The winner of new award launched by Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe to reward Excellence in Policing and Community Safety has been revealed.
PC Martin Rone-Clarke, Warwickshire Police’s Gypsy and Traveller Liaison Officer, was presented with the accolade during a special awards evening in Leamington Spa Town Hall last night (Thursday 9 November), which also formed the centrepiece of celebrations for Warwickshire Police’s 160th anniversary.
PC Rone-Clarke has been a key figure working with the Commissioner’s Office and key partners to help launch the new county-wide protocol which seeks to ensure a co-ordinated response to the rise in unauthorised encampments in Warwickshire over the past two years.
Over the last 12 months, PC Rone-Clarke has interacted personally with the occupants of 122 unauthorised encampments, which collectively have had more than 1,100 caravans. In identifying the best way to deal with encampments effectively, lawfully and in a fair way to both the settled and travelling communities, he has helped break down many of the traditional communications barriers that can exist.
Over the course of the past two years he has worked closely with Warwickshire County Council’s Community Safety and Locality Team as well as district and borough councils across the county, while also providing a key support for police Safer Neighbourhood Teams. He has also been able to establish an effective rapport with the travelling community, which has been vital to negotiating speedier and more effective outcomes, as well as helping to gain a better understanding of the issues which lead to unauthorised encampments.
Presenting the award to PC Rone-Clarke, Mr Seccombe said: “I have seen for myself Martin’s exceptional skills at diffusing the tensions that can exist when an unauthorised encampment takes place. He is equally at ease talking to a packed community hall of local residents as he is members of the travelling community.
“Martin’s nomination was also strongly supported by his colleagues across the force and also our partners in our county, district and borough councils, with whom he works extensively when unauthorised encampments occur.
“It’s notable that Martin’s ability to break down barriers has been so successful that other forces are also now looking to adopt the same role.”
The new award was introduced this year to recognise teams or individuals from within policing or the wider community who make a real difference to Warwickshire. It was aimed at rewarding those who regularly go above and beyond what is expected in their day-to-day role over a sustained period of time, often in challenging circumstances. PC Rone-Clarke was chosen by the Commissioner from a strong field of nominations.
Mr Seccombe added: “I was very pleased with the depth and quality of the submissions I received, which came from within policing and also from partner organisations and the public.
“In total we had 14 strong candidates for the award, ranging from individuals working in local communities to teams investigating some of the most difficult cases and complex areas of crime. It made the task of choosing a winner very difficult but I will be ensuring that all of those nominated do receive appropriate recognition for their outstanding work in due course.”