It goes without saying that all officers and staff working across Barnsley are heroes, but last night (Tuesday 7 November) saw the District Command Team and special guests honour some of those heroes for their actions over the past year, and indeed throughout their careers so far.
Amongst the award winners were the Barnsley Town Neighbourhood Team, for their commitment in tackling antisocial behaviour and two PCs who saved a colleague from a potentially life-threatening situation.
A total of ten awards and one commendation were presented to both staff and officers at the ceremony, held at the town hall and led by District Commander Chief Superintendent Scott Green.
The Chief Constable Stephen Watson, Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings and the Mayor of Barnsley, Councillor Jeff Ennis, were also in attendance to congratulate the winners and present some of the awards.
Throughout the evening, guests heard stories of exceptional work ethic, commitment and outstanding acts of bravery, particularly in relation to PC Simon Womersley and PC Jason Littlewood’s story.
The two officers were presented with the Bravery Award for their actions one evening last year where a colleague had been assaulted by a man she was trying to apprehend.
Chief Supt Green, said: “PC Womersley and PC Littlewood were responding to an incident in which a man was said to have been running in and out of traffic on the A635, Darfield, which a colleague had already responded to.
“On arrival they heard their colleague screaming and found the man in question biting down on to her hand. After a violent and sustained attack on the officer, with both PC Littlewood and Womersley making every effort to detain him, he was finally arrested after the officers deployed taser.
“It’s incidents like this that remind us of the dangers officers face day in day out and that we run towards the danger, often putting ourselves in harm’s way in order to protect others and keep them safe.
“Their courageous actions deserve to be recognised and they are a real credit to South Yorkshire Police.”
Other award winners included PCSO of the year Katherine McFadzean for her “continued passion and commitment” to the role, and Inspector Les Portman for his “enthusiasm and commitment to policing” throughout his career with the Force, which began in December 1990.
The Town Neighbourhood Team, made up of both officers and PCSOs, took home the team of the year award for addressing specific issues within the town centre.
“Since they were formed in January, the team have worked incredibly hard to tackle some of the really entrenched issues in the town centre, particularly around the interchange and Peel Square,” said Chief Supt Green.
“They adapted a problem solving approach and have worked to rebuild relationships, increase visibility and work together with local businesses, utilising civil injunctions and closure notices to make the area a safer and more enjoyable place to live, work and visit.
“It honestly took us hours and hours to decide who this year’s winners would be and we had masses of nominations from staff across the borough which were all incredible to read.
“The awards honour a handful of the hundreds of dedicated, hard-working people we have here in Barnsley but I’m proud of every single staff member here, who are all take pride in their work and are committed to making Barnsley a safer place each and every day.”
Full list of award winners:
• Jan Parton Police Staff Outstanding Achievement Award – Jayne Smith
• Crawford Roebuck Trophy – Inspector Les Portman
• PCSO of the Year – PCSO 8303 Katherine McFadzean
• Don Betton Award – PC 3636 Tom Eaves
• Special Constable of the Year – T/Special Inspector Nick Whittlestone
• Continuous Improvement Award – A/PS 1588 Paul McClure
• Manager of the Year – PS 667 Richard Wilson
• Bravery Award – PC 1244 Simon Womersley & PC 223 Jason Littlewood
• Community Service Award – Fiona Thompson
• Team Award – Town Neighbourhood Team
• Commendation Presentation: PCSO 8290 Dean Hamer