GMP STARS Awards 2020
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This week we will be recognising the shining stars of Greater Manchester Police (GMP) as part of our annual STARS Awards.
The STARS Awards acknowledge the exceptional work that takes place across GMP, by honouring brave officers, volunteers, investigative teams and police staff, who have gone above and beyond the call of duty during the past year.
The awards are given for five different categories:
Each winner has been nominated by colleagues and peers, who recognised their hard work, dedication and excellent achievements.
The 2020 STARS Awards ceremony had been scheduled to take place this autumn, but unfortunately had to be cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead, Chief Constable Ian Hopkins met each of the winners on an individual basis to thank them for their continued hard work, and to present each of them with their prestigious awards.
Some of the individuals recognised include Student Officer Andrew Hunt, who was awarded the Service - Student Officer Award after he saved a teenager's life by administering first aid when he was stabbed at an illegal rave, attended by 2,000 people during lockdown.
PC Hunt and his colleagues were some of the first emergency service workers on the scene at the Carrington rave. The site's tough terrain meant officers had to race through much of the undergrowth on foot when trying to locate the victim - who had been reported as being unconscious, not breathing and having lost an estimated six pints of blood - not knowing the wider risks that they were faced with; putting their own lives at risk.
When the victim was eventually located, PC Hunt acted without hesitation and began to apply pressure on one of the two wounds to stem the bleeding. Along with colleagues, PC Hunt moved the victim into the rear of a police carrier and transported him to a nearby ambulance and stayed with him until he got to hospital. The victim was rushed into emergency surgery and has made a good recovery considering the life-threatening injury that he sustained.
PC Hunt and colleagues, act without hesitation to save the victim's life:
The Oldham D Relief Response Team were the winners of the Teamwork Award for their exemplary teamwork in going the extra mile with when called to deal with vulnerable persons and difficult situations, which require an increased level of professionalism and empathy.
On one occasion, PC Gillespie and PC Corlett attended reports of a female on a bridge over the M60 motorway. On arrival, they found the female stood on the wrong side of the bridge. The officers immediately engaged with her with a view to talking her down from the bridge. Through excellent communication, reassurance and empathy, PC Gillespie and PC Corlett - who was only in the third week of her tutor phase - were able to talk the female down off the bridge and in essence, saved her life.
The Operation Island Investigative Team received the Action - Investigative Excellence Award for their exceptional police work in the Reynhard Sinaga case, which is believed to be the largest rape investigation in the British judicial history.
This was a complex investigation that required the involvement of multiple teams to ensure a thorough investigation, and successful prosecutions. The complexities of the case went far beyond viewing 100’s of hours of indecent videos and interviewing the large number of victims. The investigation required a thorough review of the suspect's devices, which amounted to a significant amount of data to go through, and piece the evidence together. Painstaking processes had to be followed to identify and trace the victims.
Thanks to the tireless work of the team the prolific rapist went to receive a life sentence with a minimum tariff of 30 years - which was extended to 40 years on Friday 11 December following a Court of Appeal ruling - ensuring the victims got the justice they deserved.
Detective Sergeant Anna Rickards was the winner of this year's Respect STAR - The Karin Mulligan Award for Diversity in Action - following her work to support part-time officers. As the current Chair of the Association for Women in Policing, Anna watched with interest as the Metropolitan Police became the only Police Force in the country to offer the ability for new recruits to commence their career on a part-time basis.
Anna has been keen to ensure GMP offers the same flexibility, and that any part-time applicants are seen as fully operational, capable crime fighters and Investigators. Anna's proposal - which Chief Officers subsequently approved - was for part-time officers to be recruited on a job share basis to create one full-time post. These changes will help bring about more equal opportunities, and help those considering a career in policing balance other commitments with their careers.
As a result of Anna's hard work, GMP has already received significant interest in the part-time roles, from a much more diverse background than we have seen before, which in turn will help ensure as a force, we represent the different communities we serve.
GMP's first intake of part-time officers is set to be recruited in May 2021 to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of women in policing - when in May 1921, Clara Walkden of Oldham Borough Police, became the first known sworn-in Police Woman Constable in the Greater Manchester area.
PC James Briggs from the Tameside district was the recipient of the Safety - Bravery Award after he rescued a member of the public from Ashton Canal in May 2020. Officers had been called to the canal, to reports of a concern for welfare. When they arrived at the scene, officers quickly spotted a man submerged in the water in a part of the canal that wasn't accessible by public footpaths. With this, PC Briggs acted swiftly by climbing over a nearby fence and proceeded to make his way down the side of the canal bridge.
At this point, members of the public were aware of the police presence and notified PC Briggs and the team that the male had drifted under the bridge. PC Briggs immediately realised that the man was in serious danger as the bridge was in fact an unlit tunnel that is approximately a mile long. Knowing that time was of the essence, PC Briggs called out to the male but received no response. Concerned for the man's safety, he took the brave decision to jump into the canal and swim towards him.
Once PC Briggs had reached the man, officers standing at the side of the canal pulled them both to safety using a rescue line. The man was treated by paramedics at the scene before being taken to hospital to receive further treatment, and has since made a full recovery.
Watch as PC James Briggs acts on instinct to save the man from the canal:
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, said: "The STARS Awards is a fantastic opportunity for us to recognise the exceptional work and achievements that have taken place across the force throughout the year.
"The actions of each winner provide a small snapshot of the amazing work that goes on across the force on a daily basis. I would like to congratulate all the officers, staff and volunteers that were nominated and received awards, it is something to be incredibly proud of given that this has been a challenging year for us all.
"The professionalism and dedication that you have shown is commendable, and you have done the force proud. A huge thank you from myself and the rest of GMP, for all that you have done for the force and the communities of Greater Manchester.
"I would also like to add a special thank you to Service Support (Manchester) Ltd, who are the sponsors of this year's STARS Awards."
Congratulations to all the winners, who include:
Service Officer - Sergeant Khalid Bhatti (Organised Learning)
Service Staff - Creative Imaging Manager Chris Oldham (Corporate Communications Branch)
Service Student Officer - Police Constable Andrew Hunt (Stretford)
Service Specials - Special Constable Kieron Jones (Wigan)
Teamwork Award - District
Oldham D Relief Response Team
Investigative Excellence - The Operation Island Investigative Team
Innovation Award - Polygraph Team
The Karin Mulligan Award for Diversity in Action 2020 - Detective Inspector Anna Rickards
Bravery - PC James Briggs (Tameside)