Although the Cutlers’ Company is more usually associated with industry and manufacturing in the region, it is well aware that a stable and safe community is vital for businesses to thrive and grow.
For this reason the company annually acknowledges the work carried out by the South Yorkshire Police by making an award to an individual and a group who have made an exceptional contribution to the safety of our region.
This year, as always, the standard of nominations was very high but the individual who stood out from the rest was Det Insp Delphine Waring who dealt with the highly sensitive matter of child sexual exploitation. She headed up Operation Klan which focused on the activities of two men from Doncaster.
The work by DI Waring and her team resulted in successful prosecutions and the two men are now serving life sentences.
Her citation noted that DI Waring recognised the need to identify and safeguard potential child victims. She demonstrated outstanding leadership, encouraging, motivating and empowering the officers involved in the enquiry. The success in this case has been widely recognised by other forces.
The group award this year went to those officers and civilians who formed Operation Karri, led by PC Simon Kirkham.
During 2012 there were increases in burglary in Sheffield. During inquiries it came to light that smaller items including sat navs and mobile phones were regularly offered to taxi drivers.
Research showed a high percentage of the 2,600 taxi/minicab drivers had been offered stolen goods but many were reluctant to report matters.
Over 18 months Operation Karri saw the formation of an advisory group and the joint production of a Taxi Driver’s Handbook which includes advice on how to report issues. There has also been increased reporting of incidents, greater trust in police and cooperation in other areas including searches for missing people, it is claimed.
From a position of a poor relationship with the taxi community there are now potentially 2,600 vehicles providing the successful beginning of the largest most mobile neighbourhood watch scheme anywhere.
The winners were presented with cups and certificates by the Immediate Past Master Neil MacDonald who said: “It is very easy to take what the police do for granted but it is not by accident that Sheffield is one of the safest cities in the country. The police do a fantastic job and this is one of the occasions when we can show some appreciation.”
The Chief Constable, David Crompton, thanked the Immediate Past Master and the Cutlers’ Company for hosting the event, explaining that these two excellent nominations were deserving of the awards but that they were just a small example of what the South Yorkshire Police does on a daily basis.
The James Neill Trust once again made donations of £250 to charities chosen by both the individual and group winners. DI Waring selected The British Heart Foundation, while Operation Karri chose Amy’s House, a respite centre for families with children who have special needs based at Ballifield Primary School, Sheffield.