Dedicated police officers from Kirklees and Calderdale have been honoured at West Yorkshire Police’s annual awards.
The West Yorkshire Policing Awards recognises exceptional performance within the force with categories including extraordinary public service, protection of vulnerable victims crime investigation and bravery.
Paying tribute to the finalists, Temporary Chief Constable Dee Collins said: “This awards event is our opportunity to recognise those whose single and collective contributions represent the finest traditions of policing in West Yorkshire.
“I want to pay personal tribute to every member of our policing family who work tirelessly, all year round, to keep our communities safer and feeling safer, never forgetting their families and friends who support them to do their very best.”
The award winners in Kirklees and Calderdale were:
The Adams McGill Award for the Protection of Vulnerable Victims: Kirklees Detective Inspector Ian Mottershaw, working within Kirklees Child Safeguarding Unit;
The Sharon Beshenivsky Trophy – PCSO of the Year: Kirklees Police Community Support Officer Ryan Scott; Student Officer of the Year: PC Kevin Scott, Calderdale; Special Constable of the Year Award: Senior Section Officer Stuart Clarke, Kirklees; Colin Cramphorn Trophy for Contribution to Neighbourhood Policing, Halifax Town Centre Team, Calderdale; Team of the Year, Le Grand Depart Planning Team.
After nearly two decades on the frontline of policing Stuart Clarke has seen his fair share of action.
And his commitment to the job and obvious passion for policing has now been recognised with West Yorkshire Police’s Special Constable of the Year award.
But it may surprise many that despite notching up around 700 hours a year – he has policed the streets Calderdale and Huddersfield and spent nearly a decade with the Metropolitan Police in London – he hasn’t been paid a penny in wages.
Stuart is one of around 800 special constables currently serving in West Yorkshire.
They have all the powers of police constables but are unpaid volunteers.
Since joining the Met in 1996, Stuart has also climbed the ranks to the equivalent of an inspector before transferring to West Yorkshire in 2005.
Due to his local force not adopting specials ranks in the same way he is now classed as a Senior Section Officer.
Stuart, 42, said: “I’ve been a special for over 19 years with over half of that time in the Met.
“I was based at Tottenham before moving to Calderdale in 2005.
“I’ve worked in Calderdale and Huddersfield as part of Neighbourhood Policing Teams, had a stint in traffic and have been heavily involved in a mentoring special constables.
“Everyday as a special is different and you are always learning. You don’t know what you are going to see from one shift to the next.
“We get to see all aspects of society, anything from community disputes to public order situations.
“The tradition of volunteering in the police is almost as old as policing itself. There is a duty on everyone to keep the Queen’s peace.
“Even in times of austerity such as these, Specials are not designed to replace police officers.
“There is always more that can be done and that’s where Specials come in.
“These are fantastic events and I was lucky enough to be based in Holmfirth for both.
“On a shift basis been I’ve involved in rural speed enforcement and checks on commercial vehicles, stone thefts and high risk missing persons.
“I am also involved in ‘Specials evenings’ where we focus on an area such as anti-social behaviour and may go out in plain clothes on specific operations.
“I’ve also worked closely with British Transport Police surrounding unsociable behaviour on the Ale Trail at Marsden.”
Huddersfield Rural Neighbourhood Policing Team Inspector Mark Trueman praised Stuart’s dedication to his role, saying: “Stuart is an fantastic asset to the Rural NPT and has supported us here for a number of years building strong links across the area. He is treated like any other member of the team and as dedicated and committed as any of my other officers.
“Stuart’s enthusiasm and commitment to the community is second to none, and I was delighted to support his nomination for the Force’s Special Constable of the Year Award.
“Special constables within the team get involved with a number of local and district wide activities, such as neighbourhood patrols, executing warrants or policing public events.
“Stuart is the epitome of what being a special constables is all about, serving his community with colleagues for the betterment of all.”
Stuart joined his colleagues for the West Yorkshire Police force awards earlier this month when the awards were announced.
Are you ‘special enough for the force?
West Yorkshire Police is currently leading a recruitment drive in Kirklees.
·The force has 822 special constable’s force wide (including those in training)
·There are currently 106 Specials in Kirklees
·The force’s ambition is to recruit 1,500 Specials by May 2016
·To find out more go to www.westyorkshire.police.uk/bespecial