Home > Public Choice Award 2019

Public Choice Award 2019

We are asking people to cast their vote on who they think should win this year’s Public Choice Award.


Nine individuals have been nominated for this award having shown, over the past year, a significant demonstration in courage, compassion or inspiration – the force’s three values.

The nominees are;

PC Heather Campbell

Catterick Response Officer and Cadets Leader

On 1 August 2019, PC Heather Campbell took Cadets Ben Dowson, Ellie Lonsdale and

Ryan Davies to West Yorkshire to assist West Yorkshire Police (WYP) with training their student officers.

The Cadets took part in a number of role plays and scenarios including mental health, car theft and victim of assault.

Heather drove them all to Wakefield on her rest day. She was an asset on the day, using her wealth of knowledge as a PC and feedback received from the organiser at WYP said: “Hats off to Heather! I didn’t realise she was an experienced officer, but it turned out to be really useful that she was. Short of assessors, she stepped up to run a scenario, giving feedback to the student officers on their performance.”

On 2 August 2019, giving up another of her rest days, Heather took the same three Cadets to Reeth to help following the flash floods that hit the community. The Cadets helped a lady clear her house of damaged furniture, empty a shed and outhouse and even removed dead chickens from the garden so the distressed homeowner didn’t have to see them.

This was a last minute request for assistance organised by Heather, and the three Cadets were very quick to volunteer.

For Cadets to be involved in the flood recovery efforts, providing practical help to home owners who had lost all of their belongings and livestock, is truly inspiring.

This deployment, again in Heather`s own time, shows true commitment.

The three Cadets also displayed great dedication and community spirit with their efforts, especially following the devastation locally.

Heather has been the Cadet Unit Leader in Catterick since it first opened in 2017.

The Leader role is voluntary and is in addition to her duties as a full-time response officer at Catterick.

For the last two years Heather has effortlessly managed the Cadet Unit and attended sessions every Thursday, before her 12 hour night shift, after her 12 hour day shift and on her rest days.

Heather is a fantastic role model to these young people and they have the upmost respect for her. The work Heather has done with the Cadets has gone above and beyond the call of duty and she is an inspiration to the Cadet Unit as a whole, as well as in Catterick.

Her dedication is commendable and she continually does her very best for the Cadets.

Heather said: “I’m really proud to be a part of the Catterick Cadet Unit and to work alongside some great young people who selflessly give up their time to help in the community. It’s a privilege to be nominated for an award and to think that I may be a small inspiration to them.”


Inspector Lorraine Crossman-Smith

Craven Neighbourhood Policing Team

Inspector Lorraine Crossman-Smith has been with Craven Neighbourhood Policing Team for 18 months and during that time she has made massive changes to the department and achieved so much in a short period of time.

She has been fundamental in setting up the Craven Community Hub and continues to build on the foundations she has set with an infectious enthusiasm that spreads through the team. Her innovative ideas and creative thinking are a breath of fresh air.

Lorraine has demonstrated on numerous occasions that staff welfare is of paramount importance to her. She has supported her team relentlessly through tough personal times and always takes time out of her crazy schedule to meet for coffees, chats and welfare checks. On one occasion she left a member of her team a food parcel at their home address as she knew they had been at hospital all day.

Lorraine continues to push and encourage her staff to help them be the best they can be. She wants them to be happy and believe in themselves. She always makes time for others and has an open door policy – she chooses to sit in the main office with her staff rather than in her own office.

The never waning “can do” attitude, along with the visionary approach she has, is a credit to her. It is not often someone comes into a team and makes that team their own in such a short space of time. She is a true leader in every sense of the word: inspirational, fair, compassionate and driven.

Lorraine said: “I am honoured to have been nominated by my team. I think they are fantastic individuals who make my life, and those we serve, so much better. There is no getting away from the fact Craven is unique, for many reasons; its geography, our communities and, of course, not forgetting those who nominated me!

“The team in Craven excel at partnership working, making sure it is right at the heart of everything they do.

“There is no doubt we are on a journey, an exciting one, and thankfully they don’t seem to mind me tagging along.”


Traffic Sergeant Paul Cording

Roads Policing Group

Paul Cording is an experienced and dedicated Traffic Sergeant who is currently undertaking a period of temporary promotion.

