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North Devon police officers recognised at awards ceremony

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: May 02, 2013

  • COMMANDER'S CITATION: PCs Chris Mannell and Chris Caley have shown considerable bravery in the line of duty.

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POLICE officers from across North and West Devon met p in Barnstaple last week to celebrate a year of great results.

More than 30 officers received award, citations, commendations and certificates at the awards ceremony, held at Barnstaple Guildhall.

Barnstaple Sector Inspector Tom Holmes said the evening, attended by around 80 people, had been a great success.

He said: "I'm very proud of all our officers. They've all acted in a professional manner and shown real bravery, often in difficult circumstances. It shows the dedication of the officers serving the area."

He said it was a pleasure to reward members of the public who have helped with police work.

"We police by consent and need the support of the public," he said. "This is our way of thanking those people who have acted to help us and other members of the public."

Commander's Citation: PCs Christopher Caley and Christopher Mannell.

In the early hours of August 16 last year the officers were heading back to Ilfracombe police station when they noticed smoke billowing from a house in Princess Avenue.

After calling the fire service the pair noticed the homeowners at the entrance to the house wearing their pyjamas and in a dazed and confused state.

They led the residents to safety. But after doing so they were unable to find out if there was anyone else inside the building, so without hesitation or concern for their own safety they entered the burning building to search it.

After finding no one inside they left the building and were able to tell the firefighters a search of the property was not necessary.

The fire was extinguished, with three engines attending.

Superintendent's Certificate: PCs Andy Lear, Samuel Bye, Simeon Bayliss and Inspector Andy Brock.

In September 2011 Sergeant Andy Lear and PC Samuel Bye were attending a bin fire at a pub when they noticed smoke coming from a nearby house.

They ran to the house to find two cars alight on the driveway, which in turn set light to the house. Without fear for their personal safety Sergeant Lear and PC Bye took immediate action. PC Bye went to the rear of the house to seek an alternative entry while Sergeant Lear and a fire officer entered the smoke filled hall via the front door.

Between them the two officers and the fire officer led 12 people to safety from within the house.

Sergeant Lear was also involved in a second incident which earned him a superintendent's certificate.

Along with Inspector Brock he attended Barnstaple Long Bridge in September 2011 when a man had fallen off the bridge and on to mud flats.

After being joined by PC Bayliss the trio waded out to the man, who was conscious but in extreme pain from pelvic and spinal fractures, and moved him to the shore.

Commander's Commendations: PCs Tom Hutton, Tessa Gorin, Barnie Andrews and Lee Adamson and PCSO Jerzy Rozputynski.

PCs Hutton and Gorin have been awarded a commendation after attending the scene of a hanging in Braunton in February last year. The pair arrived at the scene within four minutes of the call being received and immediately had to take charge of a very distressing situation as distraught family members were present.

They recognised the female was not breathing and started CPR, which lasted for 25 minutes while they waited for an ambulance. Thanks to their efforts the woman regained a pulse but she later died as a result of the incident.

The pair have received the commendation for their persistence, professionalism and compassion shown in very difficult circumstances.

Also earning a commendation in similar circumstances are PCs Andrews and Adamson and PCSO Rozputynski.

On the evening of October 4 the three officers were sent to a house in South Molton where a man had hanged himself.

PC Andrews was first at the scene. In a very small room with had restricted access and confined space he started CPR while preserving the necessary forensic evidence.

He was helped by PC Adamson and PCSO Rozputynski who continued the CPR well after the arrival of ambulance staff.

The trio maintained the man's pulse for 40 minutes and were instrumental in helping him to make it to hospital, where he later died.

Commander's Certificate: PC Nina Domachowska and DCs Jon Dare and Rob Parish.

In July last year a spate of burglaries were reported in the Bideford area. The offences took place overnight while residents slept, causing great distress to victims and putting them at risk of harm if the offenders were disturbed.

PC Domachowska and colleagues took it upon themselves to conduct patrols in the Northam area to prevent further offences and identify potential suspects.

