Dumfries and Galloway Police Scotland Hold Recognition Awards Ceremony

In recognition of outstanding performance and commitment in a wide variety of areas, Police Scotland held a Recognition Awards Ceremony at Divisional Headquarters at Cornwall Mount in Dumfries on Monday 16 April 2018. Awards were presented by the Chair of the local council’s Police, Fire and Rescue Service sub-committee Douglas Campbell.
Commenting on the awards, Local Dumfries and Galloway Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent Gary Ritchie said “these recognition awards are very important to not only those who receive them, but also to those in the wider community. They serve to highlight the commitment and dedication of our officers, staff and the public in general have in helping to make a difference in the community in which they serve and live. These are many fine examples of people going above and beyond what might be considered the normal course of action and it is only fitting that their efforts are recognised.”

Inspector Rory Caldow – Management Information System – Making a Difference
In March 2016 a short-life project group was implemented to create a Management Information System (MIS) which would underpin the performance framework
The responsibility for developing many of the stages of the project was delegated to Inspector Rory Caldow.
Inspector Caldow`s Management Information System has surpassed any expectations and is a tremendous information tool for all staff within Dumfries and Galloway Division. He has produced an efficient and user friendly system which ensures that all staff have access to all required information on one system. He is continually adding new sections and updates onto the system and most recently has adapted a section of the MIS to record all Investigative Liberation details in respect of the new Criminal Justice Scotland Act 2016 and came up with a local solution as to how best to monitor these. His technology knowledge in second to none and he thoroughly deserves recognition for his outstanding performance in respect of the MIS which has been beneficial to every officer within Dumfries and Galloway Division.

Lori Lamb – Member of the public – CPR – Above & beyond
About 0840 hours on Monday 24th November 2017, the nominee Lori Lamb (off duty nurse) was within her home address when she noticed a female lying on the ground in Fairhurst Road, Stranraer. Lori Lamb rushed to help the female, assessed the situation and found that the female was unconscious and not breathing. Lori took initial control of the situation, commencing CPR and seeking assistance of other members of the public. Lori continued with CPR until the arrival of ambulance. Ambulance staff took over with CPR where they managed to obtain a response from the female in the rear of the ambulance. The female (57 years old) was then conveyed to Galloway Community Hospital, Stranraer where it was determined that she had a massive heart attack and staff at the hospital gave recognition that Lori’s initial quick thinking and efforts in CPR were a vital link in saving the woman’s life.

Constables Keith Kennedy and Matthew Turner, Stranraer – Above & beyond
On 11th January 2018 police received a call from Ambulance Control to attend an address in Stranraer to reports of a male who had cut his throat. Sergeant Hamill together with Constables Kennedy and Turner attended the address where inside a young male was found within his bedroom having attempted suicide by cutting his throat with a kitchen knife. The male who was conscious at the time, was hostile and agitated refusing medical assistance adamant that he wanted to die, and that he would fight police to prevent himself receiving medical treatment. The male had caused significant injury to himself, cutting down to the spinal cord and into his jaw, narrowly missing his main artery, and had lost a significant amount of blood. Constables Kennedy and Turner have developed a rapport with the male enabling them to recover the kitchen knife and managed to persuade the male to attend hospital where he was airlifted to central Glasgow for emergency surgery. The officers are recognised for their professionalism and diligence when faced with a volatile, difficult and dangerous situation. Their intervention saved the life of this male.

