Special’ team scoops national award

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Special’ team scoops national award

SPECIAL Constabulary officers from Ormskirk were recently given ‘highly commended’ status at the national Lord Ferrers Awards for their innovative partnership work with Edge Hill University students and the Students’ Union.

The group won the team award for the Campus Watch collaboration, which sees the Specials University Policing Team including students from Edge Hill, and the local neighbourhood policing team, engaging with students to offer them crime prevention advice, allowing them to tell the officers about possible concerns, providing a reassuring, visible police presence.

The prestigious Lord Ferrers Awards take place each year and highlight the vital role that volunteers and Specials 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.

Receiving the award at the Houses of Parliament in London last week, Special Constable Liam Farrelly said: “Myself and the team are extremely proud to have won this award.

“The presence of Specials on-campus has had a real positive impact with more students than ever feeling comfortable talking to us about various issues.”

The team was put together to reassure students and local residents close to the university campus and town centre, and to reduce anti-social behaviour such as noise nuisance that was taking place following nights out in local bars and clubs.

Special Inspector Dave Massam, said: “By recruiting from the student body, it gives us an insight in to their experiences because they understand the issues of their fellow students and are a visible face on campus.”

The group of Specials work alongside their regular police officer colleagues patrolling Ormskirk Town Centre on busy nights in the area.

‘PC Paul’ was created by the team, who regularly sends out updates on Twitter and Facebook about recruitment events, crime prevention advice and safety initiatives to students, with a monthly newsletter being sent out each month to those studying at the university.

Drop-in sessions are also hosted each week for those students who want to raise concerns or seek advice from officers.

Special Constabulary Chief Officer Nigel Walters, said: “I am extremely proud that the Edge Hill Specials University Policing Team were highly commended in the team category at the Lord Ferrers Awards.

“They beat off some stiff competition from police forces across the country and this is a reflection of the hard work and dedication that the team put in to making Ormskirk a safer and happier place to live for students and residents.”

As a result of Campus Watch, the SSHH (Silent Students Happy Homes) campaign evolved, and involves a team of Ormskirk neighbourhood officers, Edge Hill student volunteers and Special Constabulary officers, patrolling the St Helen’s Road/ Ruff Lane area in Ormskirk each Tuesday and Wednesday between 11pm to 3am, encouraging fellow students to think about their behaviour and to keep noise down for those living in the area.

To find out more about becoming a Special Constable, visit www.lancashire.police.uk/recruitment/special-constable.

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