ACE Awards winners revealed Date published: 18th September 2018 3.17pm

The outstanding work of officers, staff and volunteers was celebrated at the Constabulary's annual ACE (Achieving Cheshire Excellence) Awards event on Friday, 14 September 2018.

The awards are the constabulary's highest accolades that can be awarded to an individual or team who has gone that extra mile or demonstrated exceptional commitment to the 'We're Here' pillars of policing in Cheshire.  

This year's ceremony was the fourth annual event and took place at Wychwood Park in Crewe.

It was presented by ITV's Emma Jesson and guests included High Sheriff of Cheshire Alexis Redmond and Lord Lieutenant David Briggs.

Acting Chief Constable Janette McCormick said: “It always gives me immense pride to see the continued commitment and dedication our officers and staff have to protecting the public of Cheshire.

“We see fantastic work across the county every day, and the ACE Awards are a chance to celebrate some of this work and hear the inspirational stories which have led to officers and staff being nominated for an award.

“I would like to personally congratulate those who have won an award this year, as well as all those who were nominated by their colleagues. These awards are a great way of recognising individuals or teams who have gone that extra mile, giving them the recognition they undoubtedly deserve for their service to the constabulary and the communities of Cheshire.”

David Keane, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, added: “A huge congratulations to all of the outstanding officers, staff and volunteers that have won an award or been nominated at this year’s ACE Awards.

“Their dedication, hard work and commitment to protecting local residents ensures that Cheshire remains one of the safest places in the country to live, work and visit.

“This year I was proud to sponsor the Community Engagement award, which celebrates the police work carried out in our communities to make positive changes. I have witnessed first-hand some of this fantastic work since becoming Police and Crime Commissioner and I am proud of all the officers and staff who work tirelessly day in, day out to deliver better outcomes for our communities.”

Cheshire Constabulary’s ACE Awards is a fully sponsored event. This year’s sponsors were SAAB, Blast! Films, Dell EMC, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire and the Cheshire Police Federation.

More pictures can be viewed on our Flickr page.

ACE Awards 2018 winners

Back in 1968, at the age of 20, Derek Gardener became a Special Constable - a role he has continued to carry out to this day.

In 1987 he also joined the Band of the Cheshire Constabulary and has been praised for his endless energy and drive to help make the band a success.

In addition to the commitment required to play in the band, Derek is always there first in line to helping with the mundane but essential tasks that help a band tick.

For the past 30 years he has also spent each Tuesday teaching young children to play brass instruments at the Lions Youth brass organization in South Cheshire.

He has encouraged, helped and mentored hundreds of beginner players over the years. Many of those he helped as children now play alongside him in the Police Band.

In addition to his voluntary work for the constabulary, Derek, aged 69, has for many years served as a Scoutmaster in Crewe.

After receiving the award he said: “I’m very proud to have won this award. It’s recognition for my service and for something I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed doing.

“I’ve enjoyed all the years I’ve been with the police as a Special Constable out in uniform representing the force.

“The 30-years I’ve spent in the band has also been fantastic and I still enjoy it to this day.

“When I first started as a Special Constable in 1968 all we had was a truncheon and a whistle, it’s a bit different nowadays.”

PC Ric Walker and PCSO Sarah Wilson are part of Macclesfield LPU’s Rural Crime Team.

Ric and Sarah were presented with the Community Engagement Award, sponsored by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, for embracing their role as dedicated rural officers, setting some exemplary standards.

This has resulted in some outstanding results, both in relation to the detection and disruption of crime and the rebuilding of the rural communities’ confidence in policing.

Together they have as a team, and on occasion individually, pulled together an operation to deter and prevent the theft of livestock, targeted the illegal dumping of household and business waste, targeted the anti-social use of off road motorbikes and run a joint operation to clamp down on livestock and plant machinery thefts.

After receiving the award Ric said: “We were both really shocked when we found out we’d won. We just love what we do and love helping people in the communities we serve. To get recognition is a topping on the cake.

Sarah added: “Because we love our job and we do it every day we didn’t expect to win an award. It’s fantastic to be recognised and we just want to carry on the work we’ve been doing for rural communities in Macclesfield.”

PCSO and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender liaison officer Julie Malpeli, of the Ellesmere Port Beat Management team, was nominated for the ACE Award for going above and beyond the call of duty in helping the LGBT community.

