PC Gary Bailey was named as the Beat Bobby of the Year for 2016 for his work as a neighbourhood officer in Loughborough.
PC Bailey, joined Leicestershire Police in 2002, and moved to the Loughborough East neighbourhood team in 2014. Before moving to Loughborough, PC Bailey worked in Belgrave and in 2012 he was nominated for the Beat Bobby of the Year award and was Highly Commended.
A panel of judges, led by Chief Constable Simon Cole, was impressed by the scale of PC Bailey’s involvement with a range of community groups in Loughborough. As well as tackling crime, they said, he had a strong track record of helping disadvantaged groups such as ex-offenders, recovering addicts, homeless people and asylum seekers.
They were also impressed with his efforts to improve life for young people on his patch – including a group which had been responsible for a long-running antisocial behaviour problem in the Hermitage Road area of the town. To steer the youngsters away from wrongdoing, Pc Bailey arranged boxing coaching for them. Reports of crime in the area have since fallen sharply. Next, he is planning to introduce youngsters to the delights of fishing.
PC Bailey He said: “When I arrived on this neighbourhood in 2014 I didn’t really know anyone, so I had to get out there and introduce myself to as many people as I could. I found there is a lot of support for the police here.
“People want to engage with the police, and I’ve found that very motivational. I’d previously worked in Belgrave, in Leicester, and had a wonderful time, and missed the people I’d met there.
“But I found the same positivity among the people here in Loughborough. I am very proud to be the Beat Bobby of the Year, but I am very much part of a team. I was delighted when I heard I’d been nominated, so to win is wonderful news. I am able to spend time on my beat getting to know people and what they want us to do. That is what being a neighbourhood officer is all about.”
He is also keen to improve relations between young people and the police by fostering strong links with schools on his neighbourhood.
PC Bailey said: “I have been asking local primary schools to have competitions with their pupils to choose names for our police vans.
“Once I have received the suggestions, I choose my favourites and get stickers made up with the name on it and the school who made the suggestion. This is then fixed to the van.
“So far we have the following names; Flash; Bob; and Victor.”
Sergeant Paul Latham, one of PC Bailey’s supervising officers at Loughborough police station, said: “PC Bailey is the kind of officer every policing commander dreams of.”
The panel of judges who chose the winner included Chief Constable Simon Cole, Leicester Mercury journalist Ciaran Fagan, Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach.
Mr Cole said: “Judging the Beat Bobby of the Year award is one of the most difficult, but most rewarding, experiences each year. The brilliant, innovative work that has been going on across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland makes me very proud indeed. Gary exemplifies the hard work, new ideas and commitment of so many. He is a deserving winner”
PC Bailey will formally receive the title at the Chief Constable’s annual awards ceremony at force headquarters in Enderby later this year.
He will receive the Guy Swatland Memorial Shield, named in honour of a former officer and previous winner who was killed in a road accident in 2009, as well as a crystal rose bowl, a signed certificate and a personal cheque for £250 from the Chief Constable.
The judges also said three nominees were to be highly commended.
They are: PC Ash Lorgat, PC Steve Winn and PC Joe Lloyd,
Other members of the panel included the Leicestershire Police Federation and the Superintendents’ Association.
Source:: Leicestershire Police News