Merseyside police officers, staff, volunteers and community partners recognised for outstanding contribution to keeping communities safe15.11.23 - Merseyside
Merseyside PCC Emily Spurrell was among those in attendance at the annual Community First Awards last night, celebrating and recognising the dedication, bravery and professionalism of police officers, staff, volunteers and community partners.
The ceremony, which is now in its sixth year, saw members of the force awarded for a range of achievements.
Partner agency professionals, volunteers and community leaders were also recognised for their invaluable work alongside the police and their commitment to supporting our communities, preventing crime, protecting people, and pursuing offenders in Merseyside.
In the build-up to the awards, nominations flooded in from across the force and a judging panel had the unenviable task of shortlisting nominations for the awards, with Chief Constable Serena Kennedy and Police and Crime Commissioner Emily Spurrell each choosing a worthy winner for their own personal choice awards.
Merseyside's Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: "The Community First Awards are a fantastic celebration of the incredible bravery, dedication and selflessness Merseyside Police officers, staff and volunteers demonstrate day in day out serving our communities.
“Their outstanding work makes me incredibly proud, and this evening is an important opportunity for us to shine a light on the very best of their work and pay tribute to those individuals who have truly gone above and beyond to prevent and fight crime and support victims.
“I was particularly pleased to present my award to Mike Berry, who has dedicated 35 years to policing both with Merseyside Police and in my office leading on hate crime, mental health training and working tirelessly to improve safety in some of our most deprived communities across Merseyside. Mike is well known in our organisations and among our partners for his dedication, knowledge, quick wit and for always being willing to go the extra mile. He is a very worthy winner.”
The Chief Constable, who presented the awards at the Crowne Plaza in Liverpool city centre, described the evening as a showcase of the sterling work carried out by officers and staff across the force.
She said: “I’m really proud of the officers, staff and volunteers who work for Merseyside Police and also our partners and members of our community who are vital to the success of Merseyside Police. This annual awards ceremony gives us the chance to recognise some of the amazing work that has been carried out across the force and to say thank you. The people who have won awards tonight have all shown their personal commitment and dedication to keeping communities across Merseyside safe through their exceptional work.
“It’s really humbling to listen to the testimonies of those who have been nominated tonight and it is an absolute pleasure to have been able to present the winners with their awards.
“The Community First Awards are a true reflection of our ethos and standards here at Merseyside Police and shows that we are a force which truly puts our communities at the heart of everything we do.
“Policing is by no means an easy job yet the passion and commitment of those who choose this career is second to none. Last night we heard examples of the incredible work that goes on every single day across Merseyside and it is so important that these achievements are recognised and celebrated.
“I am grateful for everything they do, and I hope this years’ winners and nominees are proud of themselves and their work.
“This awards night would not have been possible without the generosity of all our sponsors and a special thanks goes to SSS Public Safety, Serve and Protect Credit Union, Softcat, The Red Neighbours programme, Sefton Hospitality, LA Productions, Mace Group, Bluestar Software, NicheRMS365, Motorola Solutions, Police Mutual, Willmott Dixon, Robert James Solicitors, Orlo and University of Huddersfield.
“Finally, I would again like to wholeheartedly thank and congratulate the winners and nominees. I am incredibly proud to work with such inspirational individuals and I am extremely pleased that last night their achievements were recognised as deserved.”
Among the winners on the night were:
Support Victims and Vulnerable People Award: Police Staff Investigator Kate Gore
Kate is Sefton’s Hate Crime Co-ordinator and over the last 12 months she has visited every secondary and several primary schools in the area to deliver hate crime education. Kate often attends local schools to work with small groups – both victims and offenders – and through intervention work she has had a positive impact and feedback from children. Kate has also been involved in a high visibility operation to tackle racist graffiti in Seaforth and arranged coffee mornings with sheltered accommodation and other community groups to offer reassurance. Kate’s work has improved the trust and confidence that victims need in order to report hate crimes.
After winning her award, Kate said: "I'm massively overwhelmed and really grateful. I still can't believe it, particularly as the other nominations were so strong. I work with other Hate Crime Co-ordinators in the force and I couldn't do my work without them around me. We all come to work to do a good job and make a difference, and it's nice to be recognised for what you do."
