Wiltshire Police officers and staff alongside members of the public have been recognised for their bravery, courage, and dedication in the latest Wiltshire Police Force Awards ceremony.

The Deputy Lieutenant of Wiltshire Mr David Scott and the High Sheriff of Wiltshire Dr Olivia Chapple OBE joined the Police and Crime Commissioner, Philip Wilkinson and Chief Constable Catherine Roper at the event in The Corn Exchange in Devizes on Wednesday 3 July.

Officers, staff, and members of the public were invited to attend the ceremony alongside their guests to celebrate careers and contributions that have demonstrated outstanding quality.

Chief Constable Catherine Roper said: “This was a wonderful evening celebrating the incredible achievements of Wiltshire Police officers, staff and volunteers along with members of our community.

“Since assuming my role in February last year, I have witnessed first-hand the tireless efforts, care and professionalism displayed by our teams and our communities.

“Policing is an honourable profession that demands the highest standards of integrity and compassion. 

“I always feel privileged to attend these evenings and hear about the achievements and dedication of officers and staff who work for Wiltshire Police, along with the selfless acts of members of the public who have put the needs of others ahead of themselves.

“We should also recognise that many of these achievements would not be possible without the encouragement, strength and support from family members and friends, some of whom attended the ceremony on Wednesday.

“To those who give that vital support - I thank you.”

The following awards were presented throughout the evening:

  • Nine Long Service awards
  • Chief Constable’s Commendation and Outstanding Teamwork Award
  • Three Chief Constable’s Certificates of Excellence
  • Nine Chief Constable’s Certificates of Recognition of the Public

Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson said: “Chief Constable Roper has brought a renewed vigour and focus to Wiltshire Police over the past year and the Force’s removal from the ‘Engage’ process is testament to the tremendous work that has happened in that time across the organisation to make Wiltshire safer.

“These awards come at a momentous time for Wiltshire Police as we collectively move towards continuing the journey of improvement to ensure that victims and witnesses get the very best service and that the Force delivers in the way our residents expect and deserve.

“The standards set by these officers serve as a benchmark for policing in Wiltshire and it is now incumbent upon us all to complement these instances of individual excellence with consistency across the Force and encourage others by serving as inspiration.

“I am confident that their professionalism, dedication, and unwavering commitment to upholding public service's core values will enhance public trust in our work.”

Details of the recipients are as follows: 

Long service - Inspector Scott Anger (1868)  

Inspector Scott Anger (1868) began his career with Wiltshire Police as a Swindon Response Officer in 2003. He then gained valuable experience in various roles, including as Response Sergeant, Neighbourhood Policing Sergeant, and as an accredited Detective Sergeant with the former local crime team. 

A particularly notable highlight was Insp Anger's seven-year tenure as a Detective Sergeant on Swindon’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID), where from 2015 he investigated serious and complex crimes in one of the force's busiest departments. This challenging yet rewarding experience stands out as one of the most enjoyable roles in his career. 

In 2022, he was promoted to Inspector and moved back to the Response command to bring his wealth of experience to another area of the force.  

His extensive 13 years as a Sergeant, including the highly valued Detective Sergeant role, have shaped Insp Anger into the exceptional leader and investigator we recognise today. 

Through exemplary service and an unwavering commitment to public safety, Insp Anger has made invaluable contributions to Wiltshire Police and the communities we serve.  

Long Service - Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Ian Magrath (1869) 

Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Ian Magrath’s (1869) career with Wiltshire Police spans over two decades of exceptional service and invaluable contributions. Beginning as a Response Officer in 2003, he swiftly advanced through the ranks, serving in the County Criminal Investigation Department (CID), as a Sergeant in the Local Crime Team (LCT) and Priority Crime Team (PCT), as well as playing a pivotal role in the establishment of the Force Investigation Model and Digital Investigations Team. 