Sergeant Gregg Hawker and Constable David McDowall, Newton Stewart – Above & beyond
About 1849hrs on Tuesday 23rd May 2017 a report was received from a member of the public of a young girl who was in the river Cree under the bridge at Newton Stewart. The reporter indicated that the female appeared about 16 years of age had a bag tied around her neck and was unconscious. On receipt of the call local officers were despatched including Sergeant Gregg Hawker and Constables David McDowall and Colin McMillan. They were on scene in approximately two minutes from being despatched to the call. On arrival they observed a large crowd of bystanders looking into the river and thereafter observed a female who was in a slumped/ seated position in the middle of the river, her back was against the central parapet of the bridge with her head just above the waterline. It was noted she also had a bag around her neck and was unresponsive to verbal calls. As no other emergency services had arrived Sergeant Hawker considered the use of lifelines however as the female was unresponsive this was deemed not an option. He assessed the risks involved in entering the water and based on the flow and depth at the time considered it safe to enter to rescue the female Constable McDowall also volunteered to enter the water. Constable McMillan remained on the banking to keep members of the public away and in a position to assist his colleagues should they require it and direct other arriving emergency services. Sergeant Hawker and Constable McDowall thereafter entered the water from both sides of the river in the event there was an unknown obstruction to one side. Sergeant Hawker reached the female first and found her cold and unresponsive. He then carried her to the west bank where he was joined by Constable McDowall. Due to the steep embankment at this point they thereafter carried the female who was now beginning to respond further downstream to an area where they could lift her up hand her over to staff from the Fire and Rescue Service who had now arrived. They then transferred her to a waiting ambulance crew. Ambulance staff thereafter treated the female where it was established she may have been in the water for up to one hour. It was established that the female was due to attend court the following day and was fearful of this resulting in her attempting to take her life. The female was subsequently taken to hospital and treated and assessed before being released into the care of her family. The response and actions of the officers involved no doubt saved her life and although they put themselves at risk in this incident they also showed a professional and calculated thought process to ensure their own safety under stressful conditions and under intense public scrutiny.

Detective Sergeant Scott Torrance, Detective Constable Justin Clark & Constable Peter MacNab, Dumfries – Teamwork
This case involves the sexual abuse of victims by the accused from the early 1980s until 2015. The accused Andrew Fraser was a well-known member of the local community in Annan and he was allowed by parents to look after their children in his own home. A number of young females stayed overnight at his home address without any other adults being present. The offending came to light when indecent images of children were found on the accused’s computer equipment by police. During a search a number of devices and compact discs were recovered which clearly had the ability to take and store still images and movies. A preliminary review at the locus by officers from the national Cybercrime Unit confirmed that the devices and discs contained indecent images of children. Fraser appeared at Dumfries Sheriff Court on Monday 27th June 2016, and was liberated with specific conditions restricting him from being unsupervised with children. As a result of the submission of the recovered devices from the search the Cybercrime Unit confirmed that there were in the region of 1.6 million images/movies on these devices which contain category A, B and C images/movies. A further more detailed review of a small minority of this data provided evidence confirming contact offences involving young female children, all of which have been identified. Police were able to identify a number of the victims in the images and were able to identify the accused due to his distinctive tattoos. The police investigation centred around the identification of all other victims, while ensuring that the risk was currently being managed towards his current involvement with those deemed at risk within the wider community.

Constable Adam Potts, Mark Thomson, Principal Resilience Adviser and Martin Ogilvie, Resilience and Community Safety Manager with Dumfries and Galloway Council Dumfries and Galloway – Virtual Operations Team (DGVOST) – Making a difference

DGVOST is a tool which;

• Gathers and provide real time information to the public
• Distributes key safety messages during a major incident or emergency
• Counters misinformation
• Enhances situational awareness for responders by gathering intelligence from the public

Through effective and efficient use of social media and other online tools. Social media has become an increasingly important tool for responding organisations to share information with the public. During an emergency it can be crucial that people in affected areas are able to obtain accurate and timely information. Responders benefit by gathering information, validating this and responding resources in a smarter manner.

In 2016, during a review of the local Police Division, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies in Scotland (HMICS) stated the system was “innovative and an effective means of communicating with the public during emergency situations and is an example of effective practice”.
Further, in Jan 2017 the system was also shortlisted for a Police Scotland Excellence Award.

Dr Sebastian Pflanz – appreciation
Dr Pflanz served as Force Medical Examiner for some 20 years and has now retired.