Paul is well-known within road safety circles on a national basis due to his passion for the promotion of road safety. He was one of the first members of NYP to use Twitter and his @OscarRomeo1268 account has more than 11,000 followers.

From the outset Paul has managed to harness the power of social media in an informative and, often, witty fashion in order to promote national campaigns such as “The Fatal Four”, give live-time updates on incidents on our roads, answer queries from members of the public, highlight court results from particularly horrendous examples of driving, and he has also used it to “myth-bust” with regards to road safety and police enforcement.

Paul recently won a national award for the use of Twitter in a policing environment and has a high-profile amongst his colleagues from other forces to share best practice.

He has also teamed up with Lauren Doherty from Knaresborough who is paraplegic following a collision with a van after she walked into its path while under the influence of alcohol.

Lauren has been working tirelessly to educate young people about safety and her profile has been raised due to the interventions of Paul. Paul undertakes a lot this work in his own time and on rest days.

Furthermore, Paul has the highest arrest rate amongst his peers along with a willingness to undertake enforcement and education amongst drivers.

He is an inspiration for his contribution towards road safety through the course of his duties, his use of social media and collaboration both within and outside the organisation.

Paul regularly goes well beyond the policing family and into the communities we serve to raise awareness, working hard to save lives and prevent injuries to our road users.

Paul said: “This award nomination came as a complete shock. I’m sure like most members of the emergency services, I joined this job to help people and make a difference and that is what I strive to do every day. I certainly don’t do it for praise and to be recognised for doing what you do is really nice.

“The policing environment and technology is evolving every day, and I believe by using social media we are able to quickly share information and reach people that previously may have been less willing to engage with us. It also shows that behind the uniform we are all human beings and has gone a long way to break down barriers between the public and the police.”


PC Laura Kelly

Scarborough Response Officer

At 5.10pm on 11 November 2018, a man entered a shop in Scarborough and stole money from the till. He was brandishing a large knife and used threats of violence against staff members.

PC Laura Kelly was one of a team of officers who were alerted to the area to conduct a search.

After around 15 minutes of searching near the scene, Laura – who was single crewed – noticed a man drinking in a restaurant who was wearing similar clothing to the brief description given by the shop workers.

What happened next was captured on the restaurant’s CCTV system.

Laura approached the man who sat calmly drinking his drink away from the main seating area. She was her usual jovial self and took some details from the man. As she was doing this she did not necessarily believe he was the suspect for the robbery due to the circumstances he was found in.

Another officer then alerted the officers involved that the suspect’s knife had a bright red handle, at which point Laura spotted the red handle protruding from the man’s jacket sleeve.

Laura took a few steps backward to create some space from the suspect and called on her personal radio for assistance.

The suspect realised that he had been identified and drew the large knife and held it out in front of him. He moved through a doorway into a busy seating area where families were eating, waving the knife directly at the members of the public.

Laura followed the man and the CCTV shows her shouting and gesturing for the members of the public to leave.

Laura closed the gap on the suspect and, armed only with her captor spray, she sprayed him and pushed furniture to block his escape.

This tactic allowed the last of the diners to safely leave the building. Laura constantly engaged the suspect until the room was clear.

After two or three minutes she was joined by others officers and the suspect was detained using Taser.

Laura displayed the highest level of bravery and sacrificed her own safety to ensure members of the public, including several children, did not come to harm.

She used all her skills to contain the threat and managed to effectively update the Force Control Room under the greatest of pressure.

The suspect was found in possession of the stolen property and faces a lengthy sentence for numerous crimes.

Laura said: “I am delighted to be nominated for a Public Choice Award and extremely happy that no officers or members of the public were hurt during this incident.”


Firearms Support Unit and Operational Support Unit

Tadcaster / Thirsk

At 3.20pm on 7 February 2019, four officers from the Firearms Support Unit (FSU) and two officers from the Operational Support Unit (OSU) were deployed to a village in the Hambleton area after a man reported that his 14-year-old old son was going mad with an axe and knife inside his bedroom at their home.

The man, who was at work at the time, updated the police that the teenager still had the knife and had smashed through his bedroom wall into the family bathroom.

Contact was made with the man’s wife who had barricaded herself in the kitchen. She informed the Force Control Room that her son was aware of police Taser tactics and was wearing numerous layers of clothing to protect himself from a Taser deployment.

