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Local heroes recognised by PCC in special Community Awards Ceremony

Date

17 June 2022
Awards 2

The North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner’s Community Awards Ceremony returned on Thursday, June 16 to celebrate the people in our communities across the region who make a difference in supporting the police and their fellow citizens.

The evening marked a welcome return for the awards following a two-year break due to the pandemic.  

The event took place at the Quay Hotel and Spa in Deganwy and saw over 100 guests come together from across the general public, police, emergency services, local and national politics, charities, and the wider third sector in North Wales.

The awards recognise the often-unsung local heroes who work in the background to support victims, support rehabilitation and reduce the likelihood and impact of crime across the region. The nomination process saw police officers, staff, and volunteers from North Wales Police put forward suggestions of people they have worked with in the community as winners.

A new aspect of the awards this year was sponsorship of the different categories by local businesses. Each company donated £300 to be given to a good cause specifically to further build on their hard work in the community. Each winner’s name was engraved, along with the sponsor’s, on the special glass trophy presented for each award category by the Commissioner.

North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, Andy Dunbobbin, commented: “I am delighted to recognise the contribution of so many people across North Wales to their communities and their hard work in supporting the work of the police and emergency services. A special feature of these awards is that they shine a light on people in our society who work tirelessly – often behind the scenes – to make a difference. My Community Awards are all about bringing that contribution centre stage and thanking the winners on behalf of the people of North Wales for all that they do.”

Andy

The full list of winners is:

Rural and Wildlife Champion – Award kindly sponsored by NFU Cymru

Malcolm Ingham

Malcolm is a retired Wildlife Ranger who is an expert in badgers and badger setts. He has come to the assistance of North Wales Police on many occasions over the past 8 years to help them investigate badger sett disturbance and potential badger baiting offences. His support and expertise with gathering evidence in this specialised area has been invaluable.

He has worked diligently over many years to provide expert witness evidence that has enabled the police to not only bring charges but has led to successful prosecutions and the convictions of members of organised criminal gangs.

Community Champion Award – Award kindly sponsored by Brompton Lodge Residential Home, Rhos-on-Sea

Meryl Williams

Meryl Williams works as Manager at the Age Cymru Hafan Café and Drop-in Centre in Bangor City Centre. The café provides a place for older people from the Bangor area to meet, socialise and access support if needed and they can obtain food and drink at low prices. The purpose of the café is to promote community and social interaction for older people. Local police officers regularly hold surgeries at the café where they can talk to people about crime and issues in the community that may affect them. Meryl’s enthusiasm for her work, keeps people coming back and therefore reduces isolation which is a key factor leading to vulnerability to crime.  Her work also enables North Wales Police to stay connected with older people in the area.  

Safer Community Award – Award kindly sponsored by Tir Prince Leisure Group

Mesut Alkir and Jo Alkir

Mesut and Jo Alkir, from Efenechtyd in Denbighshire, have contributed significantly to the improvement of safety on the roads for young people. Three years ago, Jo and Mesut’s daughter Olivia died tragically in a road traffic collision. Since that time, they have campaigned around road safety and have provided invaluable support to create an educational package developed with the SchoolBeat programme to educate young drivers. Using Olivia’s story Jo and Mesut contributed to a film which was launched in March. They worked closely with North Wales Police to make the project true to Olivia, while ensuring its suitability for a young audience. The film uses footage and audio from the night of the accident which makes it both hard hitting and impactful.

Victims Champion Award – Domestic Abuse – Award kindly sponsored by PACT North Wales

Jessica Russell

Jess Russell is a mother of 12 children who provides significant support to the police in regard to domestic abuse. She has supported initiatives that help to reduce the likelihood and impact of this crime happening to others, and also provides input into training for officers. Jess is a domestic abuse survivor and endured severe and sustained abuse at the hands of her ex-husband for over 18 years. Jess has used her own story to help and support others and to contribute to training police officers and others about this type of crime and the impact upon the victim. She talks to new police officers in training about the difficulties and barriers that victims face and she works tirelessly for victims of domestic abuse.

