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Monday, September 7, 2015

Police boss hunts unsung crime-fighting heroes

A POLICE boss is asking for the public’s help to honour unsung crime-fighting heroes of the community.

North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Winston Roddick CB QC (pictured) has just launched his latest round of Community Awards to recognise people and groups who help police to keep their neighbourhood a peaceful and safe place to live and work and who help in rehabilitating offenders.

And he is inviting members of the public to send him their own nominations for the main accolade on offer, the coveted People’s Award.

This aim of this award is to highlight and honour an individual or community group who have made a strong contribution towards community safety and crime prevention.

It is the only one of the awards which is nominated directly by members of the public using an online form. The closing date for nominations is September 25.

Mr Roddick,  who in his time has served as a police officer, a barrister and a judge, revealed that his inspiration for setting up the awards, which are now in their second year, came from last year’s People’s Award winner, Deana Fisher, who pioneered the successful Gwarched Bermo CCTV project which helps keep Barmouth safe.

The Commissioner said: “I went over to Barmouth with a group of police officers and others to see the system and I recall that a local councillor said to me when referring to Deana, `that woman deserves a medal’.

“That comment inspired me to say that the excellent work done by people like Deana must be acknowledged.”

Mr Roddick added:  “One of the awards I established last year is called the People’s Award. 
“This will go to an individual or group who have made an impact in helping to keep people safe and/or to reduce crime. 

“This contribution may impact the whole area, a local town, neighbourhood or even street, but it will have made a difference to the people living and working there.

“It could be someone who is working to bring communities together to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, or is working with people to deter and reduce offending.

“While I will select most of the award recipients myself in consultation with my office, the People’s Award is special in that it is the only one which will be nominated directly by the public.

“I am therefore asking for the assistance of the people of North Wales to help me select a suitable candidate for this particular award.

“If you know someone in your community who has gone that extra mile to prevent or reduce crime, protect and support members of the community or generally helped to make North Wales a safer place to live and work, please nominate them for the People’s Award. 

“I believe I was the first Police and Crime Commissioner in England and Wales to institute such awards, so North Wales is very much leading the way with this initiative.

“Last year’s awards ceremony was a great success and allowed me to shine a light on the tremendous efforts of some very special people.

“That is why I again decided to host my community awards in 2015.”

The winners of the People’s Award and the other PCC Community Awards will receive their honours in front of police and civic leaders at a presentation on the evening of Thursday, October 22.

Last year’s inspirational People’s Award winner was Deana Fisher who was a key figure in establishing and running the Gwarchod Bermo CCTV project.

For a number of years she has been an active member in the community and spent several years as a town councillor.

She regularly volunteers her time to the project and willingly monitors/reviews the system to help keep Barmouth safe.

The CCTV service relies entirely on enthusiastic and driven volunteers like Deana to operate successfully.

There is clear evidence of a reduction in crime in the area due to her work on the CCTV project.

The member of the public who nominated Deana last year said of her: “She has almost single- handedly transformed our small town into probably the safest place to live in North Wales.”
* To nominate your choice for the People’s Award, go the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner’s website at www.northwales-pcc.gov.uk to complete and return the online form.  Alternatively you can download the form, complete it and return it to The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Glan-y-Don, Colwyn Bay, LL29 8AW, or by email to opcc@nthwales.pnn.police.uk and remember the closing date is September 25.

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