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Gatwick officers among dozens of police staff and volunteers honoured at awards ceremony

Dozens of police staff and officers have been recognised for their exemplary performance at an annual awards ceremony.

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Top left: Jonathan Walker; top right: Sean Grainger; bottom left: Shaun Begley; bottom right: Timothy Rush.

The Surrey Police and Sussex Police Operations Command awards recognise individuals for their outstanding service – either following a specific incident or situation, or for their consistently hard work.

Officers and staff in Operations Command are responsible for specialist roads policing, firearms, airport policing, dog handling, event planning, public order policing, resourcing, emergency planning and counter terrorism protection.

A total of 129 individuals received certificates at the event at Ghyll Manor, Rusper, on 25 July.

Among them were the following:

  • In December 2018, Project Servator was launched at Gatwick airport. A strategic method of using unpredictable, highly visible police deployments, the project aims to disrupt criminal activity. PC Jonathan Walker has dedicated high levels of time and energy to the project, gaining the support of external and policing partners. PC Walker is commended for this commitment, which has resulted in more deployments taking place, in turn raising the profile of Project Servator and keeping the community safe.
  • In June 2019, a report came in of an armed man in Gatwick airport, threatening to cause serious harm to the public. Minutes later, the suspect entered the staff search area holding two knives. Officers challenged the suspect who threw down his knives, walking towards officers, shouting as he did so. A Taser was subsequently used to protect those in the vicinity. PC Sean Grainger is commended for his quick-thinking and brave actions that prevented what could have been a fatal situation.
  • In June 2018, officers were involved in a high-speed, tactical pursuit. PC Shaun Begley was a member of the team who safely stopped the vehicle, arresting the occupants and preventing further danger to the public. Following a thorough investigation, the vehicle was found to be linked to a number of burglaries, and a successful conviction was made. PC Begley is commended for his dedication and commitment to duty.
  • In March 2019, the theft of a weapon and ammunition from a gun club in Hastings was reported. Officers discovered that before leaving, the suspect had threatened to shoot a member of staff. A spontaneous firearms incident was declared. The suspect was found at an address where two casualties were inside. He was then pursued to a nearby beach while still in possession of the weapon. PC Timothy Rush is commended for his work on Operation Winlock and for preventing further harm to the community. It led to a life sentence in prison for the offender.

Operations Command Assistant Chief Constable Dave Miller said:

“It was an absolute privilege to be able to present awards and meet the recipients at the Operations Command ceremony on 25 July.

“Officers, staff and volunteers from across Surrey Police and Sussex Police were recognised for bravery, dedication to duty, going above and beyond what was expected of them and also for working really hard behind the scenes to keep the machinery of policing running smoothly.

“I am always genuinely humbled to be part of these ceremonies and this one was no exception. The people who work in Operations Command do exceptional work every day and it was great to see some of them receive certificates and commendations.

“It’s a testament as to how valued and important their work is that the Chief Constables from both forces took time out of their busy schedules to be there, and also present commendations. It was great to see so many families and friends in attendance to share the experience with their loved ones.”

Education

Two hundred local pupils attend Eco summit at Crawley school

The Gatwick sponsored ‘Eco, Young, and Engaged’ (EYE) conference saw eight local schools and 200 pupils from Crawley and Horsham attend Ifield Community College on Monday to get a practical understanding of the environment and the importance of sustainability.

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Aged between six and seventeen, pupils chose between 13 workshops where they could learn about making their own compost and the wildlife within it, and about the effect that different clothing materials have on the environment and therefore which ones are more sustainable to buy and wear.

Other workshops included practical team challenges on how to upcycle (reuse) everyday items – such as using old milk bottles as planters for herbs – and how to harness the power of both wind turbines and solar panels to generate electricity.

The conference is part of the wider EYE campaign which seeks to bring schools in West Sussex together to focus on the importance of caring for our planet – to promote sustainability and encourage young people’s interest in environmental issues.

Gatwick’s Head of Sustainability, Rachel Thompson, gave an introductory talk on what sustainability is and its importance for protecting the environment.  She also discussed Gatwick’s ‘Decade of Change’ report, which tracks the airport’s progress on ten sustainability targets set over a ten year period (2010 to 2020), and explained how Gatwick’s buildings and fleet are carbon neutral.

The sponsorship of the conference is part of Gatwick’s wider community engagement programme which aims to make lasting and positive impacts to local communities and young people. Gatwick is also partnering with 15 local schools as part of the Primary Engineer programme to help schools teach STEM-based subjects in a more relatable and practical way to inspire more students to study the subjects.

Rachel Thompson, Head of Sustainability, Gatwick Airport said:

“It was great to see the enthusiasm of the students and hear their excellent questions and ideas. We hope today’s event will inspire more eco school projects and also encourage more students to consider studying STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects and pursuing careers in sustainability.”

Irram Ali, Ifield Community College Eco Lead, said:

“It was an honour to have been able to host the first Eco-Summit in Crawley. At Ifield Community College we are focused on encouraging our students to proactively engage with environmental issues and this was an excellent opportunity for such engagement to take place. All students were passionate and enthused and will hopefully implement some of their new knowledge in our local schools and community.”

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