Notable highlights include T/DCI Magrath’s instrumental work on several high-profile murder investigations early in his career, providing crucial learning experiences under the guidance of esteemed Senior Investigating Officers. Of particular significance was the creation of the Digital Investigations & Intelligence Unit and securing Wiltshire Police's first conviction for a Computer Misuse Act Offence through the ground-breaking Operation Zagros case. T/DCI Magrath’s leadership as the Force Lead for Family Liaison was exemplified during the critical Operation Fairline response. 

Throughout his tenure, T/DCI Magrath has consistently embraced ancillary roles, serving as a Sexual Offences Liaison Officer (SOLO), Police Standards Unit (PSU), Family Liaison Officer (FLO), and most recently, a Counter Terrorism Security Coordinator (CT SecCo), demonstrating an unwavering commitment to professional growth. 

T/DCI Magrath’s accomplishments have been greatly shaped by the mentorship of former Detective Chief Inspector Gemma Vinton, whose visionary leadership, support, and belief in his abilities have been instrumental in his career advancement. DCI Vinton's guidance has fostered T/DCI Magrath’s confidence, challenging him to continually innovate and push boundaries. 

T/DCI Ian Magrath, your dedication, integrity, and expertise continue to make an indispensable impact within Wiltshire Police, exemplifying the highest standards of professionalism and service to our local community. 

Long Service Award – Inspector Matt Fox (1857) 

Throughout his notable 20-year career with Wiltshire Police, Inspector Matt Fox (1857) has shown exceptional dedication, professionalism, and courage in serving his community.  

Insp Fox joined the force in 2003 as a Response Officer in Devizes. Over the years, he served in various specialised roles, including Field Intelligence, Surveillance, Counter Terrorism, and as an Authorised Firearms Officer. His skills and professionalism have been repeatedly recognised through commendations and awards. 

Among his many career highlights, Insp Fox took immense pride in supporting high-profile operations across the country. Most notably, he served as the main firearms planning officer and operational commander during the G7 Summit in Cornwall, ensuring the safety of world leaders and the public under extraordinary circumstances. 

Throughout his tenure, Insp Fox consistently pushed himself to new heights, from building dens in the woods during rural surveillance training to fast roping from helicopters and assaulting boats on the River Thames. His commitment to continuous learning and development is exemplified by the numerous specialised courses he has completed, spanning firearms, tactical operations, incident management, and leadership. 

Beyond his operational successes, Insp Fox has made lasting contributions through educating others. He has tirelessly worked to elevate officers' and staff's knowledge and standards to new heights, drawing from his extensive experiences. His commitment to empowering others is a testament to his leadership and vision for excellence. 

Throughout his career, Insp Fox has been guided and supported by his wife, Rachel, whose unwavering encouragement has enabled him to pursue his calling with dedication and focus. Their partnership serves as an inspiring example of the sacrifices and support needed for success in this noble profession. 

For his exceptional service, unparalleled commitment, and invaluable contributions to Wiltshire Police and the broader community, Insp Fox is awarded his Long Service award.  

Long Service award - Police Staff Suzanne Pearce (8408)  

Suzanne Pearce (8408) is being recognised for her exceptional career and invaluable contributions during her 20 years of dedicated service with Wiltshire Police. 

Suzanne joined Wiltshire Police in August 2003 as a Crime Scene Investigator in Swindon. On her first day Suzanne was faced with a sudden death and donned the full scene suit mere hours into her career. This initiation by fire was just the start of Suzanne’s distinguished tenure as a Crime Scene Investigator, where she spent over 17 years meticulously processing crime scenes with professionalism and care. 

In 2021, Suzanne transitioned into her current role with the Digital Video Unit, marking the start of an inspiring new chapter as a Forensic Audio and Video Examiner. This pivotal career milestone was made possible through the guidance of colleague Sam Ross, whose mentorship empowered Suzanne to embrace the new challenge with confidence. 

Kelly Baker, the Regional Forensics Coordinator, has had a profound impact on Suzanne's career with the Force. Kelly's warm welcome and guidance during the early years of Suzanne's career have significantly influenced her journey and professional growth to where she is today.  