Josh Henry and Finn Marshall, Stranraer Academy – Above and beyond
About 1800 hours on 19 June 2017, two kayakers were in the Irish Sea near to Portpatrick, Stranrae,r when one kayak overturned causing the occupant to go into the water. The kayak was lost and he held onto the second kayak for safety. They had lost their mobile telephone and had no flares with them therefore were unable to call for assistance. Josh Henry and Finn Marshall were nearby when they observed the kayakers in the sea and quickly realised that they were in trouble. Without hesitation they contacted emergency services and gave a clear indication as to the location of the kayakers and provided a description of what they had observed. Having reported the matter both made their way to the nearest point where they last saw both kayakers and waited there for HM Coastguard and police, where they directed first responders to the last location. RNLI Portpatrick Lifeboat was launched and HM Coastguard staff attended along with other emergency services. Both kayakers were rescued from the water safe and well and brought to Portpatrick harbour where it was established that the kayaker was in the water for at least 30 minutes prior to being seen by Josh and Finn. Both were checked over by ambulance staff and had not suffered any injuries. Both Josh and Finn acted quickly and confidently having made the assessment that the kayakers were in trouble and their positive action without doubt prevented a potential tragedy. For young men of their age to act so maturely is commendable in its self but I firmly believe that they should be recognised for their actions by means of a Police Scotland award. Both Josh and Finn are well known in the community and Josh is a member of the Stranraer PSYV.
Special Constable Stephen Turnbull – Above & beyond
On 25 April 2017 at 11pm a call was received indicating concern for an elderly woman who lived in a fairly remote area who had went out in her vehicle and this was not like her so late at night. A number of police officers including Special Constable Turnbull were deployed to the immediate vicinity to search for the female and her vehicle. About 1.30am the next morning her vehicle was located down a secluded track however she was not within the car. Officers then set off on foot in a wooded area to search for her. A short time later Special Constable Turnbull and his colleague found her lying face down in a large pool of water at the edge of a field. Without hesitation Special Constable Turnbull waded into the water and dragged her to the side. Once in a place of safety Special Constable Turnbull checked for signs of life however she was found to be unresponsive, not breathing and had no pulse. Whilst doing so, he heard a noise and immediately made the decision to commence CPR. Special Constable Turnbull commenced mouth to mouth without the aid of a resuscitation device and directed his fellow colleagues on how to complete chest compressions advising them how many compressions to complete before he continued the mouth to mouth. Special Constable Turnbull continued in this vain and directed other staff to rotate on the compressions but refused to stop the mouth to mouth himself.
Unfortunately in these circumstance the female died. Throughout this incident Special Constable Turnbull showed outstanding commitment and courage in his attempt to save a life in a stressful and difficult circumstances. At no time did he display a reluctance to carry on or ask someone else to take over. Throughout, he showed impressive leadership skills by directing staff around him giving clear instruction at all times.

Special Constable Michael Wall – Making a difference
Special Constable Wall has served the community of Dumfries and Galloway for nearly 10 years during which time his service and commitment to the role and the people he serves is commendable. Special Constable Wall is a dependable officer and rarely turns down an opportunity to police. He has rarely missed a large match at Palmerston in recent years and can be relied upon, sometimes at short notice to assist. He has consistently exceeded 300 hours operational service each year since joining. Special Constable Wall has interest in all types of police work and is always keen to expand his knowledge and learning, attending most training opportunities offered to him. In addition, SPC Wall has volunteered at national events. Presently, Special Constable Wall is based in the Roads Policing Unit, Dumfries where he has completed an initial six months secondment extended to a year. His colleagues speak highly of him and he has become a respected member of the team. He was praised highly for his calm approach and effective commentary despite being under pressure in a high speed pursuit on rural roads and in darkness. Throughout he was clear and precise and able to communicate effectively between his colleagues and the control room where using his local knowledge he was able to anticipate the route of the subject vehicle correctly thus allowing the driver of the police vehicle to concentrate on bringing the pursuit to a swift and safe conclusion. The driver was reported for various road traffic offences.
Nominated for his enthusiasm, professionalism and commitment to serving the public of Dumfries and Galloway.

