Bravery & Excellence Celebrated At Police Scotland

The outstanding achievements and bravery of Police Scotland officers and staff and members of the public has been recognised and celebrated today (Friday, 19 February).

Team of the Year was awarded jointly to Dumfries and Galloway Division CID and the National Wildlife Crime Unit for their investigation into poisoning incidents involving birds of prey in the Stewartry area. This investigation led to an individual being convicted of wildlife crime offences.

The Chief Constable’s Bravery and Excellence Awards was held virtually due to the pandemic, with officers and staff and award winners and their families able to view the ceremony remotely from across the country.

Chief Constable Iain Livingstone QPM presented 25 Bravery awards to 31 police officers and 16 members of the public.

Among those receiving an award were:

• PC David Murdoch, PC Phoebe Pritchard, PC Michael Shields and PC Allan Wardrop who bravely entered a building on fire on Ayr High Street in May 2020. The building was well alight and many residents were asleep due to the time of day. Their courageous actions led to the rescue of many people and prevented any loss of life.
• Detective Constable Glynn Powell who entered the Water of Leith while off duty and to rescue a three-year-old child who had fallen into the river in September 2020. He administered emergency first aid after pulling the child to safety. The girl went on to make a full recovery.

• Dr George Parsonage who has been involved in more than 2000 rescues on the River Clyde over the course of 40 years’ involvement with the Glasgow Humane Society. He has worked closely with police and the other emergency services throughout this time and his expertise in river rescue is highly renowned.

Mr Livingstone also presented Excellence awards to 15 individuals and teams in 11 separate categories.

• Police Officer of the Year was named as Detective Inspector Michael McCullagh of the Cybercrime Investigations Unit for his instrumental work in helping develop the overall understanding of cybercrime in Scotland.

• Policing Partner of the Year was awarded to Castlerock Edinvar team leader Cheryl Neill. She worked closely with community officers to reduce anti-social behaviour and improve living standards at social housing run by the social landlord in Edinburgh.

• Team of the Year was awarded jointly to Dumfries and Galloway Division CID and the National Wildlife Crime Unit for their investigation into poisoning incidents involving birds of prey in the Stewartry area. This investigation led to an individual being convicted of wildlife crime offences.

• Police Scotland’s voluntary officers were also honoured, with Special Constable Stuart Anderson and Special Constable Lee McWhinney jointly named Special Constable of the Year. SPC Anderson became the first special constable to lead a drugs operation in his home area of Fife, while SPC McWhinney gave more than 1000 hours of voluntary service over 12 months in West Dunbartonshire and has now joined Police Scotland as a probationary officer.

Mr Livingstone said: “The last 12 months have underlined the relentless and challenging nature of policing.
“Officers and staff are playing a crucial role supporting the national response to coronavirus. At the same time, they continue to meet the needs of our communities, providing day-to-day policing and responding to a number of demanding and high profile incidents.
“Today is an important opportunity to recognise and celebrate the outstanding policing which occurs all over Scotland, day in, day out, and to commend members of the public for the selfless acts of bravery and courage to help their fellow citizens.
“I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all our winners and nominees and thank them for their commitment to public service.
“I’m also grateful to Police Mutual for their continued support of this important event.”
Cabinet Secretary for Justice Humza Yousaf said: “The Bravery and Excellence Awards allow us to reflect on selfless acts of courage which have made a real difference to people at their greatest time of need and to recognise the innovative and high quality work by officers and staff from across the Service, the Scottish Police Authority and other partners.
“I want to thank all the officers, staff and members of the public, who were nominated for awards, for their service and support in these challenging times.
“I have always been proud of the dedication shown by our police officers and police staff, to keep us all safe, and the current pandemic has highlighted that the police workforce is highly adaptable in its response to new challenges.”
Martyn Evans, Chair of the Scottish Police Authority, said: “Congratulations to all today’s winners and to those nominated for awards. These are truly extraordinary times but Police Scotland’s officers and staff continue to excel in challenging circumstances.
“Today’s awards ceremony gives us the opportunity to celebrate just a small number of examples of bravery and courage but we at the Authority acknowledge that examples like these are being carried out across Scotland on a daily basis as officers and staff work alongside partners and members of the public to keep Scotland’s communities safe.”
Sir Jon Murphy QPM DL LLB (Hons), chairman of the Police Mutual Oversight Committee, said: “Each nominee is a credit to their family and friends, their communities, and the police service.
“We are always proud of your outstanding demonstrations of courage and I am delighted to also be able to recognise bravery and excellence in policing through our sponsorship of these awards.”
Corinne Porter, relationship manager for Police Mutual, Scotland, Northern Ireland and north England, said: “It is an honour for Police Mutual to be sponsoring the Police Scotland Chief Constable’s Bravery & Excellence Awards and I, along with all my colleagues, would like to offer our thanks to those who were nominated for your achievements as well as congratulations to the winners.
“Thank you for continuing to inspire us in all that you do.”

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