A MEMBER of Lurgan’s Neighbourhood Policing Team has been named as E District’s Officer of the Year.
The Lurgan policing team was also awarded for a youth initiative it set up in the town.
The awards came as police from across E District came together last week for the local Policing With the Community Awards.
The scheme is now in its ninth year and recognises the outstanding work of officers and staff in eight different categories. The local awards were made up of nominees put forward by their colleagues or by members of the community they serve. The winner of each category will now go forward to the province wide Policing With the Community Awards.
Speaking at the awards ceremony in the Belmont Hotel, Banbridge, District Commander, Chief Superintendent Alasdair Robinson said: “The policing work highlighted here tonight shows just how diverse and dedicated a service we are providing.
“Police in E District have always been proud of the work they do and these awards show why. Officers and staff across the district are going that extra mile to provide a better and more personal service to the local community.
“All the people who have been nominated and received awards tonight deserve recognition for the important part they are playing in delivering professional policing in E District.”
Constable Michael Allen, Lurgan Neighbourhood Policing Team, was named E District’s Police Officer of the Year (nominated by the public).
Constable Allen is an officer who epitomises Policing with the Community. He has developed a number of innovative initiatives that have both helped to address community concerns and build confidence in policing.
One supporting letter stated: “Michael Allen, what can I say? Never did I think that police and the youth of Lurgan would be mixing on a Friday night. The barrier has been broken - no more them and us. Instead of verbal abuse the young people now listen and respect the police.”
The Diversity in Action Award went to Lurgan Neighbourhood Policing Team for the Youth Engagement Partnership (YEP).
This is an initiative to target hard to reach and marginalised young people who are involved in or in danger of becoming involved in antisocial behaviour and criminality in Craigavon Borough.
The project is run in partnership with Southern Education and Library Board Youth Service, Youth Justice Agency, Craigavon Community Safety Partnership and Northern Ireland Housing executive and has proved to be very successful with tremendous feedback from both participants and the organisations involved.
Winners of eight categories (Problem Solving Award, Neighbourhood Policing Team of the Year, Police Staff member of the Year, Police Officer of the Year, Diversity in Action Award, Personal Policing Service Award, Professional Policing Service Award and Protective Policing Service Award) were announced by members of E District’s Senior Management Team and special guest, Mr Harold Miller.
The Problem Solving Award was won by Gilford Neighbourhood Policing Team for their work in developing an intervention scheme for young people in the Lawrencetown area following significant reporting of antisocial and sectarian behaviour.
All category winners will now represent the district at the Policing with the Community Awards in Belfast.
Officers from across E District were also awarded certificates of recognition for outstanding policing.