Special Constable Mark DaPrato Newton Stewart– Continuous endeavour
Special Constable DaPrato has served as a Special Constable in our region for almost 22 years. In addition to being a Special Constable he is also a search officer with Police Scotland based at Cairnryan where he has held his post for the last 10 years. Special Constable DaPrato is nominated for his enthusiasm to the role and commitment to policing his local community. He is a “well kent face” in his home town of Newton Stewart which has proven to be nothing but useful when in the operational environment to identify members of the community for whatever issue arises. He regularly attends for duty and exceeds 180 hours per year. Special Constable DaPrato is highly thought of at Newton Stewart and is one of the few Special Constables in the region that supervisors have been happy to deploy single crewed when the need has arisen. Not content with just policing the community Special Constable DaPrato wanted to extend his skill set and assist his colleagues even further so in 2008 he became an Officer Safety Instructor. This involved having to commit a full week to the training and yearly re-certification to carry out the role. Special Constabe DaPrato has competently delivered OST several times a year since and his commitment to the training is commendable. He is always first to share experiences and ensure his students have confidence in the techniques he teaches. He thoroughly enjoys this element of policing which shines through in his teaching style and enthusiasm. Everyone enjoys his classes.
Nominated for his enthusiasm, professionalism and commitment to serving his colleagues and the public of Dumfries and Galloway.

Detective Constable Jim Anderson – OPERATION EWOOD – Outstanding performer
This nomination is for Detective Constable Jim Andersons outstanding performance during Operation Ewood, an investigation against Fredrick Talbot (Fred the weather man) a person of public prominence. This was the first significant investigation for Police Scotland to fall under the banner of Operation Hydrant. Throughout this investigation it received considerable interest from within Police Scotland and local and national media and more recently the subsequent conviction and sentence. Fred Talbot first came to the attention of Police Scotland due to an ongoing enquiry by Greater Manchester Police (GMP). Talbot had been sexually abusing boys in his care in the late 1970s and early 1980s in his capacity as a school teacher at Altrincham School for boys. During the GMP enquiry it became apparent he had used his position as a school teacher to organise trips to Scotland. On these trips he has sexually abused a number of boys entrusted to his care. It was obvious Talbot behaviour was predatory and grooming and required to be fully investigated by Scottish police. DC Anderson from March 2013 has been the constant in this enquiry, attending the very first meeting with GMP and progressing the enquiry on the official handover to Police Scotland. GMP ran an investigation on HOLMES for 3 years, during which thousands of witness statements, productions and interviews were collated. This information was handed over to Police Scotland, all of which had to be examined for relevance to the abuse perpetrated in Scotland. This in itself was a very onerous and demanding task, however Detective Constable Anderson immersed himself in the enquiry ensuring that his knowledge of the case and the background was second to none. His professionalism, dedication and tenacity shown during this investigation was nothing short of excellent, going above and beyond in what can only be described as a very complex and challenging investigation. Detective Constable Anderson was supported during the investigation by colleagues and supervisors, however he remained the lead officer in liaising with the crown Office and procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) and GMP. During the case preparation, COPFS relied heavily upon his expert knowledge and understanding of the case. There was even a request by COPFS to have him present every day throughout the trial so they could call upon him for advice if required. Talbot was found guilty of seven charges in May 2017 of child abuse perpetrated in Scotland during the 1970’s and 80’s. The guilty verdict and the way the trial ran clearly demonstrated that every report of abuse had been thoroughly investigated and professionally presented in court. This investigation and outcome demonstrated to the public that Police Scotland treats all reports of abuse, including non-recent reports as a priority and has the tools and dedicated officers at their disposal to investigate such crimes to a successful conclusion. The result of this investigation also assists in providing the victims of such abuse with the confidence to report such matters to the police knowing that they will be taken seriously and provided with the relevant support throughout, and after the investigation. The positive comments by the public locally and nationally was captured in response to media updates in particular social media feedback. This was achieved by the commitment throughout the investigation displayed by Detective Constable Anderson.

