Lord Ferrers Awards recognise excellence of police volunteers

Outstanding police volunteers as young as 14 years old have been recognised for making innovative and impactful difference to their communities’ safety at the Lord Ferrers Awards on Thursday (October 13).

Oct 14, 2022
By Paul Jacques
Policing Minister Jeremy Quin with Lord Ferrers Awards attendees, including winners from Northumbria Police – Deputy Chief Constable Debbie Ford, Detective Chief Inspector Claire Wheatley and Special Constables Neil Patton and Ummar Hanif.

Altogether 52 volunteers from across the England and Wales were commended for effective and creative contributions to policing, which have had a positive impact in their communities and inspired others in the field – including helping to tackle the destructive County Lines drugs trade and protecting vulnerable people in towns at night.

An awards ceremony at Lancaster House in London, organised by the Home Office, celebrated special constables and other volunteers supporting policing.

Policing Minister Jeremy Quin and Permanent Secretary Mathew Rycroft presented awards at the event.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said: “I am immensely proud of our police, including our selfless volunteers who play a crucial role that cannot be overstated.

“From cracking down on County Lines gangs to cutting rural crime, volunteers in policing are driving forward forces’ work in getting the basics right.

“Those recognised at the Lord Ferrers Awards today have made exceptional contributions to keeping our streets safe. Thank you to every volunteer, winner and nominee.”

Mr Quin added: “Congratulations to all the special constables and policing volunteers who have received a Lord Ferrers Award.

“The tremendous work they are doing in our communities to cut crime and help victims in innovative ways has been rightly recognised today.

“Police volunteers are incredibly valuable and knowledgeable members of the policing community. I sincerely thank them on behalf of the public, for the difference they make to our lives every day.”

Teams and individuals were commended for their cutting-edge work, with 11 award categories recognising contributions from a wide range of policing volunteers.

The Special Constabulary Team Award was presented to the Operation Disruptor team from Gloucestershire Constabulary. Led and run by volunteers from its inception, the team operates road checks, intelligence-based stops and patrols on the border of the county to disrupt the movements of organised criminal gangs and County Lines. To date, they have made more 40 arrests and 50 drug seizures.

Special Constabulary Sergeant Jasmine (Jazz) Smart received the Leadership Award for her creative and empowering stance in running the operation.

Lara Semedo Lopes, aged 14, was presented with the Volunteer Police Cadet Individual Award for helping to create a trauma-informed custody suite for young people in Northamptonshire. The suite has appropriate reading material and videos to guide young people through the custody process, recognising many have had adverse childhood experiences that have affected their behaviour and choices. The force credited Lara with changing the mindset of officers, highlighting how custody presents a chance to put young people back on the right track.

Helen Lacey received the Volunteering in Partnership Award for her work tackling horse theft with North Wales Police and acquisitive crime in rural communities.

A new Appropriate Adult scheme in Warwickshire received the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) Volunteer Award. In their first six months, the team supported more than 65 vulnerable adults, dedicating a phenomenal 200 hours of their time.

The Cardiff and Vale Basic Command Unit Police Support Volunteers received the Police Support Volunteer Team Award, for their work running two night-time safety buses. Since September 2021, they have safeguarded more than 2,000 vulnerable people on the streets of Cardiff.

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