Tackling criminals with weapons, coming to the aid of people with life-threatening injuries and reclaiming hundreds of thousands of pounds of criminal assets, they are just some of the outstanding efforts recognised at the 2015 Calderdale Police Awards.
The event, held at the Shay Stadium, Halifax, saw police officers, police staff and members of the public praised for their efforts in helping to put criminals behind bars and save lives.
The first award of the night saw PCs Riah Heathcote and Claire Middleton singled out for their “calm, courageous and controlled actions in disarming and arresting a man armed with a knife, at personal risk to yourself, your colleague, and a victim of domestic abuse”.
The case dates back to Boxing Day last year when the officers turned up to a domestic disturbance in Ovenden and disarmed a man with a knife. What makes their actions even more extraordinary is that when the officers turned up to the job they were unaware that the man had a knife.
PC Heathcote said: “It was one of those situations where you don’t think about it until you walk away.
“At the time when Claire went for the knife I thought ‘it’s either him or her’ but thankfully it never came to that.
“You can’t really dwell on it. It’s just one of those things.”
Meanwhile, PC Heather Holbery was given a prestigious Royal Humane Society Award for her instrumental role in saving the life of a lorry driver following a horrific lorry crash on the Elland Bypass in August 2012.
PC Holbery, who was off-duty at the time - was the first on the scene and managed to save the lorry driver’s arm - and life - by making a makeshift bandage out of a jacket.
“The award means a lot. It’s nice to be recognised for doing something good for someone.”
Elsewhere on the night, Kerry Fox, Nigel Crowther, Det Cons Ash Nuttall, Det Cons Tony Chapman and Emma King were recognised for their “world class investigation, commitment, diligence and tenacity in the conviction of professional money launderers whose joint benefit from crime was £2.3 million”. The award, which was presented by Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson, relates to the uncovering of assets belonging to convicted Halifax fraudsters Julie and Anthony Nickerson.
Halifax’s town centre team, meanwhile was given the Colin Cramphorn award having significantly reduced crime on their patch, including confiscating £600,000 of drugs in one week.
PC Ben Doughty, from the team which also received an award at last month’s West Yorkshire Police award, said: “We’re really proud of what we have achieved in the last 12 months and the test is now to keep it up.”
Meanwhile, Jasmin Clayton, Stephen Thomas and Leah Mullin were awarded for their work with the Halifax Street Angels; PC Lisa McDonald was recognised for her exceptional work over two years investigating sustained harassment against a same sex couple; and Det Cons Helen Hellawell was honoured for her “commitment, diligence and professionalism” in securing a six-year conviction for an overnight burglar who was terrorising the Calder Valley.
Awards were also given out to Abraaheem Mir and Rehman Butt - two civilians who took on a hammer-yielding thief; PC Dick Infield and PC Mark Maiden of the Safer Roads and Neighbourhood Teams for their work in securing priority arrests; PC Craig Collins who helped save a vulnerable woman from a rock face; Det Sgt Damon Walker, Det Cons Darren Heald and PC Paul Kitchen who located a “highly volatile and distressed missing person” who was trying to stab those trying to help her.
PC Carl Gallagher, PC Steve McNamara; Special Constable Argi Dratzidis, PC Paul Kennedy, Sgt Justin Hunter, PC Lauren Hill, PC Tim Parsons, PC Rick Hoyle, PC Paul Kitchen, PC Abbey Shaw, PC Craig Taylor and Det Cons Simon Jenkinson also received awards.
Calderdale District Commander, Chief Superintendent Dickie Whitehead “I am extremely proud of each and every one of the officers and staff who commit themselves to the district in order to make Calderdale a safer place.
“The fantastic examples of policing here this evening, show the best in investigation, neighbourhood policing, volunteering and partnership working which together highlight the exceptional commitment and dedication of our district team to protect the vulnerable and bring offenders to justice, making the district a safer place to live, work and bring up families.”
“We are also celebrating some incredibly brave and public-spirited members of our community, whose contributions have solved crimes and saved lives, showing the immense passion, compassion and pride amongst those living locally.”
West Yorkshire Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Andy Battle praised the “tenacity and kindness” of all the award winners.
Special guest actress Siobhan Finneran from the cast of TVs Happy Valley also attended.