The 37-year-old arranges monthly drop-in sessions for the LGBT community in which they are offered help, support and guidance on a wide range of issues, with people being directed to outside organisations where necessary.

She also works in collaboration with the Youth Federation to help young LGBT people and gives presentations at colleges and schools.

PCSO Malpeli encourages people from the LGBT community to report all instances of hate crime to the police and emphasises the fact that they do not have to suffer from homophobia or any other form of prejudice alone.

She has helped numerous members of the LGBT community, including people with disabilities, through difficult issues and has completed a basic sign language course to maximise the number of people she can help.

PCSO Malpeli, from Wirral, said: “It is an honour to have won the 2018 ACE Award for Services to the Public sponsored by Blast! Films. I’ve never been nominated for anything in my life so I am really happy to have won the award.

“The reason I do what I do as an LGBT liaison officer is to help members of the LGBT community.

“LGBT people that I know, including friends and family members, told me that they felt like they had barriers in front of them. Some felt apprehensive about reporting things and talking to the police.

“I’ve been working to break down those perceived barriers and I think that’s really important.

“The police are here to listen and help and we want everyone to feel confident in reporting incidents to us.”

Having seen first-hand the impact stalking has on victims, DC Dave Thomason and Consultant Forensic Psychologist (CFP) Dan Price-Jones, of the North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, joined forces to explore academic research and projects being conducted worldwide to help them better understand, assess and tackle stalking behaviour.

Utilising the vast knowledge gained, they opened an anti-stalking clinic in Warrington in November 2015 and its multi-agency forum has since provided enhanced support for countless stalking victims as well as expert guidance for colleagues in the police, the Crown Prosecution Service and the courts dealing with stalking cases.

Their work to tackle the root causes of stalking behaviour and give victims an enhanced level of support – utilising their areas of expertise in a psychological-legal approach to stalking – was being done alongside their full time jobs.

But they are now working full time at the new Integrated Anti-Stalking Unit in Warrington being run by Cheshire Police in partnership with North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and the Suzy Lamplugh Trust.

The first of its kind in the North West, the unit sees police officers, mental health professionals, outreach workers and victim advocates work together to protect victims of stalking and tackle the behaviour of stalkers.

DC Thomason and CFP Price-Jones have also delivered understanding stalking training to hundreds of police officers and staff.

DC Thomason, aged 36 from Warrington, said: “I am incredibly proud of the new unit and the fact that we’ve got two organisations that are not in the same place and doing different jobs but are a truly collaborative joined up unit working to keep people safe and keep people alive and achieve better outcomes for victims of stalking.

“Stalking is an insidious crime that steals lives and I hope that anyone reading this who is a victim of stalking or knows one looks into the work that we do and the help we can give.

“Dan and I are very proud to have won the ACE Award but the award is not just about us. We had a vision about three years ago about what we wanted to achieve. In order to get to where we have got to today we needed people to say ‘run with it and let’s see where you end up’. That’s what happened and it’s the greatest thing that could have happened to us.”

CFP Price-Jones, aged 52 from Manchester, added: “DC Thomason’s stance has always been that in order to manage associated risks we need to understand the psychology and motivations underlying and driving the stalking episode.

"He will always graciously attribute this to my area of expertise at the expense of his own deep applied knowledge of the psychological dynamics of stalking but I have learnt as much from him as he may have learnt from me.

“The years working with him have been the most exciting, productive and enjoyable of my professional career.”

Helping Cheshire Police officers and staff understand changes to the way reports of stalking and harassment should be dealt with has paved the way for Robbi Unwin to win an ACE Award.

The Digital Media Officer (Video) was tasked with creating an internal video to highlight new guidelines for effectively investigating reports or signs of the devastating crime of stalking.

Taking inspiration from comic books, his animated video telling the story of a stalking victim and showing call handlers and police officers how to deal with such cases has received widespread acclaim.

So much so that the video is being adopted nationally by the College of Policing and Cheshire Police has received requests from other forces for tailored versions of the slick and impactful video to be produced for them.

It is just one of many examples of the phenomenal work that Robbi has produced on a daily basis since the back office merger between Cheshire Police and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service in October 2017.

