Police chief honours heroes

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UNSUNG heroes who go beyond the call of duty to make our district safe were honoured at the annual Wakefield District Police Awards.

Chief Supt Marc Callaghan, Wakefield District Police Divisional Commander, gave out more than 20 commendations to officers, PCSOs, detectives and staff last Wednesday.

He said: “There is a lot of unsung work by police officers and staff and this is a real celebration of the day to day work that goes on in all our communities.

“I am both delighted and proud to present these awards recognising not only acts of bravery and selflessness but also their commitment and dedication in making the Wakefield district a safe place to live, work and visit.”

Among the winners were a group of officers from the Pontefract and Knottingley neighbourhood police team (NPT).

Sgt Alan Studd, Sgt Elizabeth Walker, PC Rachel Hall, PC Richard Baker, PC David Lockwood and NPT co-ordinator Irene Flemming were commended for their work on a Battle of the Bands competition.

Young people were asked to come up with a song about a number of issues including crime, disorder, bullying and homelessness.

Sgt Studd said: “For me one of the biggest successes was seeing the older kids working with the younger ones. It was such a success that we’ve decided to make it an annual event.”

An off-duty married couple, PC Sean Dawson, of Castleford NPT, and PCSO Amy Dawson, of Pontefract and Knottingley NPT, picked an award for helping to detain a violent man who was armed with a screwdriver.

PCSO Amanda Johnson, of the Normanton and Featherstone NPT, was commended for developing a neighbourhood watch scheme and tackling anti-social behaviour.

And there was also an award for a member of the public, Vincent Barnfather, of Castleford.

Last November he saw a man breaking into cars near his house.

He rand the police and then went outside to challenge him.

The man tried to run away but Mr Barnfather chased him and held onto him until the police arrived.

He was convicted and given a community order and curfew by magistrates.

Praising his actions Supt Tyron Joyce, of Wakefield District Police, said: “He is recognised for his quick thinking and brave intervention.”