Officers And Staff Honoured At Annual Awards Night
Police officers and staff from West Mercia Police have been honoured for their professionalism and dedication to the force and local communities.
The force's annual Quality People Awards ceremony was held earlier this week (Tuesday, 11 September) at Hindlip Park, police HQ, near Worcester.
Chief Constable David Shaw, along with local dignitaries and members of West Mercia Police Authority, attended the event to recognise the hard work of colleagues across the force area.
Among the awards handed out on the evening, were:
Local Police Officer of the Year - PC Simon Worley, Redditch
PC Worley has been praised for his professionalism, dedication and commitment to his role as local police officer and for the significant improvements he has made to the lives of individuals and communities he is responsible for on his beat. A man of great integrity and with a passion for his role, he is respected by all who come into contact with him, regardless of their status as offender, victim, witness or community member.
Manager of the Year (Police Officer) - Inspector Ian Joseph, Redditch
Insp Joseph has been commended by colleagues in the police and partner agencies for his consummate professionalism and outstanding leadership. He always goes that extra mile to ensure that the police provide an exceptional service to all those living in Redditch. He is as dedicated to local residents and businesses as he is to his staff.
High Sherriff's Millennium Trophy (CSO of the Year) - CSO Maria Chattington-Lowe, Shrewsbury
CSO Chattington-Lowe has been with West Mercia Police for around 3 years and has achieved an amazing amount in that time. She works tirelessly to improve the lives of so many. Using her own life skills and caring attitude, she has brought about change, improvements and education for all ages of people and is very well thought of in the community.
Dog Handler of the Year - PC Joseph Anderson, Shrewsbury
PC Anderson is described as a proactive officer who maintains the highest handling standards. He handles police dogs Luger and Ben and provides exceptional support to the force and in particular, Shropshire. He consistently achieves outstanding operational results and is one of the top performing officers on the section. On several occasions his tenacity has led to the locating of vulnerable people who would otherwise have suffered harm. He is an outstanding officer and a credit to West Mercia Police.
Criminal Investigator of the Year - Detective Inspector Mark Loader, Malvern
During his role as Senior Investigating Officer on Operation USK (see team awards below) Det Insp Loader has displayed great leadership, determination and passion to bring the investigation to a satisfactory conclusion. He showed great desire, resolve and resilience to ensure that all the offenders were brought to justice, whilst balancing the needs of the victim's family. During the course of the complex investigation, he used a combination of traditional and innovative tactics and demonstrated drive, determination, appetite and energy for getting the right result.
Outstanding Contribution Award - Pervez Hussain, Hereford (Retired)
Pervez joined West Mercia in 1989 as a telephonist in Hereford when he still had his sight. His dedication was such that as his sight decreased, he memorised 700 extension numbers. He went on to work as a recruitment administrator and in the training school as well as being a local rep for Unison. In his own words, "As a disabled person, I strive to reflect a positive image, adopting a ‘can do' attitude regardless of obstacles that may deter me from my goals. I believe that such an attitude can inspire others to achieve their own goals and wherever possible I support and advise people to that end." Pervez is totally committed to making the very best of the skills he has and in using his experiences of disability to improve the lives of all he comes into contact with.
Life Time Achievement Award - Inspector Phil Shakesheff, HQ
Insp Shakesheff has been commended for his services to policing with an emphasis on championing the cause of missing children and adults. His work locally, regionally and nationally has provided better safeguarding for the most vulnerable, a reduction in missing episodes and enhanced partnership working and importantly a greater awareness of the missing agenda. He remains the only police officer on the Government's Missing Task Force and the only officer to give evidence to the All Parliamentary Ministerial Group on supporting families of missing persons. In the words of the CEO of the charity Missing People: "There is no doubt in my mind that there is no other police officer in the UK who is more widely respected on the subject of missing persons."
The following team awards were also issued on the night:
- Local Policing Team of the Year - Tupsley and Aylstone, Herefordshire
The team have distinguished themselves by their innovation, commitment and tireless dedication to the residents of Tupsley and Aylestone. By working closely with schools and colleges, residents' groups and partner agencies, they have significantly improved neighbourhoods, made people feel safe and earned the confidence of the community.
- Diversity Team in Action - Arlestone and College Local Policing Team, Telford & Wrekin
The Arlestone and College Local Policing Team are commended for their commitment and determination to build bridges with the Pakistani Muslim communities of Wellington and for their extraordinary efforts to both fully understand the diverse needs of those communities and to deliver local policing in a way which promotes cohesion, respect and mutual understanding.
- Team Recognition Award (Operational) - Operation Usk Team
Operation Usk was one of the largest investigations ever conducted by West Mercia Police concerning the death of Jesse Richards who was last seen in Worcestershire in 2009. Jesse was killed in the Cleeve Prior area because of a drugs debt and his body - which has never been found - was taken to Warwickshire to be disposed of.
In 2012, five men were jailed in connection with Jesse's death. The Operation Usk Team has been recognised for the groundbreaking investigation tactics used, the reassurance and protection given to vulnerable witnesses from the Gypsy Traveller community, the significant sentences given to those responsible for Jesse's death and for protecting the public from further harm from organised criminality.
Other awards on the night were also given to: Manager of the Year (Staff), Jo Corfield (HQ), Excellence in Policing, Insp Richard Langton (Telford & Wrekin), Len Morris Sports Trophy, PC Victoria Watts (HQ), High Sheriff's Trophy - Special Constabulary, Special Sgt Amelia Baker (Kidderminster), Special Quality People Recognition Award, Det Supts Martin Lakeman (Retired) and Sheila Thornes (Stourport), Team Recognition Award - Support, Occupational Health & Welfare Team (HQ), Local Police Officer Awards, PC Julie Merry (South Worcestershire), PC Roger Bradley (Herefordshire), PC Tony Sewell, (Shropshire), Volunteer of the Year, Catherine Irvine (Shropshire).
Chief Constable Shaw said: "Our staff are our greatest asset, and the Quality People Awards are an opportunity to recognise and reward the very best of the excellent, and at times unsung, work that our officers, staff and volunteers undertake on a daily basis.
"The ceremony is a fitting public recognition of their tireless enthusiasm, dedication and commitment, and is a chance for the force to celebrate the achievements of the award winners and nominees."
Awards were also presented by The Countess of Darnley, Lord Lieutenant of Herefordshire; Algernon Heber-Percy, Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire; Mrs Michael Brinton, Deputy Lieutenant of Worcestershire; Lieutenant Colonel Thwaites, High Sheriff of Herefordshire; Penelope Lewis, High Sheriff of Worcestershire; John Abram, High Sheriff of Shropshire; and Sheila Blagg, chairman of West Mercia Police Authority.