Make the Difference Awards 2019

by Glyn Thomas

The Chief Constable, Paul Crowther addressing the ceremony in the Drapers’ Hall.

At the beginning of October 2019, the Chief Constable of British Transport Police, Paul Crowther OBE, invited the History Group to join him in its annual Make the Difference awards ceremony at Drapers’ Hall, London. This was the third year that the Force has held this ceremony to recognise individuals and teams from across BTP and the industry who every day go above and beyond the call of duty.

Ed Thompson, who, works tirelessly for the History Group and myself accepted the invitation on behalf of our Group and attended the event on Friday 1st November, 2019. The interior of Drapers’ Hall is quite impressive and a spectacular venue. During pre-lunch reception and lunch, we joined serving officers, police staff and representatives from some partners and suppliers to the Force and railway industry who had kindly sponsored the event.

The Chief welcomed all to the ceremony and explained that we would hear inspiring stories of the finalists who had made a positive impact to the lives of others whilst going about their duties. The host for the presentation ceremony was Mr Nigel Harris, Managing Editor & Events Director, RAIL & RailReview.

The winners across 10 categories who had demonstrated outstanding professionalism, courage, compassion and leadership, had been chosen by an independent review panel. We heard some amazing stories by means of a recorded video on screen, of the good work carried out from each of the three finalists from each of the 10 categories. Unfortunately, of course there could only be one winner to each category, which is listed below. The presentations were made to winners by a HMI, other Senior Police Officers from Home Department Forces, Crown Prosecution Service, other senior industry figures and a Government Minister.

Shown below are the different categories with the winner of each one:

1. Police Staff of the Year – member of Police staff who consistently goes above and beyond what can be reasonably expected of them in delivering exceptional levels of service in support of the community (the public, rail industry or BTP officers and staff).
Winner: Marion Dudgeon, Station Support Staff at Newcastle Police Station.

2. Problem Solving with Partners – a multi-agency problem solving approach which has delivered success in resolving issues faced by the police, rail industry, partners or the rail community.
Winners: Glasgow Neighbourhood Policing Team.

3. PCSO of the Year – who consistently goes above and beyond what could reasonably be expected of them and who provides a significant contribution to policing and supporting the public and railways.
Winner: PCSO Bethan James – primarily in the Neath – Port Talbot area

4. Building a Better BTP – who has made significant progress in making BTP’s working practices more effective, had a major impact on achieving outcomes in direct support of policing, or improved the culture in terms of diversity and inclusion.
Winner: Digital Policing Team

5. Excellence in Teamwork – who have demonstrated the power and effectiveness of exceptional teamwork, achieved significant results and delivered continuous improvement by working together effectively and efficiently.
Winner: Central Disruption Team

6. Working Together for a Safer Railway – recognising partnership initiatives between Force and the industry to create a safer railway and enhance the confidence of passengers and rail staff.
Winner: Anglia Route Crime Team

7. Excellence in Investigations – in recognition of the significance of a professional and compassionate investigation into an incident which had affected the local community or family.
Winner: Detective Constable Alison Levi – Operation Firefly

8. Special Constabulary Award – a member whose level of commitment to duty and serving the public voluntarily in their own time is beyond and above what could be expected of them.
Winner: Special Sergeant Jack James – Bath and Gloucester

9. Inspirational Leadership – who consistently demonstrated exceptional leadership ability.
Winner: Inspector Philippa Smith

10. Police Officer of the Year – The Whitbread Shield (presented to the Force in 1966 by Mr J.R. Whitbread) – a Police Officer who has gone far beyond what could reasonably be expected of them and their behaviour renders them worthy of this prestigious acknowledgement.
Winner: Police Constable James Burns – Guildford

More information on the Whitbread Shield and its recipients can be found on the Whitbread Shield project page.
The day certainly enabled Ed and myself to network further with the Force and its officers as well as the industry and partners. Hopefully this will have further raised our profile and in addition ‘spread the word’ about the History Group.

The finalists and winners deserve our congratulations and of course are by now part of the rich history of the Force.

Representing the History Group Ed Thompson (left) and Glyn Thomas at the ceremony.


Extract from the January 2020 edition of History Lines (No. 125)
Photo: Ed Thompson