Justice Awards 2006 - Cheshire Success
A VALE Royal partnership is the cream of the country's crop and that's official.
Vale Royal Community Safety Partnership has been named Partnership of the Year in the Justice Awards 2006.
The award was presented at a glittering awards ceremony last week (Nov 24) in the capital by Baroness Patricia Scotland QC, who is Minister of State for the Criminal Justice System and Offender Management.
TVâ€™s Fiona Bruce was the star host of the awards along with judges which included the Attorney General Lord Goldsmith, Professor Rod Morgan, chair of the Youth Justice Board and Rose Dixon, National Training and Development Officer, Support After Murder and Manslaughter (SAMM).
The Partnership was up against the Lancashire Police teams involved in the operation following the cockle picking tragedy in Morecombe Bay and the volunteer group known as the Link Worker Team in Northamptonshire.
The team works to ensure people with mental health problems are included in the community by empowering them to take responsibility for the impact of their behaviour on their communities.
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service's Deputy Chief Fire Officer Chris Turnock is the chairman of the Vale Royal Community Safety Partnership. He said: "Safety is too big a job for one agency or group alone - it takes a true partnership where all the interested players can work collectively to meet the needs of the community.
"We have such a partnership in Vale Royal which is tackling the key community safety themes. Winning this award recognises the hard work of all the partners, support staff and councillors and will hopefully demonstrate to residents that they have an effective partnership dedicated to making them both feel and be safer."
The Partnership is made up of the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, Cheshire Police, the Probation Service, the Youth Offending Team, Vale Royal Borough Council, Cheshire County Council, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, the Primary Care Trust and Weaver Vale Housing Trust.
All agencies received a mention in the citation which stated: â€œThe partnership works to promote safer communitiesâ€¦The wide range of initiatives the partnership has instigated, such as Home Watch, Pub Watch, Shop Watch and Travel Safe have brought about great results - burglaries in the home and vehicle crime are the lowest they have been for three years and violent crime has been falling.
"The partnership works with a local charity to help make the homes of vulnerable people more secure - thus reducing the fear of crime which so many older people experience. The scheme now also extends to protecting victims of hate crimes and domestic violence." There are 14 categories up for grabs each year as part of the awards - seven for team entries and seven for individuals. They recognise exceptional achievement among staff and volunteers working in criminal justice. Categories include "Outstanding contribution to working with offenders" and "Outstanding commitment to diversity", which was last year scooped by Cheshire Police's Insp Mark Watson and PC Pete Jones for their work with Gypsy Travellers. Insp Watson represented the police at this year's ceremony along with Vale Royal Borough Council Chief Executive Anne Bingham-Holmes, Chris Turnock and Ann Wright of the Youth Offending Team.
He said: "The Partnership is the driving force behind many schemes which are helping a wide variety of people from offenders to victims of crime. It's great that these efforts have been rewarded in this way. It proves we are making a difference and that is really pleasing to know."
The Justice Awards were established by Baroness Scotland in 2004. Any team or individual working or volunteering in the Criminal Justice System can be nominated. From the 14 award categories, one winner and two runners up are chosen.
Congratulations also goes to the Fire Cadet Training Scheme at Her Majesty's Young Offender Institute at Thorn Cross who reached the finals of the Justice Awards.
The Fire Cadet Training Scheme is an innovative way of engaging young offenders and giving them the skills and purpose to move forward in life. Cadets take part in a 12 week course with Cheshire Fire Service in which they can earn a BTEC qualification in fire fighting skills along with literacy and numeracy qualifications, the Duke of Edinburgh award and an NVQ1 qualification in Citizenship. The project involves a partnership between HMYOI Thorn Cross, Cheshire Fire Service and IMPACT and promotes commitment, motivation and responsibility. As well as equipping offenders with skills and qualifications to compete in the workplace, their 'passing-out' parade is a chance to demonstrate their skills to their families which encourages a positive feeling of pride for all involved.