Policing Minister honours volunteers at Lord Ferrers awards
Police volunteers who have supported victims of domestic abuse, challenged mental health stigmas and helped tackle modern slavery were honoured at an awards ceremony yesterday (October 16).
The Lord Ferrers Awards – now in its 26th year – celebrates the contributions of police support volunteers, special constables, volunteer police cadets, and volunteers supporting the work of police and crime commissioners.
Winners received awards across ten categories at the ceremony at Lancaster House in London, attended by the Minister for Crime, Policing and the Fire Service Kit Malthouse.
Mr Malthouse said: “Volunteers are highly valued members of the policing family. They bring different skills to the police service and give up their time to serve the public and help protect their communities.
“This year’s winners do a remarkable job, whether it is inspiring more women and ethnic minorities to join the police, supporting the vulnerable or making our streets safer.”
Special Sergeant Olaniyi Opaleye, who has served at Kent Police for more than 20 years, won the individual Ferrers Special Constabulary award. He was recognised for his work connecting with churches, mosques, communities and inspiring others from under-represented backgrounds to join the police.
The Central Motorway Police Group Special Constabulary of West Midlands Police and Staffordshire Police won the team award. The officers have assisted in the arrests of 700 people involved in vehicle crime and have supported the seizure of millions of pounds worth of stolen property, cash and drugs.
Special Inspector Laura Hart of Merseyside Police, the most senior female volunteer in the force, won the Leadership Award for her efforts to increase the representation of women across the Special Constabulary.
Police Cadet Hasan Hussain of West Midlands Police was recognised for his work in educating children about the life of Stephen Lawrence, while the Eden Valley cadets from Cumbria Constabulary won a team award for their work in encouraging their community to talk about mental health.
The Ferrers Police Support Volunteer Individual Award was won by Claire Hopkins of Avon and Somerset Constabulary for creating a template document that assists frontline officers in identifying more victims of modern slavery.
The Police Support Volunteer Team Award was won by the Streetwatch team from Northamptonshire Police. It patrols twice each week in Wellingborough, tackling fly-tipping, car theft, drug dealing, burglary and anti-social behaviour. The team also leads monthly litter picks, which take more than 100 bags of rubbish off the streets.
The Ferrers Employer Supported Policing Award went to the Civil Service Fast Stream leadership development programme. The scheme provides 15 days paid special leave each year for Special Constables’ training and duties and recognises the transferable skills their work brings to the Civil Service.
The Ferrers Technical Innovation Award was won by Greg Stevenson of Lincolnshire Police. Mr Stevenson, who is also the UK head of the Cyber Specials Cyber Volunteers programme, developed a bespoke policing app that Lincolnshire officers can use to capture and preserve digital evidence on the front line.
Strive Volunteers who work with victims of domestic abuse across the Greater Manchester Police area, visiting homes to support families at an early stage, received the Offices of Police and Crime Commissioners award.