Reporter : Judith Grinter
Officers from Greater Manchester Police have been presented with awards for their actions whilst on duty during a night of severe flooding in 2016.
The officers, from the forces Oldham District, were unanimously voted winners of the Government & Public Sector Journal’s ‘Above & Beyond’ Awards by an independent awards panel for their actions that night. The flooding, in Saddleworth near Oldham, caused extensive damage to many homes and businesses in the area as well as major disruption transport and local services.
The GMP officers worked throughout the night helping residents with a major clean-up operation, sometimes using their bare hands as well as brushes and shovels to remove huge amounts of debris. The officers also assisted homeowners by moving their furniture and other personal items to safety.
The certificates were presented by Bryn Hughes, father of PC Nicola Hughes who was killed on duty in Manchester and Chief Superintendent Neil Evans.
The award winners were Sgt 2282 Toby Knight, PC 15570 Liam Rasch (no longer with GMP), PC 15361 Blair Patterson, PC 1315 Jordan Heaton, PC 15355 Julian Maynard, PC 15574 Donna Youngjohns, PC 15677 Mark Foster, PCSO 66103 Lee Lockwood and PCSO 62643 Wayne Turley.
Speaking after the awards ceremony in Oldham on Wednesday 8 November, Chief Superintendent Neil Evans said: “Sometimes police officers come in for criticism for various reasons, but as seen here with the GPSJ awards today the work they do for the community is truly amazing.
“In this case the police officers and PCSOs have shown just how much they care and have definitely surpassed what was required of them on the night.
“It’s also good to see these types of awards that recognise these actions that are above and beyond duty, I congratulate all those involved.”
Bryn Hughes said: “I am proud to be giving these awards out today and I know Nicola would also be the first to commend these officers actions, such a well-deserved award.”
Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth and a member of the judging panel, said: “Time and again our emergency services come to the rescue of our communities often putting themselves at great risk. On behalf of all our residents I’d like to say well done to all the recipients of this GPSJ award and thank you for your hard work and commitment.”
The GPSJ awards are judged on merit by an independent panel of journalists, broadcasters and politicians, the panel members are; Andy Carter, Cleland Thom – principle of the College of Media and Publishing, Debbie Abrahams MP, Donal MacIntyre, John Stapleton, Nigel Pivaro and Steve Nolan.
The presentation was made at the Odeon Cinema in The Old Town Hall, Parliament Square, Oldham.