Warning markers were checked on the youth which showed violence towards the police and weapons.

The mother was concerned that her son would harm himself and, while frightened, she did not want to leave her son alone in the house.

Officers arrived and placed a cordon around the property and the teenager was seen a number of times at the window. HisHis face was covered up and he angrily gesticulated towards the officers outside while brandishing a knife.

The youth was seen holding an aerosol can and he was using it as a flame thrower. He stated to the police negotiator that he was going to stab the police dog in attendance.

Officers could see that he had two knives and he was saying that he was going to going to kill police officers, go to jail or die.

The youth had set fire to the curtains in his bedroom room.

The fire service were called but the FSU and OSU officers entered the property due to the risk of harm to the youth, his mother and the property.

Upon entry, the youth was challenged and successfully detained by the FSU officers. At the same time the OSU officers managed to extinguish the significant fire in the bedroom.

The FSU and OSU officers who entered the property did so with a disregard to their own safety. Even though there was a threat of harm from the teenager and also the fire, they knew they had to act quickly before the fire took hold and the youth, his mother and the house succumbed to the fire.

The teenage had no visible injuries but was taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation.

His mother was safe and well and the family dog was also retrieved unharmed.

While the bedroom suffered significant fire damage, the remainder of the property was preserved.

The officers involved reacted dynamically and without hesitation to preserve life and protect property, knowing that they were putting themselves in danger.


Special Constable Tom Murray


At around 7.20pm on Wednesday 17 April 2019, Special Constable Tom Murray was off-duty and on his way to football practice in Harrogate when he stopped at a local convenience store to use the cash machine.

Upon leaving the store and returning to his vehicle, Tom noticed a woman in the road with an eight inch kitchen knife. She also had a number of other knives sticking out of her handbag which Tom could clearly see.

Having ensured that the police had been called and identifying himself as an off-duty Special Constable, Tom gave clear and direct instructions to those in the road and in the store to stay back.

Using his vehicle to put a safe distance between them, Tom then engaged with the woman and kept her talking until officers arrived on scene.

Tom remained calm and professional when faced with potential danger whilst off-duty, and he ensured the safety of members of the public and himself until police officers arrived on scene.

Tom said: I am very humbled to be nominated for this award; I have been a special constable with NYP for three years and enjoyed giving something back to my local community and being able to assist Harrogate’s front line policing. During this incident I used skills that I have gained and learned from serving police officers and training staff and believe it was my duty and responsibility to intervene to protect the public and the female involved.


PCSO Geoff Wynn

Ryedale and Whitby

Malton-based PCSO Geoff Wynn is a stand-out performer within the district. He operates at the highest level and is well-liked and respected within his area.

In the week commencing 5 August 2019, Geoff was involved in two extremely challenging and potentially harrowing events.

On 8 August Geoff, together with PC Steve Ashley, was first on scene of what would become a fatal road traffic collision in which a car collided head-on with an articulated lorry.

The driver of the car is believed to have had a medical episode from which they subsequently died.

There were two young children in the back seats of the car, the driver’s grandchildren. His grandson suffered an open abdominal wound.

Whilst PC Ashley dealt with the driver, Geoff tended to the severely injured boy until ambulance crews arrived.

The officers and staff involved in the incident – including Geoff – received welfare support following the traumatic event.

Geoff conducted himself extremely well and conveyed calm, which undoubtedly assisted the boy to survive the terrible incident.

Just three days later on 11 August, Geoff attended Malton and the report of a concern for safety of a young woman who has previously attempted to throw herself from a road bridge above the A64.

Geoff located the woman who was standing on the road bridge on the “other side” of the railings.

Acting quickly, Geoff took hold of the woman’s arms and held her onto the bridge before being joined by members of the public who assisted him.

Geoff held the woman for an hour and ten minutes until she could be safely removed, all the time maintaining verbal communication. Geoff sustained a muscular injury to his back during his effort to save the woman.

Whilst these actions are not uncommon for this PCSO, they warrant acknowledgement for his commitment to maintaining high standards in his role.

Typically, Geoff never makes a fuss or draws attention to his actions and just “gets on” with his job.

His calm, professional manner no doubt reassured the young boy going through shock and distress at his own injuries and the fatal injuries of his grandfather.

