Release: Dorset Police officers, staff, and volunteers recognised at awards ceremony
The Force has recognised the outstanding performance of its officers, staff and volunteers at its latest awards ceremony.
The event was held on Thursday 2 November 2023, and acknowledged their dedication to their vital role in policing, to support the Force’s vision to make Dorset a safe county for everyone.
Detention Officer Heidi Speed was commended for her effective communication, dedication and passion for her role within custody. In February 2023, Heidi conducted her initial checks on a detainee, and reacted instinctively having spotted a bandage protruding from under the blanket. She entered the cell and found the detainee was now motionless, having used the bandage in an attempt to cause harm. Heidi cut the bandage which allowed for a deep gasp of air, undoubtedly saving their life. Following the incident, the detainee received specialist interventions and is now being supported in the community.
Detective Constable Leigh Topol was congratulated for his outstanding contribution to Dorset’s Criminal Justice System. The Senior Crown Prosecutor and trial judges continually commend his outstanding commitment, meticulous attention to detail, and his exceptional interview skills. In 2021, Leigh investigated a particularly traumatic incident that involved non-recent sexual abuse. Through Leigh’s meticulous investigation spanning two and a half years, he established and maintained the trust of the victims and managed a challenging perpetrator, resulting in a guilty verdict.
Police Constable Paul Miners and Police Community Support Officer Chris Mullins were both presented with awards, for their contribution in delivering exceptional local policing and keeping our communities safe. Their roles within Neighbourhood Policing and the Rural Crime Team help to build trust and confidence, by ensuring all our communities have the ability to know their local team and can engage with them.
Staff and officers were recognised for their contribution to making improvements within the Force. The Paedophile On-Line Investigation Team were awarded for their instrumental part in improving the service to identify and deal with individuals who share indecent images, mitigating the risk the suspects pose, and safeguarding children. Additionally, Contact Management staff were celebrated for their work in creating a new approach to the training of our call takers, which resulted in not only reducing training time, but also improving the standards of training.
The Police Support Volunteer of the year Award was presented to Janet Ranger. Janet continues to support the Victim’s Bureau, whilst also volunteering her time to act as a role player to help train officers for their professional development. The Force duty system shows that since 2016 Janet has provided 1,664 hours of dedicated service.
Other officers and staff were also commended for their outstanding performance at the ceremony. Detective Constable Emma Jeffries was awarded for her work in managing high profile investigations, raising investigative standards and achieving positive outcomes. Chief Inspector Alyssa Forrest and The Integrated Offender Management unit were also awarded for their instrumental work in the reduction of burglaries and re-offending rates, overseeing a 15 per cent reduction in reported Burglary crimes between April 2019 and September 2023.
Chief Constable Amanda Pearson, of Dorset Police said: “Dorset Police is full of people who are committed to delivering an excellent service to its communities. Our policing family is made up of exceptionally talented and dedicated staff, officers and volunteers and I feel an immense sense of pride leading such a fantastic team.
“It is important for us to stop and reflect on the outstanding service our teams provide to the people of Dorset by being tough on crime, keeping people safe and putting victims first. It is also a chance to celebrate the commitment shown by our volunteers who dedicate their time to enable us to make a real difference.
“This awards ceremony is a wonderful opportunity to come together with colleagues, friends, and families to reflect, recognise and celebrate the excellent service.”
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, and chair of Dorset Criminal Justice Board, David Sidwick said: “I would like to congratulate all the winners of these well-deserved awards. The dedication, bravery and professionalism Dorset Police officers, staff and volunteers demonstrate in the line of duty is to be rightly applauded.
“These awards show how important policing is to our communities across Dorset, and how the work officers and staff are doing, day in and day out, really does make a difference to people’s lives.
“As chair of Dorset Criminal Justice Board, I was delighted to see DC Leigh Topol receive the Board’s Outstanding Contribution Award for 2022. DC Topol has dedicated years to investigating the abuse of children, taking meticulous care and attention over each detail at every stage, ensuring offenders are brought to justice, and children supported through the process.
“From the strong personal testimony supplied with his nomination, including praise from police colleagues and external partners, it is clear the work DC Topol is carrying out is of the highest calibre, and I thank him for his dedication and work ethic. I would also like to congratulate all of those nominated for this award – it was an exceptional year.