Officers and Neighbourhood Watch volunteers were commended for their excellent work by Deputy Chief Constable Nick Ephgrave at a special awards ceremony held at Surrey Police Headquarters at Mount Browne on Tuesday, 6 January.
DCC Ephgrave said: “It was a great occasion and a wonderful opportunity to meet and present these awards to our Neighbourhood Watch members who make a real difference to lives of Surrey residents on a daily basis.”
The award for the ‘Most significant contribution by a member of Surrey Police staff’ went to Runnymede Borough PCSO Michaela Vasilova for her sterling work during the last six years.
In her post, she quickly recognised the importance of creating and strengthening the links between the local police and the community and before long had set up a River Community Partnership through panel meetings with other organisations and embarked on a host of activities, particularly at Penton Hook Marina.
PCSO Michaela Vasilova said: “I was so pleased to receive this award and just want to say a big thank you to all the local residents and to everyone who nominated me. I feel so proud and honoured to receive it.
The award for the ‘Most significant contribution by a Neighbourhood Watch member in Surrey’ was awarded to Rod Ashford, who was nominated by members across the scheme he coordinates in Lower Kingswood, Reigate and Banstead Borough.
Rod has been praised as being an excellent example of someone who really helps to make a difference by ensuring that the community is always kept up to date and informed about what is happening in their area and where people may not have access to email or mobile phones, makes a special effort to visit them in person. As a supporter of the ‘No Cold Calling’ scheme Rod also makes sure that those he visits are expecting his call. He has a particular concern for safety on the local roads and country pathways and gained the respect and appreciation of his community for the time and effort he puts in to address this issue.
The ‘Special Award’ was presented for the second time at the ceremony and this year it was awarded to two senior members from Surrey Heath Neighbourhood Watch Scheme, Mike Potter and Michael Davis.
Mike is chairman of Surrey Heath Neighbourhood Watch Support Group and represents the borough on the Surrey Neighbourhood Watch Association. He has made a signification contribution to help the Surrey Heath Neighbourhood Watch scheme become one of the largest and most successful schemes in the country.
Over recent years he has helped steadily increase the number of volunteers in the borough to an impressive 312 and quarterly meetings are normally attended by around 120 members. Those who know Mike have praised him for his tireless work and commitment to promote the Neighbourhood Watch scheme and the support he offers to elderly and disabled residents across the borough.
Meanwhile Michael Davis has been involved with Neighbourhood Watch and previous schemes for around 20 years. He is currently the Surrey Heath Treasurer, Minutes Secretary and Co-ordinator for the Crime Prevention trailer. Michael and other volunteers take the promotional trailer to over twenty events a year including the Surrey Heath Show, school fetes and local companies to raise awareness of the work carried out by Neighbourhood Watch and also give advice on home and personal security.