Norwich and Norfolk police officers celebrated at awards ceremony

Police officers and staff who have served the people of Norwich and Norfolk with pride and professionalism regardless of the dangers they put themselves in have been recognised for the work they do, as PETER WALSH reports.

A detective who worked on the double murder case that shocked Cringleford in October 2009 was among police officers and staff commended for their work at the Norfolk Safer Community Awards (NOSCAs) 2011 ceremony at Dunston Hall.

Detective Constable Jillian Smith won the Investigator of the Year category partly in recognition of her handling of the investigation into the deaths of Kenneth Snell, 65, of Cringleford and Karen Brown, 39, of South Norfolk.

The couple, who were found stabbed to death in a bungalow near Norwich on October 31 2009, had been murdered by John Moody who was last year jailed for a minimum of 30 years after being found guilty.

DC Smith, who in the same year was the case officer for three murder enquiries and lead suspect interviewer for several more, worked as family liaison coordinator, inquiry officer and case officer on the Cringleford case.

Her work on the case was acknowledged by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and also saw her receive a judge's commendation.

She was nominated by DCI Jes Fry who said: 'It is to Jill's merit that she has been able to maintain such a high standard of performance over the whole year.'

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Meanwhile students at Thorpe St Andrew High School were celebrating after winning the Young Citizen of the Year category for their allotment scheme.

Youngsters at the school transformed a wasteland into an allotment, helping to provide a diversion from temptation to commit crime and anti-social behaviour and helping to raise awareness about how victims of crime feel when their property is damaged.

The project not only helped to build positive relationships between the young people and the police, but using the produce to prepare a meal for the elderly spread that community cohesion even further.

The awards were just two of several to be issued yesterday as part of the NOSCAs ceremony run by Norfolk Constabulary and backed by the Evening News' sister paper the EDP.

The awards, now in their fourth year, aim to highlight the work of police officers, staff and members of the community who have all given something back.

Split into 12 different categories, most were voted for by staff at Norfolk Police.

The four categories open for public nomination look to celebrate the work of police officers, Police Community Support Officers and members of the public who have made a difference to the quality of life where you live or work.

Chief Constable Phil Gormley said: 'Last night was about recognising and rewarding some of the fantastic work that takes place across the county, particularly when the Constabulary and the wider community work side-by-side.

'It was a tremendous evening, and I'm extremely proud of the dedication and commitment shown by so many people.'

The winners of each award category were announced on the night and each received a cut-glass trophy from Caithness Crystal, presented by the award category sponsor.

Other award winners

Safer Neighbourhood Team of the Year

Winner: Watton SNT

Student Officer of the Year

Winner: PC Emma Hendry-Smith

Outstanding Team of the Year

Winner: Joint Norfolk & Suffolk Major Investigation Team

Volunteer of the Year

Winner: Barbara Hill

Community Citizen(s) of the Year

Winner: 'The Den' Team

Continuous Improvement Award

Winner: ASB Project Team (Operational Partnership Project Team)

Diversity in Action Team Award

Winner: DLO – Diversity Department, Community Safety (Tactical)

Problem Solver of the Year

Winner: Inspector James Brown

Community Officer of the Year - Officer

Winner: PC Keith Kenny

Community Officer of the Year – PCSO

Winner: PCSO Becky Taylor

Community Officer of the Year – Special Constabulary

Winner: Acting Special Sergeant Richard Noble

The Excellence Award

Winner: PCSO Lucy Collyer