Over fifty police officers, police staff and members of the public have been recognised at a South Wales Police awards ceremony which was held at the University of South Wales on Wednesday, 27 March, 2019.
The award winners were all singled out by the region’s newly appointed policing commander, Dorian Lloyd, for their individual acts of bravery and displays of compassion, commitment and professionalism throughout the past 12 months.
They were each presented with certificates of commendation by Dorian who was joined by special guest Rhian Mannings, founder of the 2 Wish Upon A Star charity based in south Wales which provides bereavement support for families after losing their child suddenly and traumatically, and also Deputy Chief Constable Richard Lewis.
There were ten different award categories – they included: Professionalism; Unsung Hero; Bravery; Teamwork; Community Engagement; Leadership; Quality of Service; and Lifetime Achievement.
Chief Superintendent Dorian Lloyd said: “This was an incredibly humbling event, which provided a snap-shot of a service dedicated to keeping the communities of Cwm Taf safe. I am incredibly proud of everyone involved and of their achievements and even though these acts are never undertaken for the purposes of recognition, it is important that individuals are recognised for what are often life-saving, or life-changing actions and achievements. Everyone recognised at the event are shining examples of how South Wales Police continues to deliver for communities across Rhondda Cynon Taff and Merthyr Tydfil”.
One police officer was recognised for an exceptionally challenging investigation, which, after an incredible nine years, resulted in the conviction of a man for sex crimes committed in Turkey. There were also awards for officers who investigated complex and historical sexual abuse cases. Dc Kevin Davies was recognised for his investigation which led to the conviction of Matthew Love for a sexual assault on a woman as she walked to work along the Trevithick trail in July, 2018.
Sergeant Andrew Gibbons was commended for his work which led to the capture of one of the UK’s most wanted criminals in 2018 – he discovered on-the-run paedophile Brian Ward hiding behind a false wall in a Cardiff flat after some ingenious police work to find him.
Two members of the public were also recognised for the bravery they displayed when confronted with difficult situations. On 26th May, Joseph Crouch risked his own life when he saw a boy on the underside of a bridge, fall into the river beneath. Without a thought for himself he jumped into the water to drag the unconscious 17 year-old boy to safety. Melissa Thompson was recognised for her actions which led to the conviction of a woman for aggravated robbery – she witnessed a 71 year-old woman being pushed over and robbed of her handbag, and chased the woman responsible who ran home. Melissa followed the woman into her house before police arrived minutes later.
Dorian added: “We also celebrated the actions of our good Samaritans – members of the public who selflessly put themselves at risk to help others. The actions of these individuals went above and beyond what could and should have been expected of them and they are reflective of the close knit communities which protect each other, and make a firm stand against criminality. This is something everyone throughout Cwm Taf should be proud of.”