Constables George Clark and Gary Gillan, Lockerbie – Above & beyond
About 1.55am on 17 September 2017, a call was received from a very distressed female reporting that her friend had collapsed on the street after a night out. She appeared to be in caridac arrest and is serious danger of death. Constable George Clark attended at Station Road, Lockerbie and found a 19 year old woman to have collapsed, not breathing with no pulse. Numeorus members of the public were present and in a state of distress. Constable Clark immediately used his Police training to commence CPR and summoned an ambulance and assistance from colleagues. A short time later Constable Gary Gillan attended and commenced rescue breaths, whilst Constable Clark commenced CPR. During the CPR procedure the woman began and stopped breathing 3 times. The CPR continued for at least 20 minutes whilst awaiting the arrival of paramedics. During this time both Police officers remained calm despite the critical nature of the situation they were in, in front of the watching distressed public. On arrival of the ambulance the woman was breathing on her own and in the recovery position. She was conveyed to Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, where she was stabalised and thereafter admitted for observations. It was established that the woman suffers from a heart condition with her life at risk on this occasion. The actions of George Clark and Gary Gillan saved her life, through them remaining calm and professional during this critical situation and they are commeded for their actions.
Constables Hannah Wilson and Michael Anderson, Annan – Above & beyond
On 20 September 2017. Police Constables Hannah Wilson and Michael Anderson were asked to attend a male who had fallen from his wheel chair and was unable to get up, but what they found was a large elderly man that had slipped down a railway embankment and become wedged below a fence.
Both officers immediately responded using their first aid skills, and when they found no signs of life commenced CPR, after Constable Anderson had dislodged the males tongue from blocking his airway they shared the responsibility of CPR until the arrival of the ambulance after around ten minutes. Unfortunately the male failed to regain consiousness and sadly died when he got to Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary. The conduct of both officers throughout this traumatic incident is formally recognised as above and beyond regular patrol work, and an excellent example to others.

Police Scotland Youth Volunteers -Stranraer – Constables Nicola Wilson, Graeme Stewart and Ronnie Boyce – Making a difference
The V Division Police Scotland Youth Volunteer (PSYV) group commenced in Stranraer in May 2015. Stranraer was chosen as
• Some data zones in the town are in the top 5% of social deprivation areas in Scotland
• Stranraer Academy educates in excess of 1000 pupils
• Relatively isolated to the west of the region with few available opportunities for young people.
• The established Campus Officer had a positive relationship with Stranraer Academy, to assist with the initial scheme development.

It was recognised that the scheme could deliver the following objectives at low cost:
• Encourage the spirit of adventure and good citizenship
• Support local policing priorities through volunteering and giving young people a voice
• Promote a practical understanding of the police
• Inspire young people to participate positively in their communities.

The ethos of the scheme was to maintain a broad range of physical ability, gender and ethnicity amongst its members who are aged between 16 and 18 years, rather than select them solely academic merit. Support was sought from education staff to ensure a cross-section of pupils were selected, including those from areas of deprivation and maintaining representation of young ‘vulnerable’ persons at 25% of the group. The focus is not just diversionary but promotes positive citizenship amongst the group to influence others, using the assistance of Community Policing Officers and 8 adult volunteers. The coordinators (initially Constables Ronnie Boyce and Nicola Wilson, and now Constable Graeme Stewart, along with a number of adult volunteers) have developed a programme of regular training on use of notebooks, radio discipline, personal wellbeing and first aid, uniform care, drill and physical activity, which have developed team skills, personal capabilities and confidence.
During the past 12 months, the Stranraer team have supported 23 local events, including Youth Beatz, the visit of HRH Princess Royal, agricultural shows, local half marathons and fun runs. The team have chalked up in excess of 1500 volunteer hours, with some members individually contributing as many as 200 hours over the year. They have delivered crime prevention advice and participated in water safety/drowning prevention initiatives in the Stranraer area. Their ‘shoebox appeal’ has recently been undertaken for a second successive year, during which they sought charitable donations and delivered over 160 Christmas food hampers to the elderly and vulnerable in Stranraer, prior to Christmas. The Stranraer team also competed against 21 other PSYV groups at the national championships at Tulliallan, emerging victorious after their physical, mental and team working abilities were tested to the limit. The team have been inspirational in their approach and continue to be proud to support their local communities.