Additionally, Suzanne holds a deep sentimental connection to her vocation, as her late father, who served as a former Scenes of Crime Officer, has instilled a profound sense of meaning and significance in her work. The influence of both Kelly Baker and her father's legacy has shaped Suzanne's path and reinforced her dedication to her role within the Force. 

Long Service - Police Staff Samantha Ross (8444) 

Samantha Ross (8444) is recognised for her 20-year career with the Wiltshire Police Forensics Unit. Starting as a Video Unit Administrator in 2003, Samantha steadily advanced through the ranks, serving as a Video Imaging Technician, Photographic Imaging Technician, Supervisor of the Video, Photographic and Mobile Telephony Units, and currently as the Regional Forensic Video and Audio Manager. 

Over her tenure, she has witnessed and adapted to immense technological changes, pivoting from handling audio cassettes and VHS tapes to cutting-edge digital forensics. 

Samantha’s career highlights include filming a high-speed pursuit training video from the backseat of a police car travelling at 150 mph and photographing high-profile events like the 2012 Olympic Torch Relay and the 175th anniversary of Wiltshire Police, where she had the honour of meeting the Royal Family. 

Her most significant contribution was her ground-breaking work on Operation Mayan, producing the first-of-its-kind interactive court presentation that seamlessly integrated CCTV footage, crime scene imagery, 360-degree photography, map locations, and a timeline of events. This innovative approach received excellent feedback from the courts. 

Samantha credits her success to the mentorship and support of influential leaders like Ian Jakeman, Barbara Lockwood, and Cliff Bassett, who provided invaluable guidance throughout her career progression at Wiltshire Police. 

For two decades of remarkable service and innovation in forensics at Wiltshire Police, we congratulate Samantha on her Long Service Award.  

Long Service Award – Retired Police Constable John Griggs (9413)

Now retired, employee and former Police Constable John Griggs (9413) is awarded his long service Award for his service to the Archivist Department. 

John’s journey began on 15 January 1965, when he joined the Metropolitan Police Cadets, serving at Hendon, Ashford, and Notting Hill Gate stations. On 7 November 1966, John enrolled as a Police Constable at Hendon and was stationed at the infamous Shepherds Bush during the harrowing hunt for Harry Roberts, the killer of three police officers. He was one of the brave officers who stood the line during the Grosvenor Square riots and the Trooping the Colour ceremony, donning the ceremonial uniform with pride.

Seeking a change due to family commitments, John transferred to Wiltshire Constabulary on 15 January 1973. Over the next 23 years, he took on various roles - Town Centre Officer, Panda Driver, Adult Crime Officer, Control Room Officer in Swindon, Area Constable, Custody Officer, and finally Court Custody Officer. PC Griggs retired from the force on 6 November 1996.

However, the call to serve proved strong, and on 6 January 1997, John returned as a civilian in the Criminal Justice Unit in Swindon. After a brief stint as an undertaker in Cornwall, he returned to the police force in August 2003, joining the Criminal Justice Unit's Archivist Section, which he proudly pioneered. 

Through a lifetime of selfless service, John accumulated countless memorable moments and forged strong bonds with colleagues. One particularly proud moment was the invitation to the Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in May 2023.

After an astounding 57 years of service to the police force, John has reached the pinnacle of an extraordinary career, earning a well-deserved retirement as of 23 March this year. Today we pay tribute to John’s remarkable dedication, resilience, and embodiment of the highest standards of professionalism. 

Long Service award - Tina Willison (8454) 

For distinguished service and unwavering dedication to Wiltshire Police over the past 26 years, we honour employee and former Special Constable Tina Willison (8454) with her Long Service Award.  

Joining initially as a Special Constable in 1997, Tina served the Swindon community for a decade before transitioning to roles in Custody, Warrants, and as a Local Crime Investigator in the Volume Crime Team. 

