Sheffield PC awarded for work to rid city of spice drug scourge

A Sheffield PC at the forefront of efforts to tackle the harmful drug spice has earned a top award.

Monday, 25th February 2019, 16:44 pm
Updated Monday, 25th February 2019, 16:47 pm
PC Libby Bettney

PC Libby Bettney only joined South Yorkshire Police in 2017 as part of the Police Now graduate scheme but has quickly made her mark, helping to curb supplies of the highly addictive drug and ensure vulnerable users get the support they need to kick the habit.

She has triumphed in the Police Now category of the Tilley Awards and is in the running to take the overall prize, the winner of which will be announced next month.

PC Libby Bettney with fellow members of the Sheffield Central and North West Neighbourhood Policing Team leading the crackdown on spice abuse

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She said: “The application is a reflection of the work the neighbourhood team have put in over several months, although when submitting the application I didn’t anticipate getting this far! We’re now focusing on preparing for the conference at the end of March, which the team is looking forward to.”

The Tilley Awards are run by the Problem Solving and Demand Reduction Programme, which is being led by South Yorkshire Police on behalf of forces nationwide. They celebrate projects which successfully resolve issues faced by the community, police and their partners.

The awards ceremony will take place as part of the National Problem Solving Conference on March 27.

PC Bettney will speak at the ceremony about spice abuse, the impact it is having on city centre policing and the strategies she and her colleagues on the Sheffield Central and North West Neighbourhood Policing Team have come up with to combat the issue.

Should she impress the judging panel enough to scoop the top prize, she will progress to the Goldstein Awards in the US later this year.

Chief Inspector Paul Ferguson, South Yorkshire Police’s lead for problem orientated policing, said: “These awards mark excellence in problem-solving and are internationally recognised.

“Spice is a complex problem to tackle, no whimsical issue.  Libby’s achievement in pulling together a group to tackle this problem is significant.

“This is great news for Libby; great that she is an officer who is young in service and is already achieving; and great for the city centre and those affected.

“But this is also great news for South Yorkshire Police and testament to the force’s investment in our neighbourhood teams and problem solving.”