Dorset Police celebrate exceptional contribution to policing at the Annual Awards Ceremony

21 February 2018

Dorset Police recognised police officers, staff and volunteers for their exceptional contribution to policing at the Annual Awards Ceremony on Tuesday 20 February 2018.

The ceremony, which took place at Queen Elizabeth’s School in Wimborne, saw a total of 20 awards presented to the recipients in the company of family and friends.

Following nominations from colleagues within the Force as well as endorsements from partner agencies in the community, the honours were presented by Chief Constable Debbie Simpson, High Sheriff John Young, Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) Martyn Underhill, former chair of the lay custody visitors Kathleen Emery, and previous Dorset Chief Constables, Jane Stichbury and Dirk Aldous.

The Dirk Aldous Detective of the Year Award was presented to Detective Sergeant Paul Chessell for his work protecting vulnerable people. It was awarded to Paul for his commitment to a fast moving area of business where he has worked alongside many teams such as the Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT), Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Child Abuse Investigation Team (CAIT), Adults at Risk Team and Dorset Safeguarding, which is also known as the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub. He ensures that he delivers the highest quality of service to the community and protects some of our most vulnerable people.

The Criminal Justice Award recognises a team or individual that has delivered an outstanding contribution to Dorset’s criminal justice system. The winner of this award was selected by the Dorset Criminal Justice Board (DCJB) and was presented to Carrie Pycroft from the Dorset Live Link Team. This is a multi-agency team consisting of members from Dorset Police, Crown Prosecution Service, Her Majesty’s Courts Services, and the Citizens Advice Witness Service, working closely together to improve facilities for all vulnerable witnesses.

Chair of the DCJB, Deputy Chief Constable James Vaughan, said: “Carrie worked as a Victim Liaison Officer for Dorset where she demonstrated a very positive attitude, delivering an excellent service and stepping up to the challenge of managing this demanding role.

“Carrie often went above and beyond in order to ensure that the work was completed and that victims received a high standard of service. This commitment to victims is why she is such a worthy recipient of this award.”

The awards ceremony was an opportunity to recognise exceptional community policing and proactive crime reductions. With 95 years of service between them, Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to; Detective Superintendent Kevin Connolly, who has worked extensively within CID, major crime and public protection, dealing with various serious and complex investigations; Tony Smith, who after 33 years as a police officer, retrained as a Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) and over the last seven years has developed one of the highest fingerprint and DNA recovery rates in the South West; and Constable Antony Megson, who has dedicated his career to front-line policing in the busy Bournemouth Town Centre area.

Various other police officers and staff also received awards recognising their hard work and commitment to policing. The Public Confidence Award was received by the Communications and Engagement Department for supporting every part of the Force and making a direct impact on operational priorities.

Nick Cloke, Head of Communications and Engagement, said: “Fortunately the vast majority of people in Dorset will never be a victim of crime, so their confidence is largely based on their perceptions of policing and how we engage with them. A recent Office of National Statistics publication showed that this approach is working, with 87 per cent of people in Dorset now having high confidence in policing – this is the highest percentage in the country. Of course, not everyone will think positively about policing all the time, so we have also improved the way the public can give us feedback and how we respond to them.

“My team’s work helps people better understand policing and improves how they can interact with officers. I am particularly proud that we help keep people safe, through crime prevention campaigns and warnings of crime trends, and that our witness appeals and social media activity has directly led to crimes being solved and vulnerable missing people being found.”

Volunteers were also acknowledged for their dedication to policing. Three members of the Victims’ Bureau in Boscombe received the Volunteer Team of Year Award, and Corfe Mullen Home Watch was awarded the Watch Group of the Year Award for their support to local police and commitment to the residents of Corfe Mullen.

Chief Constable Debbie Simpson said: “The Force awards are a valuable opportunity to recognise the hard work, professionalism and selflessness that our volunteers, officers and staff contribute to Dorset Police.

“All individuals are to be commended for their role in supporting and developing policing, and ultimately their valuable contribution to keeping Dorset safe.”

PCC Martyn Underhill said: “It is always a privilege to attend these award ceremonies. Not only do they recognise exceptional individuals and teams, they also showcase the huge variety of work undertaken across policing by officers, staff, volunteers, partners and the public.

The three Lifetime Achievement Awards were especially humbling. Thank-you to everyone involved, you all made a difference.”