Among Tina's career highlights was her assistance in the evacuation of South Marston during devastating floods in 2007. Tina aided in the safe removal of stranded residents, exemplifying the selflessness and rapid response that define successful emergency operations. For this act, she received an award. 

Tina's most profound impact, however, has been the inspiration drawn from her personal triumph over breast cancer in 2012. After returning from treatment, she confronted an uncertain professional future due to her role at the time being restructured.  

It was then- Police Sergeant Lian Dunwel who offered an opportunity and welcomed Tina into the Local Crime Team despite limited investigative experience. This critical vote of confidence empowered Tina to thrive, master new skills and develop into an exceptional investigator committed to excellent public service. 

For over a quarter-century of committed police work, distinguished acts of courage, and a strong spirit that overcame adversity, we honour Tina with our gratitude. Her integrity, dedication, and resilience represent the finest values of Wiltshire Police.  

Long Service award - Sonja Leith (8465) 

Sonja Leith (8465) is awarded her Long Service Award for 20 years in service. Sonja has made exceptional contributions to policing and community safety.  

Starting as an Intelligence Analyst in 2003 after earning a Masters in Forensic Psychology, she rapidly ascended through the ranks, serving as a Principal Analyst, Head of the Regional Intelligence Unit, and Director of Intelligence from 2014-2017 - one of the first non-police officer members to hold this prestigious role traditionally reserved for Superintendents. 

Sonja’s impact expanded further when she undertook the role of Head of Crime Prevention, overseeing Offender Management, building up our Citizens in Policing portfolio, and Early Intervention and Mental Health initiatives. Her work combating county lines drug exploitation was particularly commendable gaining prestigious recognition with the Swindon Mayor's Medal in 2019. 

Moving to Head of Improvement & Change in 2019, Sonja supported the Force through the pandemic, receiving a Deputy Chief Constables' Certificate of Excellence for this service. Her contributions to enhanced planning, strategy, business intelligence and continuous improvement have been pivotal to the rapid service enhancements seen over the past year.  

Throughout her career, Sonja has found inspiration in exemplary leaders like Assistant Chief Constable Craig Holden (now a Regional Assistant Chief Constable), adept at getting the best from everyone in his team and who taught her to challenge the status quo, look for new solutions and new ways of doing things. 

Sonja's career shows professionalism, dedication, and exemplary leadership, which have significantly enriched police capabilities and public service in Wiltshire. 

Long Service - Special Constable Connor Richardson (4237) 

Special Constable Connor Richardson (4237) has been awarded his Long Service Award for his exceptional contributions during his tenure as a Special Constable with Wiltshire Police.  

Initially stationed with the Response and Town Centre Team in Swindon, SC Richardson spent 6.5 years working at Gable Cross before moving to Devizes for the next 2.5 years. During this time, SC Richardson made significant impacts through his involvement with the Drone Unit, becoming the first to complete the prestigious Drone Observer course. A career highlight was achieving his standard response driving certification, a testament to his commitment to professional development. 

One standout moment was SC Richardson’s crucial role in resolving a high-risk domestic incident involving potential hostages. Through skilled coordination with victims, communications, and specialist teams, he helped bring this volatile scenario to a safe resolution, displaying outstanding judgment and bravery. 

The success of SC Richardson's service is attributed to the exceptional teams and colleagues who shaped his journey, including Special Sergeant Greg Satchell, Special Inspector Stuart Parker, and Special Sergeant Paul Corkhill. Their guidance, mentorship, and teamwork were invaluable in encouraging his growth as an exemplary Special Constable. 

Chief Constable’s Commendation - PC Adam Neish (0188)  and

Chief Constable’s Outstanding Team Work Award - PC Laura Hughes (0168), PC Liam Rodriguez-Wilkins (70258), PCSO Laura Maplesden (9543) and PC Luke Rogers (70174)

Police Constable Adam Neish (0188) is awarded a Chief Constable's Commendation for exhibiting extraordinary courage and dedication to duty in responding to a perilous incident involving an individual in crisis. 