Graeme Wellburn, Police Scotland Corporate Communications – Outstanding Performer
Graeme has taken up his post as the local media officer since he retired from Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary in 2007.
His dedication to the role is recognised locally amongst all the media outlets. He is very passionate about his role and continues to provide sound and professional advice to officers and management when dealing with any incident that requires media assistance. Graeme takes call like others in corporate communication and has been pivotal in preparing releases and advice for many serious crimes and incidents across the country. Graeme played a huge part in assisting Constable Potts and the local authority in driving the DGVOST in the local resilience group. However his dedication was above and beyond recently during the severe weather, when he was the only member of corporate communications in the Force to get into work and provide a service. He provided a backup and source of vital information to assist the Local Resilience Partnership during this weather disruption, his dedication was beyond what was expected and at times was hard to send him home, his professional care really did come to the forefront during this time.

Moffat Mountain Rescue – Mr Shaun Duignan – Appreciation
A continued level of support and dedication is recognised by Police Scotland to both local teams. The courage and professionalism is of huge significance and benefit to the communities within Dumfries and Galloway. They are now a feature in the emergency resilience bunker as part of the Local Resilience Partnership group and team leaders sit with leads in this area of business to ensure a co-ordinated approach to assistance during the heavy snow disruptions of late. Both teams responded extremely professionally to our call for assistance, helping and aiding hundreds of stranded motorists or helping look for vulnerable missing person in the snow. Their general day to day business of helping with land searches for missing person is also of great importance and again this is hugely appreciated by the division and the local communities.
Both teams are recognised locally by Dumfries and Galloway Division for their dedication, professionalism and assistance throughout the year in helping keep our communities safe.

Galloway Mountain Rescue – Mr Roddy Dunce – Appreciation
A continued level of support and dedication is recognised by Police Scotland to both local teams. The courage and professionalism is of huge significance and benefit to the communities within Dumfries and Galloway. They are now a feature in the emergency resilience bunker as part of the Local Resilience Partnership group and team leaders sit with leads in this area of business to ensure a co-ordinated approach to assistance during the heavy snow disruptions of late. Both teams responded extremely professionally to our call for assistance, helping and aiding hundreds of stranded motorists or helping look for vulnerable missing person in the snow. Their general day to day business of helping with land searches for missing person is also of great importance and again this is hugely appreciated by the division and the local communities.
Both teams are recognised locally by Dumfries and Galloway Division for their dedication, professionalism and assistance throughout the year in helping keep our communities safe.

Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) – Detective Inspector Robin Ferguson, Ann Fitzpatrick (NHS Dumfries and Galloway), Kay Forrest (Dumfries and Galloway Council Social Work Department) -Teamwork
The primary role of the MASH is to ensure a more collective and effective response to protection issues involving those deemed at risk in our communities. Working in this manner allows for the information to be shared timeously and securely across services, to support practitioners in the identification and assessment of child and adult protection concerns. It has been shown as a result of evaluation reports that the MASH has improved our reaction to risk resulting in a safer living environment for those deemed at risk within our community.
The MASH is co-located within Divisional Headquarters, Dumfries and is resourced from employees of Police Scotland, National Health Service and Social Work.
The persons invited today have been instrumental in the setting up of the MASH and their general commitment and drive to ensure that it is successful has been evidenced by not only local results but also by other areas in Scotland looking at implementing a similar function.

Long Service and Good Conduct Medals were presented to –
Detective Inspector Robin Ferguson (21.5 years police service) and Detective Sergeant John Service (21 years and 9 months police service).