Leadership & Me – Team of the Year: Operation Interface
A small team within Prevention, Operation Interface is at the forefront of preventing, educating and protecting the Merseyside community from serious violence and knife crime. The team has delivered exceptional performance in some of the highest risk communities for violence by providing vital support for organisational development, learning and reassurance operations following critical incidents, which has had a significant impact in our communities. The results of their work are unparalleled. Merseyside recorded serious violence reductions in hot spots by 35% during 22/23 and this downward trend is continuing in 23/24 with a further 12% reduction.
After receiving their award the Op Interface team couldn't believe they'd won the award. Superintendent Phil Mullally, said: "It's absolutely fantastic and the team couldn't believe it when it was announced - we were all speechless. We are only a small team but we pack a punch and we know we are having an impact on the streets. The reductions we are seeing show that we are having an impact on violent crime and we are making our communities safer. As a team we want to thank all those people in our communities and our partners who have supported the work we have been doing in targeting hotspot areas. Our patrols are out engaging with our communities every day and they're really heartened when they are being thanked for the work they are doing to make our neighbourhoods safer and it's so pleasing to see that we are having a real positive impact in our communities."
Investigate Crime and Bring Offenders to Justice Award: Detective Constable Mike Volynchook
Mike has investigated 185 crimes (and counting), with 130 of them resulting in a positive outcome/detection. Mike has been a real asset to the team based at Smithdown Lane throughout the last year, and has displayed an incredible commitment to victims of crime, ensuring all vulnerable people feel safe and supported. Mike’s work ethic, attitude and delivery are phenomenal. The Investigations strand has never had such a high workload per Investigator, yet this has not detracted from his positive outcome rate. The impact of Mike’s work has received comments from victims that they have confidence and the assurance that the police will support them and achieve justice.
After being presented with his award Detective Constable Mike Volynchook, said: "I'm really shocked, the other nominations were really strong and they would certainly have been worthy winners and I feel really humble that I have been given this award. I was just delighted to have received the nomination. I work in Investigations in Liverpool dealing with serious crime and it's so important to get positive outcomes for the victims of these crimes. I will always strive to do better and it's getting those positive outcomes for victims that drives me. It has been really humbling when victims of crime have come to me, after getting a positive outcome at court ,to say thank you."
Constable Mark Hobin, was presented with the Chief Constable's Award, for his work in Public Order/Public Safety Policing, which includes training new officers, as well as refreshers for officers at all ranks including Chief Officers, as well as his voluntary work as Vice Chair of the Doyle Phillips Foundation, which was set up as a lasting legacy for PC Neil Doyle and PC Dave Phillips, and provides support for families of officers and staff, who have died through natural causes or tragic circumstances and with his local rugby team Portico Vine.
After receiving his award, Mark said: "Anyone who knows me knows that is not often that I'm speechless, I speak to big groups of people on a regular basis both within force and externally, but tonight I'm dumbstruck. The Chief talked about the work I do in public order/public safety and I am really proud that I am able to support constables who have just started in the job through to strategic commanders, and all the ranks in between, it is a real privilege. This is the first time I have been to the Community First Awards and it is such a special occasion. Sometimes we take for granted what we do, but just reading the nominations for all the awards tonight brought home the breadth of experience and commitment of people across the force."
The Police & Crime Commissioner’s Award was presented to Mike Berry for 35 years of dedication to policing working within Criminal Justice and People Services during career and within the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
Other winners on the night included:
• The Chief Constable’s Award: Constable Mark Hobin
• Community Engagement Award: Sergeant Rachel Hassett
• Community First Partnership Award: Chief Constable and Police & Crime Commissioner’s ‘She Inspires’ Football Programme
• Healthy Organisation Award – Innovation & Efficiency – Jamie Molloy and Rachel McEvoy
• Healthy People Award – Diversity and Inclusion: Police Race Action Plan Team
• Healthy People Award – Wellbeing: Sergeant Ste Holmes
• Special Recognition Award: Pauline Fielding MBE
• Specialist Capabilities Award: Eagleye/Automatic Number Plate Recognition
• Leadership & Me – Police Volunteer of the Year Award: Karen Jones