Police Constable Laura Hughes (0168), Police Constable Liam Rodriguez-Wilkins (70258), Police Community Support Officer Laura Maplesden (9543) and Police Constable Luke Rogers (70174) are awarded the Outstanding Teamwork Award for their vital support roles and outstanding teamwork in this traumatic incident.

On 25 November 2022, we received a distressing call that a woman had entered the dangerously swollen River Avon near the A350 between Trowbridge and Westbury. Despite heavy rainfall causing the river's waters to surge with daunting strength and depth, PC Neish selflessly volunteered to assist the response effort while already engaged in other critical neighbourhood policing duties.

With the dire situation rapidly deteriorating, PC Neish demonstrated remarkable bravery by sprinting a considerable distance to the woman's location. Finding her actively attempting to submerge herself underwater, he instantly removed his protective vest and entered the freezing river at great personal risk. He swam out and secured the woman, allowing the team to pull them both to safety using a throw rope.

The woman's friend had also entered the water in an attempt to rescue her and was herself clinging precariously to an overhanging branch. Thanks to the quick thinking of PC Hughes and PC Rogers, they were able to anchor themselves and pull the friend to safety before she was swept away.

PC Neish's valiant actions, executed while soaked in freezing waters, undoubtedly saved a life that fateful day. Remarkably, after ensuring the woman's safety and a change of clothes PC Neish returned to the station, and completed his tour of duty, exemplifying an exceptional level of dedication.

For his valiant efforts and unwavering commitment to protecting the community, even when placing himself in harm's way, PC Neish is awarded a Chief Constable’s Commendation as a testament to his exceptional bravery and inspirational devotion to public service.

While PC Neish entered the treacherous waters, PC Hughes, PC Rodriguez-Wilkins, PCSO Maplesden and PC Rogers anchored the rescue rope, facilitated urgent communications, and provided essential backup - their collaborative efforts were crucial in saving the woman's life. 

Outstanding Teamwork Award 

Chief Inspector James Brain (2517), Police Sergeant Richard Marshall (2976), Police Constable Kevin Golledge (1838), Police Sergeant Evangeline Templar (2995), Police Constable Alastair Jarvis (2948)

The Chippenham Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) is awarded the Outstanding Teamwork Award for their exceptional teamwork, commitment, determination, and effort in disrupting and dismantling a prolific Organised Crime Group (OCG) responsible for the large-scale supply of cocaine.

Taking responsibility for investigating the Illinois OCG’s narcotic distribution operations, cannabis production, and money laundering activities, the team embarked on an intensive year-long covert operation. 

Through meticulous investigative work, the team secured authorisation from the Crown Prosecution Service to charge key members with conspiracy to supply 27.5 kilograms of cocaine valued at £1.1 million over two and a half years. 

The team's perseverance was vital, as some defendants entered guilty pleas while others denied charges. The team’s efforts ultimately led to two 3.5-year sentences and a sentence of 10 years for the main conspirator.

Not just focused on prosecution, the team's commitment extended to stripping these criminals of their ill-gotten gains through the Proceeds of Crime Act, securing over £300,000 in authorised recovery to date.

This phenomenal success in dismantling such a major criminal enterprise is a testament to the team's seamless coordination, resilience, and commitment to public safety. Their strategies have been highlighted to other forces as a model for disrupting organised crime.

For their remarkable teamwork, diligence, and unparalleled success in bringing down a sophisticated criminal enterprise, CI Brain, PS Marshall, PC Golledge, PS Templar and PC Jarvis have all embodied the highest standards of policing. 

Their efforts are a significant victory in the fight against organised crime

Chief Constable’s Certificate of Recognition for Members of the Public award. 

Craig Betterton, Ethel Changa, Andy Woods, and Charlie Cole  

At approximately 3pm on Tuesday 23rd January 2024, Wiltshire Police began to receive several calls reporting a distressed male standing on the wrong side of the safety barrier at the Junction 15 roundabout above the M4 motorway, on a ledge overlooking the carriageway. 

