Our volunteers steal the show at the regional Citizens in Policing Awards
A Sussex Special Constable has won a regional award for his volunteering.
Matt West was awarded the South East Regional special constable of the year at this year’s Citizens in Policing awards on Saturday (May 6).
Police volunteers across the region were celebrated at the ceremony held at the Amex Stadium in Brighton and were attended by Sussex Police Chief Constable Giles York, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne and representatives from Surrey, British Transport Police, Kent, Hampshire, Thames Valley Police forces.
Awards were presented to police support volunteers, volunteer police cadets and Special Constables from across the South East Region to celebrate their team work and individual achievements.
SC Matt West was given the award for his work as a special for the past 30 years. He has for the last three years had the sole responsibility for liaising with victims of fraud often elderly and vulnerable. He has restored confidence and signposted to relevant agencies. He has helped around 50 victims, several being complex cases, where loses have been over £50,000.
He said: "Receiving the award was a great surprise for me and I feel really proud. I believe as a Special I give something back to the community. I also accept this for all Specials across Sussex and the UK, which do an excellent job of supporting their regular colleagues and the communities they serve in.
"In my 32 years I have enjoyed my time and experienced a wide variety of incidents and different types of people. In my role of working with victims of fraud I have worked with a large number of victims , who had suffered from people scamming that out of high amounts of money."
Runners up Kerry Aylmer from Thames Valley Police, Sam Berry from Hampshire Police and Alan Watson from Kent Police.
Two Sussex Specials also came as runners up in the Special Constable Team of the year award. SC Pete Jennings and SC Lee Bates have worked more than 150 hours since January and are invaluable members of their teams.
The winners were a team from Hampshire consisting of Simon Bagshot, Abby Bagshot, Adam Hillier, Nicola Cobby, Simon Tavender and Matthew Clark.
Both the Cadet team of the year and the Cadet of the year both came from Sussex. The team of the year was the Eastbourne cadets run by Sergeant Fiona Munro and the cadet was Harry Marchant.
The other winners and runners up from the South East Region were:
*For the Support Volunteer of the Year winner Mrs Barbara Lawrence, Kent Police. Runner up was Mr Geoff Dover, Surrey Police.
*For the Volunteer Team of the Year winners Thomas Prutz, Teresa Binks and Chris Burns, Hampshire Police who run the cadet units.
Sussex Police Chief Constable, Giles York said: ‘I would like to offer my congratulations to each Special Constable, Volunteer Police Cadet and the Police Support Volunteers who were celebrated at the event. I am incredibly proud of each and every one of them.
"Communities tell us they want more involvement in how they are policed and to be given the opportunity to influence policing priorities. Citizens in Policing are an integral part of modern day policing and the support that volunteers provide for officers and staff across policing is invaluable.
"A volunteer in policing is in the unique position of being a member of the communities we serve as well as a member of your own policing family. This means that support and recognition is a vital part of our dedication to increasing community engagement and providing the best quality of service we can."
Sussex PCC Katy Bourne, who helped to fund the Citizens in Policing awards, said: "It was a real pleasure to attend the awards, meet the nominees and hear their inspiring stories.
"These volunteers give up their time to play a crucial role in supporting officers and staff and the ceremony was a fitting way to honour them."