PRIDE evening for award-winning South Holland police sergeant
A police officer who previously led a Christmas anti-drink driving campaign in South Holland has been recognised for his work in community relations.
Sergeant (Sgt) Paul Wills was presented with the PRIDE award during a ceremony organised by Lincolnshire Police last Thursday attended by Chief Constable Bill Skelly, as well as Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones.
The awards represent the importance of dedication to duty, exceptional performance and professionalism of the police officers, both police and partner staff, volunteers of this force and members of the public
From leading the anti-drink driving campaign in 2013, Sgt Wills is now in charge of a team of bilingual volunteers who help police with crimes involving South Holland and Boston’s non-English speaking communities.
A citation for Sgt Wills’ award, presented to him by Deputy Lieutenant of Lincolnshire John Lockwood MBE, read: “Boston and South Holland are recognised as having a diverse community, with a significant population of non-English speaking residents.
“No provision currently exists for the police to significantly influence this community to encourage the reporting of crime, improving public confidence or monitoring community cohesion.
“Some steps have been taken to redress this situation by the increased recruitment of bilingual volunteers to assist police officers with crime enquiries, victim updates and joint agency visits.
“However, this needs to be managed and so Sergeant Paul Wills has taken over the volunteer portfolio for South Holland and Boston.
“Paul has attended a number of community events and met with local community action groups so that there is now a possibility of employing ‘community connectors’ who will give out advice on things such as housing, schooling and reporting incidents to the police.
“Since taking over this role, Paul has now increased our bilingual volunteer numbers and created a bank of volunteers where our police officers can book one of the volunteers to assist them with some of their enquiries.
“Overall, Paul has gone above and beyond his role and has taken time to invest in the diverse community which will assist police officers and the community alike.
“Paul’s contribution has made a significant impact on the relationship-building between the police and our communities so that we are trusted more, supported better and we have long-lasting links with a new and emerging community.”
During the awards ceremony, Mr Skelly said: “The awards represent the importance of dedication to duty, exceptional performance and professionalism of the police officers, both police and partner staff, volunteers of this force and members of the public.”
The evening was also attended by the family of PC Stacey Pyke who joined Lincolnshire Police in August 2006, fulfilling a childhood ambition, and was based at Spalding Police Station when she died in a car accident ten years ago.