Now working for both emergency services, Robbi’s other standout work includes artwork for social events such as a superhero-themed charity quiz night and a Christmas quiz, a striking video for a Halloween and Bonfire Night safety campaign and animated videos showcasing cybercrime prevention messages.

Robbi, aged 30, from Stoke, said: “It was great being part of a big initiative like the anti-stalking project, and when it came to the video it was really ambitious. It was one of the biggest projects that I’ve ever done and it’s certainly up there with my best work.

“I had to hand draw a lot of the illustrations and I was really happy with the end result.

“As long as the video is helping officers on the front line and making a difference to prevent stalking that’s the main thing for me, but it is really nice to have won an ACE Award for the video.”

Mark Naylor, of Warrington CID, joined the constabulary in 2002 and has an unshakeable desire to help victims of crime and the wider communities that the force serves.

The 40-year-old operational supervisor for serious and complex crime at the Warrington Local Policing Unit drives the performance of his staff to deliver exceptional service to the public across all Cheshire Police’s ‘We’re Here’ commitments.

His energy and enthusiasm for the job is infectious. On top of his day-to-day duties, he has organised several sign language courses for officers in Warrington to help them communicate with members of the public who have hearing problems, offers peer support to colleagues affected by traumatic incidents and delivers a training programme to help officers understand the psychological effects of sexual abuse to aid them when engaging with and supporting victims.

DS Naylor, who is HM Prison Risley’s point of contact at Cheshire Police, said: “It was an honour to be nominated for the award, never mind to have won it.

“It came as a big surprise to have won the award for doing a job that I love.

“I love being a bobby and helping the public on the front line, but I also really love leading teams and forging people into a group that works effectively.

“I really enjoy leading teams and bringing out the best in people and trying to get the job done in the best way that we can.”

Karolina Kardas has given up her time to assist with translating Community Beat Meetings and set up a football team designed to encourage cohesion between the English, Polish and other ethnic minority communities.

She has also supported the homeless community and runs the Polish language Crewe Police Facebook page, where she promotes community events and various campaigns as well as responding to all police related questions.

Karolina, aged 35, said: “I was surprised to find out I had won this award. I’ve been volunteering for five years and this is nice recognition for something I enjoy doing.

“When you work as a volunteer it is something you choose to do. When I started I didn’t expect to carry on for this long but I have enjoyed it so much it has continued.

“Crewe has a large Polish community and needs this support, mainly because of the language barrier.”

Despite having a full time job Karolina, as a Partnership Volunteer, selflessly gives up her own valuable time to support Crewe LPU as well as the various communities of Crewe.
All this is done for no financial reward or personal gain and it is evident that she thrives on helping others.

Special Constable Dan Glassey, who is based in Widnes, has supported his full-time colleagues in a wide variety of roles and is described as ‘a pleasure to supervise’.

Dan, who was previously in the Army, often covers nights over the weekend period when resources are stretched to their maximum, offering support to front line colleagues when most required.

He also took time off his day job and attended and passed his force van driver written and practical exam. Dan now regularly supports the Local Policing Unit in driving the van night time economy.

Dan, aged 29, said: “It’s a pleasure working for Cheshire Police and to get an award wasn’t something I was expecting.

“I give as many hours as I can as a Special Constable supporting Widnes LPU with any operations and incidents and I love being part of the team.

“I’m extremely proud to have won this award and to be a part of a wonderful organisation.”

Dan is well respected by his peers and his line managers who describe him as an excellent dedicated officer who is always willing to help others.

Chris Carr is a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) for the Birchfield ward in Widnes.

He picked up the PCSO of the Year award for his passion, creative and tenacious approach.

One example of this involved Chris assisting with intelligence gathering relating to a serious and organised crime issue in the area.

He put in place a strategy and built an up to date picture of local businesses at the location which historically has been very difficult to access for police, enabling officers to map the location and work more closely with partners to deal with the issues.

As part of his duties, Chris also visited a local care home where he became aware of a resident who was a former police officer seriously injured in the line of duty.

Chris took the time to get to know him and spoke to staff and family members who gave the background to his injuries which have left him wheelchair bound and unable to speak.

Chris arranged for a presentation of a framed history of his service and a small party at the care home to acknowledge his service to the community.

