Leeds Specials Scoop National Award (10 Sept 2015)

Lord _ferrers _team _2_090915Three Special Constables in Leeds have won first prize at a National Award Ceremony, that was held yesterday (9/9) in London.

Senior Section Officer Stephen Richardson, Senior Section Officer Thomas Mortimer and Special Constable Thomas Haworth attended the Lord Ferrers' awards after being nominated by the Force for their work in instigating a partnership scheme with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, creating a new police and ambulance co-responder scheme.

The Police Paramedic Car, POLMED was set up in the Leeds District in early 2013, by the team who identified the issue that police officers are often deployed to support ambulance colleagues in situations where patients are behaving in a violent manor, presenting a significant risk to the health and safety of the ambulance crew, the general public and the patient themselves. This can sometimes cause delay in an emergency response.

Each week, the Special Constabulary at Leeds deploy a unique and bespoke POLMED unit, staffed by two special constables and a fully trained paramedic, who work together in order to save lives, increase public safety and to enable the effective treatment of persons in need of urgent medical assistance.

The POLMED scheme has attended 1136 calls since its formation, with 765 of those initiated by police and 435 initiated by the ambulance service.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Milsom said: "I am delighted with the achievements of the team in coming first in these prestigious awards. The scheme demonstrates our highly effective partnership working with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, and is organised, managed and staffed exclusively by the Special Constabulary. It has all been made possible by three key members of our team, Steve, Tom and Tom.

"This project also demonstrates the unique and valuable contribution that Special Constable's make to policing the county and how volunteering can make a real difference to our communities.

"The POLMED scheme has inevitably saved lives across Leeds and has been so successful that we are in the early stages of rolling out similar schemes across all of our policing districts."

Leeds District Specials Co-ordinator, PC Fraser Corry said: "Many people are looking to make the most of their time while putting something back into the community. People are also looking for self-development opportunities for their CV, learning new skills, getting out and about, and meeting new people."

"Joining the Special Constabulary as a volunteer not only ticks all these boxes but opens up a world of opportunity for personal and professional development. Undergoing the training and then taking to the streets as a police officer is challenging, but can make a welcome break from day-to-day life, bringing excitement and new insight with each shift you volunteer.

"Special constables are an extremely valuable asset to the organisation and form a further link between ourselves and the diverse communities we serve."

West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson said "The POLMED scheme is a fantastic example of partnership working and I'd like to pass my thanks and congratulations on to Steve, Tom and Tom.

"It's a great example of how Special Constables are being utilised to develop their role in new and innovative ways. In addition, the recruitment of full-time police officers is now very often from the growing pool of specials in West Yorkshire.

"I would further like to thank all the Special Constables of West Yorkshire who give up their time to make their communities safer and feel safer."

The Force has set a target of recruiting 1,500 special constable's by May 2016. The Force currently has 958 specials.

Full details can be found on a special section of the Force's website www.westyorkshire.police.uk/bespecial which includes a series of videos from specials talking about the role, a 'myth-buster' to dispel some of the common misconceptions, as well as an online application form. There is also a dedicated email address that you can use to contact the team directly specials&[email protected]

The awards, previously known as the Special Constable and Police Support Volunteer Awards, highlight the vital role volunteers play in support of policing, by giving up their free time to make communities safer and enhancing the effectiveness of policing across England and Wales.

They were created by a previous Home Office minister, Lord Ferrers, and were first held in 1993. They have been renamed in memory of Lord Ferrers, who died on 13 November 2012.

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