Police Scotland has celebrated the outstanding commitment and achievements of its workforce – including officers, staff members and special constables – at an awards ceremony held today (Friday 1 February 2019).
The service held its fourth annual Scottish Policing Excellence Awards, sponsored by Police Mutual and supported by the Scottish Police Authority and the Scottish Government.Police Scotland’s Excellence Awards recognise excellence and innovation in specialised divisions and local policing across the country.
The awards are held to celebrate the achievements of those who demonstrate their commitment to keeping people safe in their local communities through innovative policing.The awards were open to all police officers and members of staff of any rank or grade. Nominees were proposed by colleagues and peers as a reflection of their hard work, commitment and effort in promoting the values and aims of Police Scotland.
Each category was shortlisted by a judging panel consisting of members from Police Scotland’s Force Executive.
Finalists attended today’s ceremony at the Scottish Police College where they were welcomed by a Police Scotland piper.
Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said: “Our people are our best and most important attribute and the Excellence Awards offer an opportunity to reflect on the quality service they provide to Scotland every day.
“I am privileged to lead an organisation where the standard of nominees and winners is so high and covers such a wide range of policing.
“It was a pleasure to be able to personally thank officers, staff and special constables for their professionalism and dedication.”
Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Humza Yousaf, said: “In my time as Justice Secretary, I have been struck by the incredible professionalism, dedication and expertise of Police Scotland’s officers and staff – from call handlers to cyber specialists, forensic experts to special constables.
“Their passion to deliver results for the people they serve shows excellence across Police Scotland as the force evolves to meet the needs of modern policing.
“I congratulate the winners, and all those nominated today, for their personal dedication to duty and responsiveness to the needs of others.”
Professor Susan Deacon, chair of the Scottish Police Authority, said: "I am constantly impressed by the dedication, commitment and creativity of our police officers and staff. “These awards are an opportunity to recognise and celebrate some of the very best examples of innovation and excellence within our police service which play such an important part in keeping our communities safe.
“My heartfelt thanks and congratulations go to all those who have been nominated and, in particular, those who have won awards."
Police Mutual Group’s Sales and Marketing Director, Andy Elkington, said: “This year’s awards recognise some of the truly inspiring acts of courage by police officers, staff and members of the public, and everyone involved should be very proud of their achievements.
“You are a credit to your families and friends, your communities, and the police service.
“Your determination and courage continue to inspire all of us and I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of myself and all of the colleagues at Police Mutual, to give you our sincere thanks.”
The Award for Greatest Contribution to Policing was presented to the Child Sexual Exploitation Campaign Team.
Early in 2018, Police Scotland launched “#NotMyFriend” CSE campaign, a partnership approach to tackling perpetrators of online child sexual abuse, with Police Scotland Corporate Communications and The National Child Abuse Investigation Unit, working together with the charity ‘Stop It Now’. The campaign has seen impressive results, including over 7.3 million impressions on social media.
Probationary Constable of the Year was presented to Police Constable Mathew McKay, North East Division.
Constable Mathew McKay works with the Buchan Community Policing Team in Peterhead. Mathew has worked on making an impact on the high levels of antisocial behaviour in Peterhead Town Centre and disrupting the increase in drug dealers operating in the town, who were targeting vulnerable drug users and using their homes as a base for dealing. Mathew’s dedication and determination to the role were evident from the outset and he has been able to develop an in-depth knowledge of the drug networks.
The Police Officer of the Year Award was awarded to Constable Craig Stamp in Argyll & West Dunbartonshire Division.
Craig has seven years’ service and is currently the Youth Engagement Officer for Helensburgh & Lomond. Craig is a point of contact for youth groups, Local Authority Children’s Houses and all schools in the area, building an outstanding rapport with both young people and partners alike. Craig has also led the co-ordination and delivery of regular training days for other colleagues in this role.
Policing Partner of the Year award was presented to TecSOS Mobile Alarm Solution, Specialist Crime Division.
TecSOS is a project delivered across the UK by a charitable trust on a not-for-profit basis. The project offers a means for a high-risk vulnerable people to access a fast response from the Police in an emergency. The processes in place are aimed at providing the police with a service for safeguarding vulnerable victims of such crimes as domestic abuse, sexual exploitation, hate crime and honour based abuse and so far around 15,500 such victims have been supported by TecSOS during the seven - year life of the project.