With regard to the young woman in crisis, Geoff clung onto her with two members of the public to prevent her falling from the bridge whilst other emergency services got into place to aid her safe recovery.

Trying to calm someone in crisis for more than an hour, while in a position where he was straining his back, is truly commendable.

Geoff said: “I am grateful for the nomination but I only did what any of my colleagues would have done had they been first on scene. I was a part of a larger team who came together to ensure the safety of a vulnerable woman.”


PC Yvonne Coldbeck


PC Yvonne Coldbeck has been a Family Liaison Officer (FLO) for nearly fifteen years. This is a role which most police officers would not wish to carry out, although they recognise the true value FLOs provide.

During this time Yvonne has been deployed on a huge number of cases, ranging from road death, murder and manslaughter.

Her commitment to the role has been immense, with her frequently balancing several family liaison deployments alongside her busy full-time role as a response officer on the front line of policing.

Yvonne has been deployed to several high profile incidents, including the Melsonby Post Office murder, but all her deployments to families have been treated with the greatest professionalism and sensitivity.

What stands out about Yvonne is the effort she puts in to go above and beyond for families; as well as supporting the investigation aims, she will ensure that families are informed throughout and have support all the way through the criminal justice process and afterwards.

Her efforts in showing this compassion to families going through the worst time in their life exemplify superb professionalism and resilience, as well as portraying the best aspects of what NYP strive to do.

All the FLO Co-ordinators in force would describe Yvonne as a “go-to” person; when it appears all resources are unavailable, they know Yvonne will put herself out to ensure families get the service they require. When she is approached for a deployment it is always met with positivity, support and a willingness to deploy.

To carry out such an important yet challenging role for such a significant length of time is praiseworthy in itself. But to do it to this high standard is exemplary, showing compassion to numerous families in their time of need and ensuring support to those affected by tragic circumstances.

Yvonne said: “I was surprised and delighted to be nominated for this award. As a passionate and dedicated FLO of many years having been deployed to families devastated by loss, working with them during the most difficult and often traumatic circumstances, has been challenging yet rewarding beyond measure. To be recognised in this way for this role is very humbling.”


PC Brad Jackson

Police Federation

Following the tragic death of serving police officer Mick Atkinson in October 2018, the North Yorkshire Police family were shocked and grieving for the loss of their friend and colleague.

PC Brad Jackson, Deputy Secretary of the Federation, lost a close friend as both

Mick and Brad had served on the Dog Section together, with Brad acting as a mentor to him.

Leading up to Mick’s tragic death, Brad visited and supported Mick for months. This is something he does for many colleagues in need of support or advice, as Brad is so well thought of that he is regarded across the force as the “go to” person in the Federation.

At the time of Mick’s death colleagues gravitated to Brad for support, and he did not waver at the pressure. His inner strength and compassion to support them was truly incredible.

Brad, whilst grieving the loss of his close friend, found the inner strength to provide heartfelt compassionate support to Mick’s family who were distraught with the loss of their partner, father, brother and son.

In the days and weeks after Mick’s death, Brad went above and beyond to liaise with both West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire Police to ensure that the correct information was relayed and the clear wishes of the family were understood and respected at this most tragic of times.

Mick’s family, especially his partner Kellie, have been clear how thankful and grateful they are for the support Brad provides, right up to this day. Kellie has been supported and encouraged by Brad to be a mental health and suicide prevention ambassador. She is now having a local, regional and national impact sharing her story, all with Brad there to support and advise her.

Colleagues deeply affected by Mick’s loss describe Brad as being the father that kept the NYP family together at the worst possible time for a police service when we lost one of our own.

Brad deserves recognition for the love, compassion and support he demonstrated to Mick’s family and the wider North Yorkshire Policing family following his tragic death.

Brad said: “I feel very humbled to have been nominated for the Compassion award following my engagement and involvement with family members after the sudden passing of our much-loved colleague PC1066 Mick “Aky” Atkinson.

“Mick was a very close friend of mine, a friendship that developed over many years working together on the Dog Section. The involvement and support I gave to his family was nothing more than any friend would do.

“I have the fortunate position within my role in NYP Federation where I could do that little bit more to make a difference and to help at such a difficult time.

“Mick was a kind, compassionate and caring person. If I am lucky enough to win this award, I will gratefully accept it in his honour and memory.”