This is just one of many examples where Chris has gone above and beyond his duties with a real personal level of service to those he interacts with.

After receiving the award Chris, aged 40, said: “I’m humbled to have won this award. There were some great candidates in the final and I couldn’t believe it when my name was read out. I was speechless.

“Every PCSO and police officer is doing great work every day in Cheshire and to be recognised for this work is something I’m very proud of.

“I’m especially thankful to my boss, Chief Inspector Simon Parsonage, for all the support he has given me.”

Flick Goldspink is responsible for coaching operators within the Force Control Centre and goes above and beyond this role to support the department in other ways.

An example of this includes developing a ‘lessons learnt’ bulletin for the whole department in order to encourage continual improvement amongst the team.

She has included a section called 'Public Contact Stars of the Month' which gives an opportunity for staff to nominate their peers for good work and recognition.

This has been really well received and has been great for the morale of the team.

After receiving the award Flick, aged 31, said: “I was flabbergasted to find out I’d won this award.

“I work with a number of people who do fantastic work day in, day out becasue they love helping the public. And that’s why I do it - I love helping people.

“It was lovely to be nominated by my peers and to win is amazing. I was shocked more than anything else.”

Detective Constable hailed for ‘embodying the very best of Cheshire Police’ has been named the force’s Police Officer of the Year.

DC Leanne Brundrett, part of the Public Protection Directorate and based at Northwich Police Station, was given the accolade sponsored by the Cheshire Police Federation at the annual ACE Awards at Wychwood Park in Crewe on Friday 14 September.

DC Brundrett always goes the extra mile to bring offenders to justice and support victims and families impacted by traumatic and life changing offences.

An example of the 37-year-old’s commitment is driving a victim to a safe location in Scotland despite having already completing her shift and then, following 17 consecutive hours on duty, spending a further two days putting support measures across national geographic borders in place for them.

Judges, prosecution barristers, social care workers and independent domestic violence advocates have also heaped praise on DC Brundrett.

Her extraordinary work ethic and investigation skills and the high level of support she gives victims both during and after her investigations is regularly highlighted by external agencies.

DC Brundrett, from Holmes Chapel, said: “I am extremely proud of my profession and feel honoured to serve the most vulnerable people in the community.

“I deal with the most horrific cases you can imagine involving children. In these cases the lives of the families concerned have been turned upside down.

“I make sure they get the quality of service they deserve for the horrific crimes that they have been subjected to and the best part of my job is bringing the offenders to justice and getting the best results possible for the victims.

“I give care to victims and their families until they tell me otherwise, not when a case ends, and I am delighted that my work and the work of Cheshire Police’s Public Protection Directorate has been recognised at the ACE Awards.

“With so many fantastic police officers in Cheshire, it is a huge honour to have won the award.”

DC Brundrett has also been nominated for a British Association of Women in Policing Award this year and received a Chief Constable’s Commendation.

Achieving outstanding results from their work to protect the most vulnerable members of society from harm has earned Cheshire Police’s Crewe Beat Initiative Team this prestigious award.

Part of the Crewe Local Policing Unit, the team use proactive, reactive and covert investigative techniques to bring the town’s most wanted offenders to justice.

The team’s flexibility in responding to threats and their willingness to trial new techniques and go the extra mile in carrying out complex investigations to secure prosecutions has secured numerous standout results for Cheshire Police.

They have secured prosecutions against organised crime gangs from outside the county who were selling drugs from vulnerable people’s homes in Crewe and using youths as drug mules.

Investigations requiring the team to be flexible with their shifts and work long hours culminated in simultaneous raids across multiple locations resulting in drugs, cash and weapons being seized.

The team have also used a variety of proactive interventions to safeguard a woman from a dangerous stalker and been instrumental in securing the arrests of high risk domestic violence offenders, organised crime group members wanted for serious crimes and prolific offenders.

Speaking on behalf of the team, Detective Sergeant Dan Loveridge said: “We are a fantastic team that is very dedicated.

“We are here to protect vulnerable people in Cheshire, particularly in Crewe, from county lines drugs dealers who cuckoo vulnerable young people, infiltrating their addresses and taking them over.

“We act on community intelligence to disrupt county lines drug dealing activity and it is great to be recognised for the work that we do with this ACE Award win.”