Continued evaluation has demonstrated that TecSOS has not only helped the Police to save the lives of a number of such victims but also that the feelings of security, confidence and well-being of victims whose lives have been devastated by such abuse have increased significantly enabling them to get on with their lives and move forwards.
Amanda Richardson, North East Division, was recognised as being Police Staff Member of the Year.
Amanda Richardson has worked in the police service for 11 years. She has been an Early Intervention Worker in Aberdeen since 2015, having previously worked in custody and camera enforcement. She has established herself within the local community and associated partnerships, actively seeking out and progressing interventions and diversion schemes for young people at risk of offending or being involved in antisocial behaviour.
Service Improvement Award was presented to Police Constable Lynda McTurk, Specialist Crime Division- Safer Communities.
Lynda played a key role in developing Police Scotland’s first national Corporate Parenting Plan. This sets out our commitments to all care experienced children and young people across the communities of Scotland. Lynda identified research which confirmed care experienced young people are much more likely to face poorer life experiences, have greater emotional challenges and lack family and friendships networks. She highlighted Police Scotland’s requirements to support care experienced young people, to improve outcomes, and her work has assisted in achieving this.
The Safer Communities Team in Lanarkshire Division won the Equality Award.
The team began a consultation and research exercise in order to determine how best to tackle sectarianism in the community. In partnership with Nil by Mouth, they developed interactive inputs to schools and youth clubs across Lanarkshire and organised the annual ‘Kiss Bigotry Goodbye’ football tournament. The initiative has received positive feedback, parliamentary recognition, a national award and contributed to a significant reduction in hate crime.
This year, three Special Constables of the Year were recognised for their contribution.
Special Constable Richard Martin, Tayside Division
Special Constable Ricky Martin has 14 years’ service, works with the community team in the Brechin and Montrose areas, and has volunteered for nearly 600 hours of duty in the past year. Ricky’s commitment to reducing rural crime and community spirit has been outstanding, setting up patrols with fellow Special Constables in problematic areas and attending community council meetings. He has been responsible for over 250 households in the local rural area signing up for Neighbourhood Watch, one of the biggest schemes in Scotland.
Special Constable Allan MacDonald, Edinburgh Division
Special Constable Allan MacDonald has six years’ service. He works full time as a musician and photographer and despite the demands of these jobs, he has managed to parade for duty in Edinburgh 72 times over the last year. Allan was instrumental in the delivery of Operation Heddle, a local operation dedicated to making the roads of the South West locality safe. Allan proposed this operation in line with the festive road safety campaign, personally working seven shifts, to carry out speed checks and static road check at key locations.
Special Constable Malcolm Whyte, Tayside Division
Special Constable Malcolm Whyte has worked as a Special Constable for Perth and Kinross for nearly 14 years. He has worked more than 600 hours in the last year with the Community Team in Pitlochry and the Road Policing Team, Perth. In the past year he was successfully appointed as Special Constable Wildlife Crime Officer for the Division, policing the Cairngorms National Park. He has completed many training courses to fulfil the role, as well as regularly volunteering, often at short notice, to assist at a number of traumatic incidents. This has been done with his usual commitment and professionalism.
The Team of the Year award was presented to Operation Performance, Lanarkshire Division.
Operation Performance was a proactive and investigative response to an emerging threat involving the theft and selling of stolen tools by Organised Crime Groups within Airdrie, Coatbridge and Cumbernauld. This operation was highly effective and officers demonstrated extremely high levels of commitment and ingenuity, going above and beyond, leading to noteworthy results including a reduction in acquisitive crime and recovery of a significant volume of stolen property.
Wellbeing Award was presented to Sergeant Wendy Maginnis, Argyll & West Dunbartonshire Division.
Wendy is stationed at Helensburgh Police Office. She has been involved in Wellbeing Matters and the ongoing strategy to improve wellbeing within Argyll & West Dunbartonshire Division since the launch last year. She has been the driver of a number of divisional initiatives and has supported her colleagues in critical and emotionally challenging incidents. Wendy recognised that due to the division being geographically spread, there were a number of officers in remote and isolated locations who should be afforded the same access to wellbeing support. She organised wellbeing roadshows and visited a number of outlying offices to address this.