Ben Doughty was told by his careers advisor not to bother with the police - it’s a good job he didn’t listen.
The Halifax-born acting inspector was recently awarded the Colin Cramphorn Trophy for Contribution to Neighbourhood Policing at this month’s West Yorkshire Policing Awards for the second time.
“Colin Cramphorn was the first Chief Constable I served under,” says Ben. “To be presented the award by his wife and son was a great honour.”
After winning the award in 2016 for his contribution to neighbourhood policing, Ben earned the accolade this time round for remodelling the way neighbourhood policing in Calderdale is delivered and his my commitment to partnership working.
Ben attended Moorside Primary School and was head boy of Holy Trinity Senior School.
He joined the police in 2003 aged 18 straight from sixth form and was posted to Calderdale, working in Todmorden, Brighouse, Elland and Halifax, as well as working at the force’s headquarters.
The dad-of-three says his most notable time in Calderdale was his work in Halifax town centre as the ward officer, and then after he was promoted in 2016 as the sergeant with responsibility for the town centre as well as running the team.
Ben was then temporarily promoted to inspector covering the Calder Valleys in the summer of 2018.
“I am passionate about neighbourhood policing,” he says. “Without the public, we are totally ineffective. We need communities to trust us and work with us to tackle issues that matter to them.
“Through engagement and being open and honest with communities we can build trust and confidence.
“I don’t do any of this alone. I am surrounded by officers, PCSOs and staff that really care about the services we deliver to keep people safe.
“It is challenging, we have less resources but we have to do the best we can with what we have available. I am proud of all my teams and what they achieve.
“In Calderdale we are smaller than other districts in West Yorkshire. I have been able to build incredibly strong links with our partners at Calderdale Council.
“We all have stretched resources but by working in partnership we have a bigger stronger army to tackle issues.
“This is particularly evident in relation to road safety, anti-social behaviour and the recent public spaces protection order to protect our moorland.”
As well as twice winning the Colin Cramphorn Trophy, Ben lists his biggest achievements as working in partnership with the council and the licenced trade secure purple flag accreditation for Halifax, and heading up Operation Hawmill, Calderdale’s partnership road safety operation.
Ben, who is also a trustee and founding member of the charity Total Awareness Promotions, attended this year’s Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in honour of his contribution to neighbourhood policing.
When asked what the biggest change had been to his role since joining the force, Ben says: “It has to be the huge change in crime types, the need to have experts and skilled investigators in relation to safeguarding, child protection and cyber crime.
“When I joined the focus was much more on traditional crime like burglary and vehicle crime.
“The reduction of funding across the public sector has changed lots, we have to do more with less and are ever increasingly dealing with things like mental health.
“It’s a challenge but I love it. I’m doing my dream job, in my home district surrounded by people that want to make a difference. I could not be prouder.”