Police Now officer Police Constable Gabriella Paraskeva has won the 2021 Neighbourhood Policing Hidden Gem Award in Sheffield, South Yorkshire Police.
PC Paraskeva, a participant on Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme, was nominated for the award by her sergeant, who was impressed by all the work she has done in her neighbourhood team over the last year.
The awards were initiated to recognise that, though much neighbourhood work may seem small or discrete, the officers show genuine commitment to their community and take full ownership of challenges – going the extra mile and taking their work personally.
The award was presented by Dame Sarah Storey in her role as Active Travel Commissioner for Sheffield City Region, at a ceremony at Niagara Sports and Social Club earlier this month. Also in attendance were other award winners and force guests including Chief Inspector Helen Lewis and Chief Inspector Stuart Walne.
Addressing the award winners and attendees, Chief Inspector Helen Lewis said: “We know the impact of Covid-19, we know how much community support was needed to help everyone get through it. So I said to your supervisors, ‘tell me who’s been really good on your team – I want to say thank you’.
“I wanted to know who just comes in, gets on with it, does an absolutely tremendous job and who goes above and beyond. And these were those people.
“Comments from supervisors included ‘they all go above and beyond in their everyday role. I just sit back in awe’”
Chief Inspector Stuart Walne added: “It’s what goes on behind the scenes, perhaps what doesn’t make the headlines, that makes a real difference.
“This is a small but pertinent gesture that we can make that recognises that just turning up, owning a problem, becoming part of your community and dealing with what is important to them can make your role so effective.
“The fact that you do that, the fact your community talks to you and values you, ensures that when we do have unfortunate incidents the investigation teams can come in time and time again and find it’s the contribution of yourselves that makes a difference and ensures witnesses come forward to help us solve major crimes.
“Your day-to-day business is what’s important to them, so thank you very much.”
PC Paraskeva joined South Yorkshire Police in 2020 via the Police Now National Graduate Leadership Programme, a two-year training programme which places graduates into neighbourhood policing roles to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in communities across England and Wales. Officers on the programme develop skills in leadership and problem-solving, to equip them with the skills they need to make the biggest impact in their communities from day one on the job.