#ResponsePolicingWeek is a week where we celebrate the hard work, dedication and bravery of our response officers - those who respond to emergency calls for help from the public and deal with crime and criminals every day.
Response policing is a difficult, demanding, unpredictable and at times dangerous role and we are incredibly proud of those who undertake that role day after day, to keep our communities safe.
So when we were approached by the National Police Chiefs Council to nominate some of our outstanding officers for the Response Officer of the Year award – we jumped at the chance to make our nominations. The tricky thing would be how to narrow it down!
After a lot of deliberation, a shortlist of exceptional officers from our three Command areas – County, City and Coast, was compiled by local supervision. That shortlist was then presented to a panel of members from our Independent Advisory Groups to consider and an officer was then selected as the North Yorkshire Police candidate for the national award.
But irrespective of who picks up the national title - we think you'll agree that they are all winners.
PC Lizzie Parry from Harrogate
Lizzie was nominated for her incredible commitment to her role and the fact she goes above and beyond everyday to ensure she delivers a high level of service to the public in Harrogate. Specifically noted were the quality of her investigations and the care and respect she gives to victims of crime. She goes out of her way to ensure vulnerable victims are safeguarded and due to the quality of her safeguarding reports, she has been nominated as a point of contact for the rest of her team.
Lizzie recently supported a victim of stalking and harassment who initially was very reluctant to engage with police. However, due to the support Lizzie has provided, the victim felt more confident to progress with the investigation and the resulting criminal justice process. Lizzie has demonstrated similar commitment to other victims and we’re incredibly grateful for her positive approach and the level of professionalism she brings to her role every day.
PC Alex Gregory from York
To those who know him, Alex is a very modest character who does not seek any kind of recognition or attention, which is one of the reasons why his supervisors felt he should be nominated. He quietly delivers a consistently high level of service.
Alex has been a response officer for nearly 17 years and he is recognised by both his peers and supervisors as one of North Yorkshire Police’s most experienced and professional officers. He’s been described as the ideal response officer, the complete package. He consistently delivers an excellent level of service to the public, shift after shift. After 17 years of response policing, many may think that empathy may run out, but that couldn’t be further from the truth with Alex.
He has been recognised for his positive attitude and the way in which he engages with members of the public. His performance is seen as a benchmark for those ‘new in service’ officers to aim for. His peers and supervisors both state that he is a trusted and supportive figure and through tutoring, he’s left a lasting impression on the next generation of response officers. He’s victim focussed and the updates he provides to victims, to keep them up to date with the progress of his investigations are second to none, being described as textbook examples.
PC Chris Southern from Scarborough
Chris’s victim focus and his flexibility to adapt and adopt new practices to deliver a high quality of service to the public has been recognised in his nomination.
He’s always keen to look further that the immediate problem, getting to the root cause of the issue and is known to employ creative thinking to find long term solutions for victims, and to reduce crime and offending as a whole. He is dedicated to developing his local knowledge to benefit the communities he serves, while also deepening his understanding and knowledge of priority policing areas such as Anti-Social Behaviour and County Lines drug dealing.
His supervisors talked about his passion for public service and the fact he will help anyone around him in any way he can. His team know he’s the first out of the door to attend any calls for service, recently to a complex robbery where he was first on scene, attending to traumatised victims and working with colleagues to secure the scene and preserve key evidence. He regularly displays courage and leadership, but also great team working and compassion. His leadership skills were recognised in his nomination for the time and commitment he gives to tutoring student officers, with the Force’s Professional Development Unit describing Chris as ‘one of the best tutors they have seen.’
PC Liam McLachlan from Scarborough
Quite frankly Liam is a crime fighting whirlwind. In the last year, he has attended more incidents than any other officer in the Coast command, and quite possibly the force as a whole!
He’s shown great resilience and positivity as the local community recovers from the impacts of the pandemic and holidaymakers return to the Yorkshire Coast.
His nomination made specific reference to his positive approach and good humour, which has been a huge morale boost to his team. He is known for taking control at incidents, safeguarding victims and securing key evidence.
He has an in-depth knowledge of his local patch and has been a role model to student officers by both energetically pursuing offenders and protecting and safeguarding vulnerable victims.
His amazing energy and motivation are inspiring to his supervisors and peers, as is the consistently high standard of his work and his commitment to keeping the public of Scarborough safe.
PC Sarah Green from Scarborough
On her first day as a response officer, Sarah faced a challenging incident which involved her giving CPR to a victim who sadly did not survive. Throughout the incident, Sarah acted with the upmost professionalism and empathy, dealing with distressed relatives in a caring and compassionate manner. She took personal responsibility to ensure the victim’s family were aware of the situation and the next steps of the coroner process.
Her supervisors were in awe of her professionalism on day one of the job and since then Sarah has demonstrated the same standards of performance and levels of compassion, regularly going above and beyond to put victims at the centre of her work.
PC Paul O’Neill from Scarborough
Paul started his career with North Yorkshire Police as a special constable, becoming a regular officer about seven years ago. His nomination pays particular regard to the fact that, as a special it was obvious that he had all the qualities needed to become an outstanding response officer.
He’s known to his team as a reassuring presence who instils confidence in everyone around him – victims, witnesses and his colleagues. He has policed the Scarborough and Eastfield area for a number of years which has meant he has built valuable relationships within the community, meaning he can quickly bring about positive outcomes for them.
He has been recognised for his exceptional safeguarding skills, using his understanding to identify vulnerable young people and working to ensure they are kept safe from harm and those who threaten them are brought to justice.
Paul is also a fantastic tutor to student officers, helping them to achieve and empowering them to develop as confident and proficient officers.
He inspires those around him and is a trusted and reliable officer who will always get the job done.
PC Sophie Hodgson from York
Sophie has been a response officer for three years and was nominated for her outstanding dedication and commitment to her role.
In her three years of service, she has already received five Chief Constable nominations for showing unwavering dedication to victim care, quality evidence gathering and attention to detail when investigating serious domestic violence incidents, tackling misogynistic behaviour, showing immense professionalism when dealing with a tragic incident and for showing immense courage evacuating residents of a house fire and providing CPR in an extremely difficult situation.
Her work regularly receives praise from other departments within North Yorkshire Police, particularly her thorough investigations and standards of evidence gathering.
She is a great support to her colleagues, taking a calm approach to all incidents and being able to make difficult decisions in challenging situations. She provides tutorship to new in force officers and does everything she can to pass on her enthusiasm, passion and drive for the job.
Her supervisors describe her as representing everything a response officer should be and an asset to North Yorkshire Police.
Sophie was chosen by the independent judging panel as North Yorkshire Police’s nomination for the National Response Officer of the Year award.
Thank you to our nominees and to all our response officer colleagues who play such an integral role in keeping York and North Yorkshire one of the safest places in the UK.