The second-ever Defence Police Federation Awards were held in Southampton last night to celebrate an inspirational group of Ministry of Defence Police officers and staff.
In all, 23 serving and retired officers and members of the Defence family were recognised for their exceptional contributions to policing.
Defence Police Federation Chairman Eamon Keating welcomed the guests, saying: “You are a credit to the Ministry of Defence Police – and it’s the Defence Police Federation’s privilege to thank you for your bravery, excellence and inspiring work on behalf of your colleagues.”
The winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award was Kevin Laing, who is currently battling cancer. He was recognised for his long service as a recruit trainer, where he gave every recruit his undiluted support and was described as a “big brother, father figure, friend, confidante and counsellor”.
Claire Batt MBE, the MDP’s Welfare Officer, won an Inspiration Award for going above and beyond to support officers’ mental health and wellbeing during the pandemic.
Also celebrated for their work during the pandemic were a group of experts who worked together to deliver the MDP COVID response: Chief Inspector Jimmy Carr; Head of SHEP Nikki Dutton; MDP Clinical Governance Lead Lt Col Danny Sharpe; Defence Public Health Unit Head Surgeon Captain Tim Elmer; and Dr Mark Salter from the UK Health Security Agency.
They won The Debbie Williams Award for Friends of the Defence Police Federation, named after last year’s award-winner, a founding member of the Police Firearms Officers Association who tirelessly devoted hours of her time to help officers and their families. Debbie’s daughter Rachel presented the award to the officers.
DC Gary McArthur of Crime Command Intelligence won an Excellence In Investigation Award for his work in analysing tens of thousands of messages from EncroChat, in order to identify members of an organised crime group. His incredible commitment to the job provided the evidence to put seven men behind bars.
Retired Sergeant Peter Biggin won an Inspiration Award for his dedication to high-profile policing work at Whitehall and his inspirational, can-do attitude, despite suffering from progressive MS.
PC Iain McInnes and PC Jamie Byrne of Clyde Marine Unit Rescue won Excellence Awards for courageously rescuing two sets of people from a freezing loch on the same night.
Five Marine Unit officers who saved the lives of two men from a capsized jetbike won Excellence Awards. PCs Steve Farnes, Ian Gould, Joshua Smith, Michael Dewhurst and Alastair O’Neill deployed excellent teamwork to retrieve the hypothermic men in challenging conditions.
PC Joseph McCabe won an Excellence Award for his actions in March this year, when he talked a distressed man down from a motorway bridge on the M8 in Glasgow, while off-duty.
And PC Darren Lawton, PC Les Oman and MOD dietician Ali Booker won Excellence Awards for putting in long hours and providing emotional support while training scores of their colleagues to pass their fitness tests and remain in their jobs.
The Awards were sponsored by Uniform Mortgages, Axon, Flint House Police Rehabilitation, No1 CopperPot Credit Union, KM Law, Serve & Pro