On 29 June 2012, North Yorkshire Police Authority celebrated the work of Police Officers, Police Community Support Officers and Volunteers in the North Yorkshire’s Safer Neighbourhoods Awards 2012.
Speaking at the event, Police Authority Chairman Jane Kenyon commented:
All of our Officers and staff work throughout the year without thought of being singled out; to them, they are simply ‘doing the job’ but it is appropriate and an honour for the Authority to be able to pay tribute to individual and collective achievements through these awards. Year after Year, I and the Authority members are increasingly impressed and proud of the incredibly high standards shown by Officers and Staff who work tirelessly to do that bit extra for our communities.
So, it is with a heavy heart when I say that this is the last year that the Authority will be able to host such an occasion due to the election of the Police and Crime Commissioner in November. I would like to use this very special event to thank each and every one of North Yorkshire Police’s Officers and staff, not just those awarded, for their continued efforts and dedication in keeping North Yorkshire and the City of York one of the safest areas in the Country. Thanks must also be paid to our Volunteer winners, without whom policing would be so much more difficult. They embody the spirit of the communities within North Yorkshire and the City of York and fully deserve this recognition.
In the Harrogate region, James Skaith of the Bilton and Woodfield ward has been named as the PCSO of the year for the Harrogate district.
PCSO Skaith was nominated by a number of people in his ward and all nominations then being assessed by the Police Authority.
PCSO Skaith said:
I feel very proud that my work has made a positive impact in the community.
The last few weeks have been very hectic and unfortunately I didn’t make it to the awards ceremony as I was away getting married.
I try and get involved with everything that goes on in the Bilton and Woodfield wards including all the community events. I really want people to feel that they can approach me and talk to me about things, to be seen as an approachable face of the police.
Superintendent Barry Smith, Harrogate Safer Neighbourhood Commander said:
James effectively uses his duty time to familiarise himself with crime trends and issues within his wards.
He identifies victims of serious acquisitive crime, contracts them for reassurance and then follows up with visit to provide crime prevention advice.
Once of his local Safer Neighbourhood Group priorities was deal with issues around the use of cycles across the wards.
James carried out patrols at specific locations visited schools and the local youth club to pass on his message and also designed and produced an information poster which he was able to display within schools and shops to convey his road safety message.
James has shown great commitment and support to his communities. He consistently performs at a high level in his role and also supports his warranted colleagues in their investigations, recently identifying a still photo of an offender for shop theft, enabling the officer to make an arrest, charge and detect the crime. He has helped recover a number of vehicles, stolen in 2 in 1 offences, using his extensive ward knowledge to identify likely disposal areas.
Whilst checking these locations, he saw offenders leaving a stolen vehicle, summoned colleagues, detained the driver with the result that 2 people were arrested for burglary and the vehicle recovered intact.
He has built strong links with a number of key individuals in the ward and successfully maintains those relationships enabling him to provide quality intelligence as well as dealing with issues in the early stages, thus avoiding them becoming problems.
The high regard in which he is held and the support and service he provides to his communities is evidenced in the comments within the nominations received.
He is truly an outstanding officer and a credit to North Yorkshire Police. James has been instrumental in ensuring arrest of key offenders which has directly reduced crime for the communities.
Catherine Park Peyton of Woodfield Ward added:
My home and possessions have been the target of incidents of crime over the last six years and during that period of time I have got to know PCSO Skaith.
I believe he is a truly dedicated individual whose visible presence in the Woodfield and Bilton Wards is a welcome and comforting sight to the community.
He is known by many people and engages with them on many levels whether it be face to face in his police surgeries or via twitter and Facebook.
PCSO Skaith has helped me and many others in our community and I am very pleased his hard work and commitment has been rewarded in this way.