Police lifesaving teams from across the UK competed in Exeter on the weekend of 8th – 10th June. This was the first time that Devon and Cornwall Police has hosted the competition since 1998.
Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police Shaun Sawyer welcomed the teams and officially opened the competition, as well as hosting a formal dinner. A well supported raffle raised nearly £500 towards the Chief Constable’s Foundation.
He said: “In Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, we recognise lifesaving as a fundamental policing skill. With over 500 miles of coastline and numerous canals, lakes and rivers in our force area, officers and staff are often called to use their lifesaving expertise.
“We find ourselves as one of the few remaining forces that has maintained a swim test prior to entry and lifesaving training throughout the student officer’s initial training, as a testament to the importance we place on this critical lifesaving skill.”
Day one of the competition, Saturday 9th June, was held at police headquarters in Middlemoor, Exeter. This involved a first aid scenario that each of the teams were put through, followed by the rope throw competition and the swim and tow competition, which both took place in the headquarters pool. It was close and very competitive.
Individual awards were presented in relation to the rope throw, swim and tow competition. Devon and Cornwall Police’s own PC Nick Polkinghorne won the men’s individual competition for having the fastest combined rope throw and swim and tow and was presented with the trophy.
On Sunday 10th June the teams assembled at Haven Banks Outdoor Education Centre on Exeter Quay, where they took part in the open water based realistic scenario in the canal basin, which was again keenly contested.
Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer was there to watch proceedings and was extremely impressed by the lifesaving skills that were demonstrated by not only the Devon and Cornwall Officers involved, but by the officers from all the teams from other forces.
The three Devon and Cornwall teams did fantastically well, winning in the overall men’s individual, overall captains, ladies team, mixed team and men’s team categories along with some other respectable placings.
Devon and Cornwall Police results:
Overall Men’s Individual – Winner PC Nick Polkinghorne
Overall Captain’s Competition – 1st place Detective Sergeant Andy Turner, 2nd place Sergeant Dean Drury and 5th place Police Constable Katie Clements.
Ladies Team Competition – Winners / Combined Incident Winners D & C Ladies PC Katie Clements *Captain*, Insp Lynsey Willis, PC Lorna Kendall and PC Jo McKenna
Mixed Team Competition – Winners D & C Mixed Team Sgt Dean Drury *Captain*, Retired PC Dave Drury, PC Justine Lewis, Insp Sally Kingdon, PC Rob Harvey and Sgt Lindsay Walke
Men’s Team Competition – 2nd place D & C Men’s Det Sgt Andy Turner *Captain*, Sgt Tony Willis, PC Chris Moss and PC Nick Polkinghorne
The whole weekend was a great success and this was in no small part down to Inspector Lynsey Willis and her team of organisers, who planned and prepared for the competition so meticulously, bringing praise from the visiting teams from other forces. The event was supported on the day with community engagement by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Police Cadets. Devon and Cornwall Police Lifesaving team would like to thank everyone who helped to support the competition in the build up and over the weekend to make it such a great success.
Source:: Devon and Cornwall Police News