Chief Constable Iain Spittal, PCSO Graeme Handley, PCSO Mark Say and Chief Inspector Lynn Beeston
A team of neighbourhood officers have been shortlisted in two categories of the 2016 North East Equality Awards for their work to help vulnerable refugees settle into the Hartlepool community.
PCSO Graeme Handley, PCSO Mark Say, PCSO Yasmin Calvert and PC Carl Gatenby welcomed a number of Syrian families into the town as part of the Government’s vulnerable persons’ relocation scheme.
As well as working with neighbours in the streets where the families were housed and visiting the Syrian families regularly, the team produced information about themselves, the role of police and how to contact them in various situations in order to try to reduce their fear of police.
PCSO Handley even helped the children from some of the families to attend Police Cadet sessions. Their efforts meant the families settled peacefully into their new community.
The work has been shortlisted in the ‘groups who have made a difference’ and ‘outstanding practice’ categories of the 2016 North East Equality Awards. The 13th annual awards aim to recognise the best of equality practice across the region. The ceremony takes place at Ramside Hall Hotel in Durham on Thursday 20th October.
Alongside this, the officers were also presented with an internal award for their work.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, Barry Coppinger, said: “Well done to those officers and staff shortlisted for the awards. They have shown what neighbourhood policing is all about – looking out for vulnerable people and ensuring good community cohesion.”
Superintendent John Lyons, Head of the Integrated Neighbourhood Team, said: “The work of these individuals has been outstanding – they have a real compassion for these Syrian families and went out of their way in their own free time to help them settle in to their new communities. I am very proud of their achievements and wish them well at the awards ceremony.”
Posted on Friday 14th October 2016