An emotional awards evening took place last night (10 March) to celebrate and recognise the hard work, dedication and bravery of police officers, staff and volunteers at Leicestershire Police.
The Chief Constable Awards returned in person at the Athena, in a ceremony just days away from Simon Cole QPM’s retirement following 12 years at the helm. Last year’s awards were held virtually due to the pandemic.
The glittering awards evening, which was attended by more than 250 people, takes place annually to mark the outstanding work carried out by the force. Awards were collected for acts of bravery, outstanding work, high profile investigations, dog handling work and innovation.
Among the many stories were those of officers talking down an axe-wielding man, those who administered CPR and saved a life when a member of the public suddenly collapsed, officers whose complex investigations uncovered a prolific paedophile and those who helped jail a 20-strong crime gang whose vehicle racket ran into millions.
The Pen Lloyd Trophy for best Operational Police Dog work of the year went to PC Grace Feavyour and Police Dog Astro. The pair have been involved in numerous incidents with successful outcomes, including the detention of burglars who failed to stop for police, finding suspects hidden under vehicles and in gardens. They have also sniffed out stolen property and weapons, located high-risk missing people and uncovered evidence as part of a murder inquiry.
Grace, who was joined on stage by Astro to collect her award, said she was really “proud” of her first police dog and seeing how he had developed over time.
“He’s brought in some fantastic results for the force,” she said.
PC Ebrahim Ahmed clinched the Harry Wileman Memorial Bowl which recognises members of the force who have used their off-duty time for the benefit of others.
Ebs, as he is known, helped set up the Leicestershire & Rutland Blood Bikes service, which works closely with the LRI, Leicester General and Melton Hospital using bikes and vans to move critical supplies of blood between hospitals and care centres. All of the riders and drivers are volunteers and Ebs still gives up the majority of his rest days to support the charity now, six years on. The charity was recently recognised and received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
Ebs said he was “honoured and privileged” to receive his award and dedicated it to all those who volunteer their time to help others.
The Lifetime Achievement Award went to retired Chief Inspector Graham Compton who has given, in all, 57 years of service to the force.
Upon his retirement in 1997, Graham became a valued police staff member with the Road Safety Unit, pioneering road safety initiatives, inspiring community safety and promoting countless engagement events at schools in order to make the roads of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, safer.
A shocked, Graham, said he had “no idea” he had even been nominated but was delighted to win.
The force’s Resource Planning Team won the Jenny O’Shea Staff Award for its efforts during the pandemic to ensure that normality could continue and there were enough officers and staff present on shift to meet demand, despite self-isolation, quarantine and sickness.
The team’s planning and professionalism received the highest praise.
Also among the winners was Hinckley based PCSO Phil Wane who took home the PCSO of the Year Award for embedding himself in his community and being instrumental in forging and leading many town centre partnerships to support local services and vulnerable people.
The force’s drone team clinched the Innovation Award. Drones are now used in a variety of deployments from football and public order duties, to locating missing persons and road traffic incidents. The team’s ambition to develop their capabilities further and use technology to enhance policing has gone from strength to strength.
Three officers were also honoured at the evening’s ceremony for their acts of heroism in two separate incidents.
Sergeant Mike Hooper and PC Steve Quartermain were awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal for the part they played in responding to the helicopter crash at the King Power Stadium in October 2018. And PC Shaun Randall who was given the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery. He was one of the first officers on the scene of the Hinckley Road explosion in February 2018 and crawled into the exploded building to rescue a man from the fire.
Rupert Matthews, Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicestershire, said: “It is always humbling to hear what people, as individuals and teams have done in the line of duty. The event celebrates the achievements of the recipients, all of whose awards are well-deserved, but in a wider sense it highlights the work of the entire force.”
A visibly emotional Mr Cole paid tribute to those working hard to “make a difference to their communities every day.”
Congratulating them, he said: “These are fantastic achievements from dedicated, selfless and passionate people trying to make the world a better place.”
He thanked staff for their support over the years, adding: “Thank you for all that you do. It’s been a privilege and a fantastic period – keep on making a positive difference.”
If these stories have inspired you and you want to join Leicestershire Police, then find out more and apply. #MakeADifference