Detective Constable David Thomason has won a national award for the key role he played in the creation of the force’s Integrated Anti-Stalking Unit.
Dave was presented with the College of Policing’s Partnership/Collaboration Award on Thursday, 28 March for his work setting up the unit, which is based in Warrington.
One of three in the country and the first of its kind in the North West, the specialist unit was officially opened in June last year.
The unit has revolutionised the force’s approach to tackling stalking by creating a fully integrated, co-located unit.
It sees police officers, mental health professionals, outreach workers and victim advocates work together to protect victims of stalking and give them an enhanced level of support, as well as to tackle the behaviour of stalkers and the root causes of their offending.
In addition to his main role, Dave also led a widespread training programme within the force to improve understanding and awareness of stalking and harassment amongst police officers and staff – which enabled officers to better recognise stalking behaviour and record it appropriately.
After collecting the award he said: “I'm both amazed and surprised to have won this award and I felt really lucky even to have been nominated, considering the quality of all the other nominations.
“I'm passionate about trying to improve the police response to stalking and certainly don't do it to win awards, but it's so nice to be recognised nationally this way.
“I couldn't have got to where we are now without the support from my colleagues, and in particular my colleagues in the Integrated Anti-Stalking Unit."
The frontline officer training, coupled with the establishment of an innovative integrated anti-stalking unit has transformed the force’s whole approach to managing the risk associated with stalking. Dave’s work and television appearances have also raised awareness of stalking at a national level, empowering victims to come forward and speak out.