A number of officers, staff and members of the public from across Buckinghamshire assembled virtually for the annual High Sheriff’s Awards.
Hosted online by Andrew Farncombe, High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, over 40 officers, staff and members of the public were commended for taking action in challenging circumstances, demonstrating high quality work and going above and beyond to protect the most vulnerable in our communities.
The Priority Crime and Neighbourhood teams from Aylesbury Vale were recognised for their work to tackle anti-social behaviour in Buckingham that was having a significant impact on the local community.
After incidents progressively became more serious, resulting in assaults and robberies with knives being carried or involved in many of the offences, a number of arrests were made.
Whilst the Priority Crime team conducted numerous investigative enquiries and carried out multiple in-depth interviews over two days, the Neighbourhood team targeted their patrols to minimise the risk of further offences and to reassure the local community.
A number of individuals have been subject to enforcement and diversionary programmes to prevent re-offending. The investigation is still ongoing.
Crime of this nature has dramatically reduced in Buckingham since the intervention of these teams, demonstrating the positive outcome they have achieved for our community.
The Neighbourhood team were also awarded for their partnership work which has protected a large number of vulnerable individuals across Aylesbury Vale.
The team have pioneered the use of civil orders to protect vulnerable people from abusers or drug dealers. A breach of these orders can and has resulted in imprisonment and can allow police to intervene on occasions where we may not otherwise have been able to.
Over the last year, 42 closure orders, 46 domestic violence protection orders (DVPO) and two civil injunctions have been obtained and put into place.
The officers were recognised for their tenacity and compassion, putting the victim first and working with them to understand their needs, speak up for them and put measures in place to safeguard those who may not be in a position to protect themselves.
The Wycombe Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and Priority Crime Team (PCT) were recognised for their resilience and determination during a period of unprecedented demand.
Between June and November 2020, the Wycombe local police area was subject to a number of serious crimes in quick succession.
Serious crimes require complex investigation and as more incidents took place, the number of cases that required the teams’ expert investigation grew and demand on them increased.
CID and PCT worked tirelessly with considerable dedication and professionalism, conducting exceptional investigations resulting in criminal justice outcomes, providing a sense of justice for the victims of these serious crimes.
Three officers from Wycombe were recognised for their work in keeping victims of domestic abuse safe through providing guidance to their colleagues on applying for domestic violence protection notices (DVPN).
Also demonstrated in Aylesbury Vale, DVPNs can provide additional protection for domestic abuse victims when the judicial route is not an option.
The team of three also implemented Operation Guardian, a project that allowed an ICR officer to work alongside a member of Women’s Aid. This initiative has already resulted in a number of successes, particularly through the reassurance that domestic abuse victims have received, thus creating greater confidence in the police.
An officer and three members of the public from Chiltern and South Buckinghamshire were recognised for their commitment to progressing the local community forums, developing these into the Policing Issues Panel for the local police area.
The three members of the public have each given significant dedication to enhance the relationship between the local communities and Thames Valley Police.
Their creation of the Chiltern Community Forum and the South Bucks Community Forum included developing and delivering a website and survey and their enthusiasm for the area of community safety is palpable.
The officer was instrumental in the relationship between the police and the community forums since their inception and he has gone above and beyond to ensure the continued engagement of the local communities in the policing priorities.
A neighbourhood officer from Chiltern and South Buckinghamshire was recognised for going above and beyond in challenging and uncertain times.
The officer took on additional responsibilities for a number of months and whilst experiencing a increase in demand on her time, maintained excellent relationships with her team, partner agencies and the local community.
She provided excellent support and guidance for a large number of colleagues, regularly engaged with members of the community across South Buckinghamshire whilst overseeing some challenging operational issues. This included the temporary closure of Dorney Lake and obtaining a closure order on a property in Stoke Poges that was having a significant impact on the local community. Her problem solving work contributed to a reduction in violent crime in the area.
A member of staff was commended for her professionalism and dedication to supporting officers and staff across Milton Keynes on a daily basis.
Described as leading by example with an innate sense of authenticity and dedication, her work supporting the local policing area and the command team was commended.
As well as her high standards of work, her positive disposition through tough situations was noted, especially during a year that has been challenging for all of us.
A member of the special constabulary in Milton Keynes was recognised for her outstanding contribution to the police force and the local community over the past year.
The officer volunteered 357 hours to work alongside response officers, on top of her own work and family commitments.
She also volunteered to take on a more senior role to lead special constables, providing support and guidance and also ensuring they had access to the right equipment to perform their roles.
She also offered further support to frontline officers throughout the last year by regularly bringing in home cooked meals to share and offering help to those who were struggling under the conditions of the pandemic.
Officers across Milton Keynes noted how she had gone above and beyond and demonstrated the real sense of family within the police.
Finally, a special Young Hero Award was presented to 12-year-old Louis from Milton Keynes who has been using his exercise time during lockdown to litter pick in his local area.
Starting with his nan’s litter picker, he then used his pocket money to buy himself a picker and a hoop for the bin bags.
Local officers described Louis as a role model, using his time to benefit not only himself but the wider community and noted that many will be appreciative of the cleaner environment he is creating, without necessarily realising that someone is going so out of their way to make this happen.
Louis’s mum said that she was bursting with pride and she was pleased that he took it upon himself to do something so selfless to stay occupied during lockdown.