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South's success at the Neighbourhood Policing Awards

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Last week, officers from South Lancashire celebrated success at the annual Lancashire Constabulary Neighbourhood Policing Awards.

The ceremony, which was held at the Constabulary’s Hutton Headquarters, was a chance to recognise the hard work, dedication, and professionalism of Neighbourhood Policing Officers within the division, which covers the areas of Preston, Chorley, South Ribble and West Lancashire.

Eight awards were presented to officers and PCSOs by Assistant Chief Constable Karen Edwards, South Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent Stasia Osiowy and representatives from a range of partner agencies, in recognition of the contribution towards neighbourhood policing over the past year.

Those from across our area that were recognised included:

Community Engagement Award

PC Ash Gibson – Finalist

Through his role as a hate crime officer in South Division, PC Gibson has engaged with numerous community groups, helping to build trust and positive professional relationships with the division’s seldom heard communities.

South Ribble PCSO Tony Wojnarowki – Finalist

Having worked as a PCSO within South Ribble for 21 years, Tony is a well-known and well-respected figure in the area. He continues to effectively engage with local schools, community groups and members of the public and has rightly been recognised for his dedication to community engagement.

Innovative Crime Prevention Award

Chorley PC Connor Cross – Finalist

Having recently joined the Neighbourhood Team at Chorley, PC Cross hit the ground running and immediately began to tackle the repeat problem of off-road motorbike nuisance in the area. He worked with numerous partner agencies, running continuous operations in which multiple off-road bikes were seized and no longer able to cause issue for local residents. PC Cross continues to work alongside partner agencies to maintain sustainable solutions to this issue.

PCSO of the Year

Chorley and South Ribble PCSO James Slater – Winner

Utilising our online messaging platform, In The Know, James has engaged with various residents to set up a CCTV watch group and provided support to members of the community who couldn’t afford security equipment.

James has also worked with a special educational needs school which was subject to anti-social behaviour and criminal damage totalling £17,000. As part of his work, James helped to target harden the school, preventing further crime from occurring.

James has also used his knowledge and understanding of his community to set up Police Pals which is a multi-agency approach that works with children from selected schools in the area by way of support and education.

Community Beat Manager of the Year

South Ribble PC Jenny Fairhurst – Finalist

PC Fairhurst has shown her passion for community policing during a recent investigation where she ensured the victim was at the heart of everything she did.

She worked tirelessly to support the victim and achieve a conviction, often deviating and extending her shifts where necessary to ensure she was able to interview the suspect and secure a charge.

PC Fairhurst displayed fantastic investigative skills and a commitment to providing a quality, victim-focused service.

South Divisional Commander, Chief Superintendent Stasia Osiowy, said: “Neighbourhood Policing is at the very heart of what we do and these awards have highlighted just some of the excellent work that our teams in South Division carry out on a daily basis to address community issues, improve confidence within our communities and provide support.

“They have achieved a great deal over the last year and I know that they will continue to do so in the future. Congratulations to all the winners – the awards were very well deserved.”

ACC Karen Edwards in her opening address said: "It is a total privilege to stand on this stage and be here to celebrate and congratulate you on your wonderful achievements tonight.

I want you to feel proud of the work you do to protect victims and keep our communities safe.

The Neighbourhood Policing Teams across Lancashire are innovative, hard-working and we are devoted to providing the best quality of service to our victims and communities.

You do a difficult job and it is the preventative, problem solving approach that really stops people becoming the victims of tomorrow …you ensure we maintain trust and confidence in the service we provide. And this is vital!!

This evening is an opportunity to celebrate the fantastic work that occurs every single day throughout the various Neighbourhood Policing Teams in Lancashire. The neighbourhood offer within Lancashire not only includes our neighbourhood teams which are spread across the 14 districts of Lancashire, but also Safer Neighbourhood Teams and Task Force Teams.  It now also includes our citizens in policing - our dedicated volunteers.

Together they all contribute to the 3 pillars of neighbourhood policing which are Community Engagement, Problem Solving, and Targeting Act."