Police Constable Philip Williamson, who joined Humberside Police in 2020 via Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme, has been awarded Student Officer of the Year in the force’s annual Excellence in Policing awards.
PC Williamson was presented with the award yesterday evening (5th May 2022) at a force ceremony in Scunthorpe, for his work to tackle drug dealing and related criminality in Hull.
The award recognises the student officer who has consistently demonstrated an understanding of the importance of building the trust and confidence of the public and placing victims at the heart of their policing work. They will have stood out in their first two years of service as someone with great potential who embodies the force values of fairness, integrity, respect, professionalism and compassion.
PC Williamson, Community Beat Manager for Avenues Ward on the Hull West Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT), was nominated for the award for his work leading the high-visibility drugs dog operation ‘Operation Forager’ between September 2021 and March 2022.
PC Williamson led patrols along key routes in the Avenues alongside officers and PCSOs, with support from other NPTs in Hull and East Riding and partner agencies including ReNew, Hull City Council and British Transport Police. The high-visibility approach allowed officers to identify people who may be supplying or carrying drugs and acted as a deterrent to other potential offenders.
The operation also aided intelligence gathering, with officers knocking on every door in the area as part of the force’s ‘Humber Talking’ initiative and collating information to target those engaging in criminal activity.
The operation saw 57 stop and searches, eight cannabis warnings and one cannabis caution issued, and one person summonsed for possession of amphetamines. One male was arrested for possession of Class B drugs with intent to supply, with a further search conducted and £1,000 seized from a property believed to be linked to him. Other items seized during the operation include illegal cigarettes worth approximately £4,500, tramadol, 20 bags of cannabis of varying sizes and two knives.
PC Williamson also led and executed a number of further drug warrants at addresses around the city. In addition, PC Williamson was able to obtain a closure order on a property in his ward area following a large volume of reports of anti-social behaviour, criminal damage and drug dealing, which had been affecting neighbouring residents.
Police Sergeant Joanne Harvey, who nominated PC Williamson for the award, said: “Since joining the Hull West Neighbourhood Policing Team, Phil has acted as a leader in the community and on the team. He has made himself available and listened to the concerns of his community and has put in place robust plans to deliver a quality of service that really places the community and victims at the heart of everything he does. His attention to detail with these plans is truly exceptional and recognised as one of the best in the force.
“He has not only organised and delivered a number of high-profile drug related initiatives on his ward, but he has also secured budgets, arranged a closure order, completed operational orders, delivered quality briefings to internal and external partners and keeps his community updated to build their trust and confidence. He has done all this whilst still learning what the role of a police officer is all about and has developed into an exceptional officer who acts with professionalism and respect.”
Police Constable Phil Williamson said: “I have enjoyed the challenge of organising funding, logistics and staffing for these operations, in addition to leading them throughout. Whilst I am acutely aware of the issues caused by drug dealing and anti-social behaviour in the community, improving the lived experience for the residents of the ward has been at the heart of everything I have done.
“I am grateful to have an extremely supportive team, and we have found that the evidence-based policing approaches that I have implemented have been extremely successful across a number of outcomes, and I look forward to sharing best practice with colleagues and developing these tactics to ensure that they continue to achieve what we set out do.
“I am really proud to have been selected as the winner of this award. It is really nice that my efforts have been recognised and are appreciated. I am grateful to my supervisors, team members and all that have contributed to my development since I joined Humberside Police, as this wouldn’t have been possible without their help and guidance.”
Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme is a structured, two-year programme which supports participants to make a positive impact in their communities as neighbourhood police officers.