Members of the public who were passing by, Craig Betterton, Ethel Changa, Andy Woods, and Charlie Cole, stopped to help.  

This group of strangers worked together, communicating with the male while waiting for the police to arrive. They built a rapport and effectively engaged him in conversation. 

Police Constable Nathan Strong (322) was the first officer on the scene. As he approached, the distressed male appeared to try to jump off the bridge. PC Strong, helped by Mr Betterton, Ms Changa, Mr Woods, and Mr Cole, grabbed hold of the male, preventing him from jumping. Together, they pulled him back over the barrier to safety. 

Once secured, the group remained with the male, providing ongoing support and comfort until additional resources arrived. 

The actions of PC Strong, Craig Betterton, Ethel Changa, Andy Woods, and Charlie Cole ultimately prevented the male from causing serious self-harm. Their brave efforts, communication skills and teamwork allowed for the safe resolution of this incident and undoubtedly saved a life. 

Thank you for your contribution to public service and congratulations on your Chief Constable’s Certificate of Recognition for members of the public award. 

Chief Constable's Certificate of Recognition for Members of the Public Award 

Timothy Ryan and Ashley May 

Timothy Ryan and Ashley May are awarded the Chief Constable's Certificate of Recognition for members of the public award for their remarkable bravery, quick thinking, and selfless public service in the face of an emergency situation.  

In February 2023, after being disgruntled over an unfavourable staff appraisal, a female employee of the Blue Cross Charity Shop in The Shires Shopping Centre in Trowbridge locked herself in the store and used a lighter to set fire to items.   

These individuals took decisive action and forced entry into the store, smashing the front window and opening the door. At personal risk to themselves, they were able to remove the employee from the building despite her resistive behaviour and identify the items aflame and safely remove them from the premises, preventing the fire's spread. They were able to extinguish the flames before first responders arrived, mitigating further damage and risk to life. 

Through their courage, level-headedness, and prompt intervention, Timothy Ryan and Ashley May averted a potentially catastrophic incident.  

Their heroic actions safeguarded lives and property. For this selfless display of bravery in service of their community, they are eminently deserving of recognition and honour, and we congratulate you on your Chief Constable's Certificate of Recognition for members of the public award. 

Chief Constable’s Certificate of Excellence 

PCSO Liam Owen (6382), PCSO Stacey Cunningham (3688) and PCSO Linda Staples (6328)   

Awarded with the Chief Constable’s Certificate of Excellence, former Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Liam Owen (6382), PCSO Stacey Cunningham (3688) and PCSO Linda Staples (6328) demonstrated exceptional courage, composure, and professionalism in responding to a medical emergency while on foot patrol in Chippenham Town Centre. 

On November 15, 2022, at approximately 3.30pm, PCSO Cunningham witnessed an adult male collapse and fall heavily, striking his head on the ground.  

Recognising the grave situation, PCSO Cunningham swiftly alerted her colleagues, and the team took immediate action. 

With remarkable calmness, former PCSO Owen rapidly identified that the male was not breathing and promptly initiated life-saving CPR. Simultaneously, PCSO Staples located a nearby defibrillator, ensuring this vital equipment was on hand at the scene. 

As crowds began to form, PCSO Staples took control, effectively managing bystanders to provide a safe operating space for the medical team and officers, ensuring the patient's dignity was preserved throughout the crisis. 

After three rounds of CPR performed by PCSO Cunningham, the male began breathing independently. The swift response of the PCSO’s undoubtedly saved this individual's life. 

The paramedics and the man's wife expressed profound gratitude, stating unequivocally that without the team's immediate professional interventions, the outcome would have been drastically different. 

Former PCSO Owen, PCSO Cunningham, and PCSO Staples' actions that day embody the public service ethos, bringing great credit to the organisation through their lifesaving efforts and steadfast commitment to the community they serve.

Picture Credit Dominic Parkes/Wiltshire Police