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Bedfordshire Police recognised internationally

6 Dec 2017

We won a global award and came runner-up for a national award at two ceremonies held last week.

The Community Cohesion team won the prestigious University of East London’s Chancellor’s Award at the Global Equality and Diversity Awards last Thursday (30 November) for the impact they have in drawing communities together to live in harmony.

The officers were shortlisted alongside major global corporate companies, IBM and Smart Sourcing. The team monitor daily tensions within communities as well as building relationships to build trust across Bedfordshire through their daily patrols and visits to the different communities.  

The Cohesion team also manage the Stop Search Scrutiny Panel, which is made up of members of the public and hard to reach communities, who meet up quarterly to have an input on policing in Bedfordshire and review Stop and Search incidents recorded by officers’ body worn video cameras. Chief Inspector Mark Farrant, who leads the team, said: “The team and I are very humbled to receive this award, particularly as the last 12 months have been extremely challenging. Incidents that happen nationally and internationally have an impact on local communities. We work in really challenging arenas such as hate-crime, anti-social behaviour and serious youth violence but we are lucky to have volunteers within the community and a dedicated team who can all make a difference. 

“The team attends a lot of public events which enables them to break down barriers and promote Bedfordshire Police as a career of choice for Black Minority Ethnic (BME) communities. This is clearly a successful approach as Bedfordshire Police is one of the highest recruiters of officers from BME backgrounds of all 43 police forces across the UK.  “We are very pleased to be recognised for our efforts, but it is the communities of Bedfordshire, who support their local police force, that are truly fantastic and deserve to share this award with us.”

We were also a runner up in this year’s Dementia Friendly Awards, organised by the Alzheimer's Society. 

The force was nominated in the Dementia Friendly Organisation of the Year category and Sergeant Phil Boyd attended the awards ceremony last Wednesday (29 November) at County Hall, in London. The awards were hosted by Angela Rippon, and presenters included Jeremy Hunt and actors Lesley Sharp and Richard McCourt.

The society said the number of nominations received for this year's awards was truly phenomenal. Nominations were judged by a panel of people affected by dementia and industry experts who worked hard to whittle down the inspirational and exceptional stories to the finalists.

The force has taken a number steps towards maintaining the safety of people with dementia, having adopted the Herbert Protocol earlier this year – which is designed to not only prevent someone with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or memory problems going missing but to improve responses for locating them if they do. There are 100 people living with dementia reported as missing every year across the county, in addition to people that are reported as missing more than once. Since the project launched the force has registered more than 50 people to the scheme and have conducted 15 home visits. 

Sergeant Phil Boyd, a Dementia Champion, said: “We were so proud to be nominated as a dementia friendly organisation and it was a privilege to be part of the event. I heard some very inspirational stories from organisations and people who are changing the lives of those living with dementia. 

“Our engagement with the Alzheimer’s Society, the University of Bedfordshire and those in our community who live with dementia is key, as well as the way we investigate those who live with dementia including victims, witnesses and suspects. This week we also hosted our annual ‘Singing for the Brain’ event at HQ, which gives officers a chance to talk to service users and learn from them, as well as help those with dementia through singing and having fun. You simply cannot read in a book what they can teach you about what it is like to live with dementia. We will continue to talk to the experts – those who live with dementia and those who care for them.”

On Sunday Sgt Boyd also ran 10km dressed as 'Alfie the Bear’ in the London Santa Run representing Bedfordshire Police to raise money for both Embrace CVOC and the Alzheimer's Society. Anyone wishing to donate to Sgt Boyd’s fundraising page can visit the Just Giving website.

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