Inspirational teenagers awarded for their dedication to West Yorkshire Police (25 Jul 2016)

Explorers _group _shotInspirational Gomersal teenager was crowned overall winner at a special award ceremony to celebrate the achievements of young West Yorkshire Police volunteers.

The event, at West Yorkshire Police's training and development centre at Carr Gate in Wakefield last week celebrated the achievements of this year's intake of Explorers, who were joined by friends and family as they received their awards from Temporary Chief Constable Dee Collins.

160 youngsters aged 16-18 took part in this year's Explorer Programme, which is in its 9th year and aims to inspire young people and give them an exciting, behind-the-scenes look into 21st century policing. The teenagers learnt about many aspects of the Force including the Counter Terrorism Unit, Professional Standards Department, Crime Scene Investigation, Safeguarding and Corporate Communications. 

The groups also visited the Force's Operational Support Services site and visited local magistrates' courts and assisted during activities such as public order training, District Open Days, Emergency Services Days and volunteered on local community projects with partners. 

All of the Explorers received individual certificates of achievements; seven explorers were awarded a trophy for District Explorer of the Year and one exceptional Explorer was crowned as West Yorkshire Police Explorer of the Year.  

James Tuke, 17, from Gomersal, was crowned the overall winner of the night and awarded West Yorkshire Police Explorer of the Year and Kirklees Explorer of the Year.

James has been an impressive candidate throughout the programme, wearing his uniform with pride, he has been described as a 'considerate, hard-working and determined young man' who has consistently demonstrated his integrity and commitment during the Explorer programme. 

He is hoping to become a police officer in April 2017, but in the meantime he is going to become a police support volunteer assisting at Dewsbury Police Station. 

Temporary Chief Constable Dee Collins of West Yorkshire Police, said: "For the ninth year in a row the young people who have taken part in the Explorers' programme have shown extremely high levels of commitment, dedication and enthusiasm during their time with us. 

"This year we welcomed the largest group of Explorers yet and we hope now that even more young people will take an interest in the programme. It's amazing how these young people find the time to engage in the range of community and voluntary activities on top of the Explorer Programme and their studies. 

"I'd like to congratulate all the winners on the night, and thank everyone who has taken part and got involved, and also those who have provided support to the programme. 

"Following their experiences with us, I am confident that this terrific group of young people will go on to become highly motivated and inclusive members of society and hopefully West Yorkshire Police, in the coming years." 

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, said: "Each and every young Explorer should be extremely proud of what they've achieved and I congratulate them all.

"Programmes such as these are crucial because these young people could become the future talent of West Yorkshire Police.

"It is important that we treat all young people as citizens, valuing their interests and opinions as much as any other group in the community, and this programme provides a great insight for those interested in a policing and public services career.

"They have now developed an understanding of West Yorkshire Police and their talent and determination has been recognised. I'm sure I will be seeing many of them down the line as exceptional members of West Yorkshire Police and many partner organisations." 

Simon Phillips, who co-ordinates the Explorers programme, said: "This is the culmination of a year's hard work and dedication by young people who, we hope, will be the future of West Yorkshire Police. The awards evening provides the opportunity for us to recognise and reward individuals and group achievements and also for senior members of West Yorkshire Police to engage with young people from across the community.  

"We also welcomed family members as well to provide the opportunity for them to help us celebrate the Explorers' achievements. Although the Explorers' has come to an end for another year, we hope many will continue to work with us as Volunteers, Specials, PCSO's and Police Officers." 

For further information on the Explorer Awards and the Explorer Programme, please contact Simon Phillips, Community Engagement Officer, on 01924 292334, text 07841 899917 or [email protected]

The winners on the evening were: 

Overall Explorer of the Year
James Tuke, 17, from Gomersal 

Kirklees Explorer of the Year
James Tuke, 17, from Gomeral 

Bradford Explorer of the Year
Ellie-Rose Henry, 17, from Cleckheaton 

Calderdale Explorer of the Year
Marc Eyles, 17, from Mount Tabor, Halifax 

Leeds District South Explorer of the Year
Kyle Sandilands, 18, from Halton, Leeds 

Leeds District East Explorer of the Year
Gurkirat Phull, 17, from Gipton, Leeds 

Leeds District West Explorer of the Year
Daisy Woodrow, 16, from Guiseley 

Wakefield Explorer of the Year
Ebo Arthur, 17, of Castleford

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