GMP Chief Constable’s STARS awards see brave officers, volunteers and investigative teams recognised for their work over the last year
The best of Greater Manchester Police officers and staff have been recognised at this year’s GMP Chief Constable’s STARS awards last week.
PCSOs and police cadets, the “man on the moors” investigative team and neighbourhood police officers who’ve organised hundreds of community events are among 13 teams and individuals given awards on Friday, 6th October. Cops who stopped a prolific attacker who was terrorising Canal Street and two officers who went above and beyond while supporting a rape victim are also receiving awards.
Greater Manchester Police’s Chief Constable’s STARS awards recognise the best in the Force and pay tribute to those who go above and beyond in their daily work.
This year’s ceremony saw a return to the Imperial War Museum North with proceedings opened by host Chief Constable Ian Hopkins. The evening was then compered by radio star Mike Sweeney with Lord Lieutenant Warren Smith in attendance.
The Chief Constable’s STARS awards recognise police officers and staff in five areas, with individual officers or staff or teams being recognised in service, teamwork, action, respect and safety.
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said: “It’s fantastic to hold the STARS awards again this year. We have had so many achievements from both officers and staff over the last 12 months, a testament to the fantastic work that all of our colleagues do day in day out, and it’s only right that we take a moment to show our appreciation for all that they do.
“All of the nominees should be extremely proud – they have shown real resilience, professionalism and a dedication to the people of Greater Manchester that they should all be proud of.”
Winners included a team of DCs and PCs from the city of Manchester division who connected the dots and worked tirelessly to find and arrest a man who was befriending then drugging, assaulting and robbing men around Canal Street in Manchester city centre, a DS who went above and beyond in her support of a victim of rape and a team of cadet leaders who have volunteered hours of their time for their local community.
Other nominations included the Force’s digital team who recently launched a new corporate website for members of the public to access relevant information quickly, officers who dealt with dangerous situations and saved lives in the line of duty and police staff whose innovations have helped the Force work in the most effective way possible.
Full list of winners of the Chief Constable’s STARS Awards 2017:
Staff - Kerry Versfeld (no photo)
Officers– DS Rebecca Mills for excellent victim support during a rape case (Trafford) (photo attached)
Volunteer – Cadets in Blackley Hassan Khan, Abdullah Ahmed and Chloe Carey for fantastic volunteering (photo attached)
PCSOs– PCSO Salim Ali for fantastic work as a PCSO on the City of Manchester division (no photo)
Neighbourhood – Oldham Town Centre and St Mary’s Neighbourhood Team for brilliant work for the local community (photo attached)
Teamwork – Phoenix Stockport for their performance and practice over the last 12 months (photo attached)
Innovation/best practice - PC Gareth Greaves, a police dog handler, for his work around processes in the unit (photo attached)
Investigative excellence – The Man on the Moors team, for their tireless work during a complex investigation
Awareness and Support – Victoria Southwell for always being dependable and exceptionally efficient
Karin Mulligan Award – The PLOD team for an innovative and inclusive project to help members of the deaf community communicate with GMP (photo attached)
First aid – PC Martin Burkinshaw for helping a man who was trying to commit suicide (Wigan) (photo attached)
Keeping people safe – PC Dave Stapely, PC Colin Bradbury, DC Jonathan Barnett, DC Mathew Cooper, DC Mark Anderson for solving a series of thefts and assaults in Manchester’s Canal Street (photo attached)
Bravery – PC Nicholas Lees, who dived into a fast flowing river to save a woman from drowning (Clayton, Manchester) (photo attached)
GMP Police Band – celebrating 140 years this year, having raised over £500,000 for charity since being set up.
A collection of winner’s stories:
Detective Sergeant Rebecca Mills – Excellent victim support during a rape case
DS Mills was the officer in charge of an investigation into the rape of a 22 year old woman last year. As well as leading a successful investigation into the horrific incident (ending in a lifelong prison sentence for the offender) the support that DS Mills gave to the victim was second to none. This incident had a profound effect on the victim and her life – she was not able to continue with her studies and lost her home. DS Mills has helped the victim rebuild her life and even gave her the confidence to face her attacker in court; something which ultimately led to his conviction.
DS Mills is based in Trafford.
Blackley Cadets Hassan Khan, Abdullah Ahmed Akhtar and Chloe Cary
Hassan, Abdullah and Chloe have all worked their way up the ranks of Blackley’s cadet scheme since joining as 14 year olds in 2013, becoming peer leaders when they turned 18. During their time they have tirelessly given up hundreds of hours to support their local community and new cadet recruits. This includes setting up crime prevention initiatives for schools in the area, supporting cadets having difficulty settling in and breaking down barriers in their communities, as well as many other pieces of work.
All three cadets are from Blackley.
Oldham town centre policing team – fantastic work and organising hundreds of community events
Officers on the Oldham town centre and St Mary's Neighbourhood team work hard to engage with their diverse communities and to support local businesses in the town centre. Over the last year they have organised hundreds of events to get people involved in their neighbourhood and to break down barriers between the public and police. This includes working with the local youth service, supporting local mental health initiatives, taking sign language classes and taking part in the local 7k run, as well as police enforcement work with over 30 Criminal Behaviour Orders, two burglary operations and working with the local authority to address problems in the town centre.
Innovation and excellence – Man on the moors team
On the 12th December 2015 a male was found deceased on a remote area of Saddleworth Moor, Oldham, known as Dovestone. He had no identification and had not been reported missing. The investigation to identify him and discover why he died took over a year to complete, crossing continents while bringing together the efforts of many international agencies, partners and foreign governments. The team had just train tickets for journeys between Ealing, Euston and Manchester, cash and a medicine bottle to go on. Their work in the coming months demonstrated the lengths the team went to identify Neil and ensure family were present when he was laid to rest.
Respect – Karen Mulligan Award
PLOD (Police Link Officers for Deaf People)
The PLOD scheme involves police officers and staff who are trained in deaf awareness and can use British Sign Language. These officers and staff use their skills to help members of the deaf community communicate with GMP in a nonemergency situation, including help at public enquiry counters, custody, at the scene of a crime, for victims following a crime and for delivering crime prevention advice.
Safety – keep safe
Two PCs and three DCs from the City of Manchester division - solved numerous assaults on canal street
In August 2016 two city centre PCs connected the dots when seven men were robbed on Manchester’s Canal Street, all in the same way – a lone man would befriend them, ply them with alcohol (sometimes drugging them) often assault them and then steal their belongings. Detective work by three DCs and enforcement work from two neighbourhood PCs meant the victims were vilified when a man was detained and eventually sentenced to 13 years in prison and a lifetime ban from Canal Street. The thorough and dedicated police work of all involved took a very real threat to the public off the streets and brought justice for innocent victims.