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Sussex Police celebrated outstanding service and contribution during a ceremony in Eastbourne.
The annual East Sussex Divisional Awards showcase the achievements of dozens of officers and staff and were held at the Welcome Building in Compton Street on Wednesday 12 October.
Recipients were recognised for a variety of reasons, including complex investigations, proactive policing, and life-saving actions.
Family and friends were on hand to see both divisional commendations and certificates of merit presented to the winners. A selection of them are outlined below.
PC Annemarie Presland (pictured above with fellow award winner PC Rob Firth and Deputy Chief Constable Dave McLaren), from Hastings Neighbourhood Response Team (NRT), who was a recipient of a divisional commendation, responded to a report of a woman suffering a mental health crisis, wishing to end her life.
PC Presland negotiated with the woman to meet her at a safe location, enabling her to be safeguarded and ultimately, saving her life.
PC Firth, also from Hastings NRT, received a divisional commendation for his quick-thinking after a vehicle was stolen on November 3, 2021.
His proactive and inquisitive approach ensured that the vehicle was recovered within an hour of the theft, with three violent and prolific offenders being arrested in the process.
Talking about the incident, he said: “I noticed a report of a stolen vehicle in Battle and that there had been an ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) activation for it entering Hastings not long after.
“I went looking in areas where I suspected the vehicle could get to without hitting any more cameras and after a short while located it in a cul-de-sac, parked up with three people in it.
“I called for support and once other officers arrived, we managed to block the car in and prevent the suspects from leaving in the vehicle.”
PC Jeremy ‘Jez’ Lowe (above), based out of Eastbourne NRT, has worked on the East Sussex Priority Arrest Team since its formation in March 2020, and has since played a significant part in the arrest of almost 800 individuals that represent a high risk of causing harm to local communities. He received a divisional commendation for his outstanding work and spoke of his passion for the job.
He said: “No day is the same in this job and I take immense pride in catching criminals and playing my part in providing justice to the victims.
“I enjoy working with so many different teams across the force and ending each shift really feeling like I’ve made a positive difference to local communities.”
PC Carla Lewis (pictured above with High Sheriff Jane King and DCC McLaren), from Eastbourne CID, received a certificate of merit for a particularly sensitive incident on September 27, 2021.
She attended an incident where a man was suffering from a mental health episode, wishing to end his life by falling from height. PC Lewis spent over an hour talking to the man, all the while he appeared to be moving closer to the edge. He was eventually bought to safety thanks to PC Lewis’ empathy, care, and determination to give the man hope.
The ceremony was opened and closed by Divisional Commander, Chief Superintendent Katy Woolford, who spoke of her pride in each of the award winners.
She said: “Our officers and staff have all made the decision to help keep East Sussex safe by joining the force, and it is only right we say thank you and recognise their outstanding achievements. We also recognised the amazing efforts to help others by a number of partners and members of the community which was fantastic.
“It is an honour for me to personally thank each of the award winners for their unwavering determination, dedication and commitment to Sussex Police.
“Each day in policing brings with it new challenges. These outstanding individuals, across all areas of the force, have risen to these challenges to help us achieve our priorities: to protect communities, catch criminals and deliver an outstanding service.”