Victim Champion – Modern Slavery

Glory Williams

Glory Williams has worked for BAWSO in North Wales for over 10 years providing support to victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence and more recently has also concentrated on supporting victims of modern slavery and human trafficking. BAWSO are a first responder organisation for modern slavery, which means they are a part of the UK’s national response framework to support and protect victims. In her work with victims of modern slavery, Glory has demonstrated her dedication above and beyond the day job. In an area of crime that remains largely hidden or unknown, it is of enormous support to the police to have a professional working alongside them who is an expert in the needs of modern slavery victims and how to support them effectively.

Victim Champion – Hate Crime

Dr Salamatu J. Fada – North Wales Africa Society

Dr Salamatu J. Fada, from Bangor, is co-founder and chairperson of the North Wales African Society and has worked hard in the role to maintain a good working relationship with North Wales Police. The North Wales Africa Society (NWAS) is a community organisation based in Gwynedd. It is a collective of members of the African diaspora and people who have a cultural interest in the countries of the African continent. Some members have been victims of Hate Crime. Dr Salamatu has supported these people and kept contact with local police to ensure consistency of communication between all parties. Dr Salamatu is often a first point of contact and offers advice, support and guidance around hate crime. She is valued by the local policing team for her efforts to support victims and facilitate good communication.

Young People’s Award – Award kindly sponsored by CAFgas

Ameera Ahmad, Karly Larkin, Beth Rhodes, Morgan Wall – Prestatyn High School

The ‘Discrimination. It stops with me’ campaign was developed in Prestatyn High School in 2020 following a conversation between inspirational student, Ameera Ahmad and the Deputy Head Teacher. Ameera who at the time was in year 10, raised her concerns around discrimination and hate crime occurring in the school and the wider community. She asked that staff to do more and address it head on. Ameera was joined by three fellow students, Beth Rhodes, Morgan Wall and Karly Larkin who have all demonstrated great determination to get the project going and ensure its continued success. The campaign has driven change and has been a vehicle to demonstrate the school’s commitment to eradicating discrimination and to bring about positive change. It has incorporated a new lesson within the school curriculum aimed to tackle discrimination, prejudice and bullying. 

Partnership Award – Award kindly sponsored by Knightly’s

We Are Plas Madoc (Building Communities Trust)

The residents of Plas Madoc housing estate in Wrexham have come together to run the We Are Plas Madoc (Building Communities Trust).  This initiative was established to bring the communities and residents of Plas Madoc together to make the most of a lottery funding grant for the good of all in the community.  The area has experienced challenges over the years including dealing with the effects of crime and antisocial behaviour. A number of groups and community activities have been established which promote a strong sense of community and to help to resolve any issues at an early stage or prevents them altogether. We Are Plas Madoc hold monthly meetings of local partners including AVOW, the police and local council, along with residents of the estate, to discuss any issues or things residents would like to see being implemented on the estate. Their effective work in partnership has led to an improved and safer local community.

Rehabilitation Award – Award kindly sponsored by the Quay Hotel and Spa, Deganwy

John Edwards

For many years, John Edwards from Rhiwlas has been visiting prisoners as a volunteer, as part of the chaplaincy team for Prison Fellowship, and then latterly to deliver Restorative Justice courses to help prisoners come to understand the impact of their actions and be supported to make changes. John has been a volunteer for Prison Fellowship since 1995 and has attended a number of prisons including HMP Altcourse, Risley and Berwyn. He spends much of his spare time supporting ex-offenders and those with complex needs. His support at this level, reduces the likelihood of reoffending and also gives them the opportunity to talk through any difficulties they may be facing.

Special Recognition Award – Award kindly sponsored by Spillane & Co, Colwyn Bay

Jane Ruthe

Jane Ruthe (who is based in Caernarfon) began working for the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (RASASC) in 2001 when it was known as the Rape Crisis Line. For over 20 years she has supported the organisation and led it to mature and grow right across North Wales. Under Jane’s leadership RASASC North Wales has developed significantly. Jane has structured a service where survivors can readily see and access support. They are heard, support is non-judgemental, accessible, equitable and appropriate. Jane’s ability to understand the survivors needs and work effectively in partnership has brought about a first-class service for victims.  Jane has fought with determination and professionalism to get RASASC to where it is today. She is a most deserving winner of this award.