While doing so she stopped two men in the early hours of July 26. The men were not local and, suspicious, she asked what they were up to and searched them. She found them with keys, which had been stolen from the previous house burglaries, and as a result they were arrested.

DCs Dare and Parish took on the investigation and built a case against the pair which meant they were forced to admit their crimes.

The 18-year-old fair workers from Plymouth, Steven Lomax and Ryan Faulkner, were charged with three burglaries, two others taken into consideration, and the pair received eight-month jail sentences.

The trio have received the commander's certificate for their professionalism, initiative and tenacity.

Commander's Certificate: PC Adam Sinclair, DI Dave Atkinson, Inspector Pete Sarney, DS Austin Goss and PCSO Simon Barrett.

PC Sinclair has been awarded the certificate as a hard working, reliable officer who consistently goes the extra mile to produce results.

One example came last month when he attended a call in the middle of the night to a woman who had collapsed in woodland.

He found the woman before any other emergency services, carried out CPR on her and directed other units, including the force helicopter, to his location.

Inspector Sarney earned the certificate after volunteering to cover two sectors. The highest levels of performance were met across both of these areas.

He used his 29 years of knowledge and skill to help create a 40 per cent reduction in violent crime across the area.

DI Atkinson's professionalism and dedication to delivery of improved standards has led to him being awarded the certificate.

He has seen the local policing authority achieve the highest percentage of positive outcomes for victims of crime in the whole force.

DS Austin Goss was behind operation Long Barrow, which targeted travelling criminals committing burglaries and other thefts across isolated rural locations.

Over several months he collated vast amounts of intelligence and evidence in an attempt to build a circumstantial case for conspiracy to commit burglary.

His tenacity and leadership skills and ground breaking use of animated analytical work ensured a strong case was built against the group and one member was jailed for more than two years.

PCSO Simon Barrett receives his certificate after working tirelessly to put an end to antisocial behaviour in a Barnstaple street.

The behaviour involved three properties, all of which were owned by the same landlord.

Once it became clear the landlord was a large part of the problem, PCSO Barrett worked with North Devon Council's environmental health office to work towards an Interim Management Order under the Housing Act 2004.

This was only the second time such an order was taken out anywhere in the country.

Good Citizens award: Justin Richards, Christopher Sweetman and Cody Worthington.

Justin Richards has won a good citizens award after catching a man on the run from the police.

In May last year police were in pursuit of two men in a stolen vehicle who had been involved in a till snatch.

Mr Richards saw one of the men enter his garden and followed him into Bicclescombe Park.

Unaided by officers Mr Richards tracked down the suspect and detained him, despite being threatened by the man.

Christopher Sweetman earned his award after seeing a man assault a young woman and steal her purse in the Square in Torrington.

Mr Sweetman chased the man and caught up to him, although he managed to get away.

When he was later arrested by police Mr Sweetman was able to identify him thanks to having got close to him.

Cody Worthington came across the scene of a three-car crash on the Muddiford road in January.

Mr Worthington, a member of the 999 Academy at Petroc, told other members of the public he was trained in emergency aid and made sure an ambulance had been called.

He spoke to all the casualties, including two children, and then concentrated on a man who was complaining of chest and back pain and was having difficulty breathing.

He was the only person giving emergency aid for around 15 minutes before a paramedic arrived.

He remained calm, gave clear instructions to distressed members of the public, made an accurate assessment of injuries and acted positively to reduce further harm to the casualty.

North Devon Council's CCTV team has also been recognised at the awards, after helping reduce crime in Barnstaple town centre.

Also responsible for that drop in crime were members of the Barnstaple neighbourhood beat team, which has been recognised as the beat team of the year.

The team's "proactive policing" has produced some excellent results combating drug supply in the area as well the arrest of various other key and target criminals.

The North and West Devon Domestic Abuse team has also been praised after winning the investigation team of the year award.

The team, formed in June last year, has increased its positive outcomes to 49.8 per cent, the best in the force.

Police Staff Member of the Year: PCSO Rebecca Tanner

PCSO Tanner is a member of the neighbourhood team responsible for Bideford town centre. She has been instrumental in arrests for drug possession, theft and public order offences.

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