A Boston Sergeant has been recognised for his work helping the ‘diverse community’ within the Boston and South Holland area.
Sergeant Paul Wills picked up the PRIDE Award of the year at the Lincolnshire Police Annual Awards 2016/17 for going ‘above and beyond his role’ and making a ‘significant impact on the relationship building between the police and communities in Boston’.
Chief Constable Bill Skelly, who announced the award winners said: “Boston and South Holland is recognised as having a diverse community with a significant population of non-English speaking residents.
“No provision currently exists for the police to significantly influence this community in relation to encouraging reporting, improving public confidence or monitoring community cohesion.
“Some steps have been taken to redress this situation by the increased recruitment of bi-lingual volunteers to assist police officers with crime enquiries, victim updates and joint agency visits. This needs to be managed and Paul has taken over the volunteer portfolio for Boston.
“Paul has attended a number of community events, met with local community action groups and also the local MP. There is now a possibility of employing community connectors who will give out advice on things such as housing, schooling and reporting incidents to the police.
“Since taking over this role, Paul has now increased our Bi-lingual volunteer numbers and created a bank of volunteers where our police officers can book one of the volunteers to assist them with some of their enquiries. “Overall, Paul has gone above and beyond his role and has taken time to invest in the diverse community which will assist police officers and the community alike.
“Paul’s contribution has made a significant impact on the relationship building between the police and our communities in Boston. We are trusted more, supported better and we have long-lasting links with a new and emerging community.”
Another award winner, whose work took them to Boston was Conatable Rizwaan Chothia, who was presented the award for Outstanding Contribution to Public Service.
Constable Chothia works with the Prevent agenda in Lincolnshire - aiming to tackle the radicalisation of vulnerable individuals.
Mr Skelly said: “Over the past year, Rizwaan’s passion, dedication and work ethic have yielded impressive results in embedding the core messages behind Prevent into the community. Following the adoption of the statutory Prevent duty within the education sector Rizwaan delivered over 250 Prevent training sessions into schools, colleges and universities.
“In addition, Rizwaan has made a significant contribution in engaging Muslim women across the county through events held in Boston and Lincoln where there are emerging Arabic, Bangladeshi, Kurdish and Afghan communities.
“These have included efforts to work with public protection colleagues to achieve common safeguarding aims.”
Other award winners from the night included volunteers from countywide organisations and schemes such as Op Revive, which aims to help vulnerable and elderly members of the community who have been identified by crime reports and the Victim Lincs team which works to ensure victims are satisfied with how they are dealt with by the force; .
Mr Skelly said: “The awards to be presented here represent the importance of dedication to duty, exceptional performance and professionalism of the police officers, both police and partner staff, volunteers of this force and members of the public.”
Award winners were:-
Special Constabulary Officer of the Year: Special Sergeant (now S/Insp) Christopher Gow
Stacey Pyke Award for Student Officer of the Year: Constable David Revitt
Copper’s Copper: Constable Dawn Young
Above and Beyond Award: Emma Jackson
Volunteer of the Year: Lynn Chantrey. Lynn was also awarded the Chief Constable’s Overall Annual Recognition Award
Outstanding Professionalism: Op Floyd team: Sergeant Rachel Blackwell, Constable Ian Freeman, Detective Sergeant Jennifer Lovatt
Citizen of the Year Award and Public Appreciation Certificates: Four members of the public (who did not wish to be named)
Making a Difference Award: Victim Lincs Team: Olga Babiak, Jess Collings, Emma Fillingham, Hannah Gosling, Sabiha Kathrada, Izabella Kiss, Emily Luxton, Barney Porter