Crimewatch Wickford were announced as the overall winner of the Third Annual Police and Crime Commissioner Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Community Safety’ at the annual PCC conference in Chelmsford.
The Parish Safety Volunteers Group and Neighbourhood Watch member Mandy Chapman both received Highly Commended awards for their contribution.
Crimewatch Wickford also won the People’s Choice award in a narrow victory over fellow finalist Jackie Pope.
Roger Hirst, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “Each and everyday people across Essex go out of their way to make a positive contribution to their communities. Through supporting vulnerable people, helping to prevent crime or making our communities safe. It is a privilege to recognise these six finalists today for their contribution and to personally thank each and every one of them for all they have done for their communities”
Overall Winner and People’s Choice Award Winner
Wickford Crime Watch – Sarah Keevil and Clare Gregory
Praised for their enthusiasm and dedication, Sarah and Clare have built Wickford Crime Watch, an online community that brings people together and is making a real difference to crime prevention in their area. They regularly participate in Police Patrols and with the Basildon SOS Bus to actively strengthen their community, fight crime and engage with young people.
The Parish Safety Volunteers
Calling on some of the most vulnerable people in Essex, Parish Safety Volunteers conduct over 100 visits per month, reaching over 1000 people each year. They undertake home safety and security assessments which help people in their communities become less vulnerable to fire and burglary. Through better prevention and better preparation those visited are 4 times less likely to die in a fire.
Mandy Chapman – Little and Great Braxted Neighbourhood Watch
As the local Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator, a member of the Parish Council, a member of the Chelmsford and Maldon Partnership Hub and an active member of the local speed watch programme Mandy is having a massive impact on community safety in her community. Mandy has developed local community meetings, secured funding for a defibrillator, and regularly communicates with the community updating them on local crime patterns and what they can do to stay safe. On one of her regular fly tipping walks she even found £3000 worth of cannabis at the edge of the road.
Michael Carter – Frinton and Walton Community Speed Watch
After joining the Frinton and Walton Community Speed Watch in July 2015 Michael was an active volunteer and was asked to take over the coordination of the group shortly afterwards. By publicising the work of the group through the local press and leading the drive to recruit new members Michael has been key to ensuring the group is successful and has a real impact. He keeps in close contact with the police and contacts the highways department to update them on dangerous roads. Though his hard work the group is now considered one of the most successful Speed Watch programmes in the county.
Working with less engaged youngsters in her community, Jackie has built respect and trust that allows her to make a real difference in their lives. Through these relationships she has been able to connect young people with relevant support agencies and regularly organises, with other organisations, activities and trips for young people in the area.
Jenny Wijekoon – The Well and beyond
Jenny has volunteered at The Well Coffee Shop for the last two years, providing vital pastoral care both at The Well and through home visits. She is well recognised for always going above and beyond for those who need help and offers care in whatever is needed; spiritual, physical, practical or emotional, though most of the time it involves having time to listen.
Award Winners Sarah Keevil and Clare Gregory
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