvyn identified a lack of development and recognition opportunities for specials in Cheshire. He also wanted to improve the recruitment and retention of specials and volunteers.

Celvyn was instrumental in ensuring specials were given diverse roles and under his leadership they now work in all areas of policing. He also put in place reward and recognition schemes including award evenings and has drawn on the outside skills of specials to assist in specialist investigations. This has resulted in improved retention rates with 54% of all leavers actually leaving to join the force in a full time role.

This ceremony was the 23rd year of the awards, which are named in honour of the late Lord Ferrers, the former Home Office minister and founder of the awards, who died in November 2012.

296 nominations were submitted by police forces across England and Wales, and for the first time, members of the public could also recommend volunteers for their service. 43 exceptional candidates were shortlisted.