L-R: David Harrison, Derbyshire; Richard Oaten, Avon and Somerset; David Thomason, Cheshire; Mike Cunningham, College; Helen Foster, Met; Ian Ashton, Lancashire; Nicholas Mills, West Midlands.

Officers and staff recognised for their everyday excellence and professionalism

Seven officers and staff from across policing who have demonstrated everyday professionalism in their roles have today (28 March 2019) been recognised by the College of Policing.

Nominated by their colleagues, and voted for by College of Policing members, the seven winners received their awards in categories covering; leadership, partnerships/collaborations, community, diversity, wellbeing, evidence base, and professional development. 

The awards were created following feedback from College of Policing members who asked for greater recognition of officers and staff - regardless of whether they are a College member or not - for the hard work and dedication they demonstrate on a daily basis. 

Chief Constable Mike Cunningham, College of Policing CEO, said: “It’s a great pleasure to be able to recognise these officers and staff, on behalf of their colleagues who nominated and voted for them and who think they deserve special praise.

“Policing continues to deliver a high level of service to the public, despite increasing demands and pressures on forces.

“As the professional body for everyone in policing we wanted to show our support for police officers and staff by recognising their quiet brilliance and everyday excellence.

“We wanted to thank those who colleagues believe excel in their everyday roles – to celebrate their professionalism. 

“These awards are about taking the time to acknowledge just a few of the many achievements that go on in policing every day that keep people and communities safe.”

Helen Foster from the Metropolitan Police Service won the Leadership category. Helen was nominated by her colleagues for her tenacity and diligence in investigating and discovering the real world identity of a dark web vendor. Colleagues said Helen “devoted a significant amount of personal time to researching various areas in cybercrime”, and has become “a font of knowledge for others on her unit and importantly an example to them.”

On being informed of her win Helen said: “I’m absolutely over the moon to hear this news and slightly stunned as I had no idea that I had been nominated!”

David Thomason from Cheshire Constabulary won the Partnerships/ Collaborations category. He was nominated for his pivotal role in creating a multi-agency unit in his force to improve the support provided to stalking victims, and the management of perpetrators by partner agencies. His colleagues nominating him said he “championed a new approach to the way stalking is policed, and by developing others he is helping transform the force’s response to managing the risks associated with stalking.”

On being informed that he had won David said: “Thanks very much and I’m really pleased! And surprised people voted for me!”

Richard Oaten from Avon and Somerset Police was the winner of the Community category. Richard was nominated for his excellent long standing dedication and work in the community with school children and Volunteer Police Cadets. At the time of his nomination Richard had just turned 70 and had been in policing for 23 years. His colleagues described him as “a true inspiration to their team” and said “he is still as enthusiastic as he was when he first started.”

On being informed of his win Richard said: “I have to say at the very least I am most surprised, and most grateful someone was gracious enough to nominate me.”

Ian Ashton from Lancashire Constabulary won the Diversity category. Ian was nominated for his work in progressing equality and raising awareness around LGBT+ issues. A police officer for just over 25 years, colleagues nominating him commented on “his strive to make change, to progress equality within policing with everyone’s best interests at heart.” They also described being “blessed” by his “indefatigable efforts to achieve fabulous and progressive change.”

On being informed that he had won Ian said: “Thank you so much this is a real honour.”

Philip Badman from Sussex Police won the Wellbeing category. Philip is a sergeant and was nominated by one of his team members for his exemplary support and understanding to them after they suffered physical and mental illness. Phillip was described a showing “the finest qualities of not only a real decent human being but also a professional, caring, resilient supervisor” and the team member who nominated him acknowledged; “I know I would not still be a police officer if I had not had the support from him.”

On being informed of his win Philip said: “Wow…… I don’t quite know what to say. Thank you”.

Nicholas Mills from West Midlands Police won the Professional Development category. Nicholas was nominated for his work in improving the knowledge of disclosure under Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act, helping a number of agencies in identifying and sharing of good practice. Nicholas was described by colleagues nominating him as “inclusive and innovative” and these attributes led him “to completely revolutionise the way that West Midlands Police deliver disclosure and reasonable lines of enquiry training” and as a result said Nicholas “has had a huge impact on our staff’s investigations and in turn, our communities.”

On being informed that he had won Nicholas said: “That is wonderful news, thank you”.

David Harrison from Derbyshire Constabulary won the Evidence Base (Applying Research) category. David was nominated for his work in identifying a safeguarding app to help victims of domestic crime and other vulnerable adults.


Contact Information

College Press Office

College of Policing

020 3837 0435


Notes to editors

Photo L-R: David Harrison, Derbyshire; Richard Oaten, Avon and Somerset; David Thomason, Cheshire; Mike Cunningham, College; Helen Foster, Met; Ian Ashton, Lancashire; Nicholas Mills, West Midlands.