Volunteer hailed as best in force

Peter Race with Artur Vichnevskiy
Peter Race with Artur Vichnevskiy

A SPECIAL constable has been hailed as the best in his force during a police awards night.

Acting Sergeant Artur Vichnevskiy can often be seen walking the beat in Hartlepool as he volunteers hours of his time to help keep the town safe.

His dedication was recognised by his superiors during a Cleveland Police awards night on Thursday, where a host of Hartlepool officers were also praised for their crimefighting work.

Acting Sgt Vichnevskiy’s commendation, which led to him winning the force’s and Hartlepool’s special constable of the year awards, said he had made “a number of outstanding arrests” and he has “worked tirelessly on the night- time economy to make Hartlepool a safer place”.

One instance was cited where he observed a takeaway shop with a history of violence and garnered “crucial evidence” about what was happening.

PC Keith Robinson was named Hartlepool’s neighbourhood officer of the year.

The Park and Elwick ward officer’s commendation said: “PC Robinson has worked tirelessly to break down barriers between the police and young people, and now takes an active part in activities at the local secondary school together with giving much of his free time to the local karate club.”

Hartlepool police community safety officer (PCSO) of the year went to Throston’s PCSO David Fowler.

His bosses said: “He shows tireless devotion to his community and his pleasant and professional demeanour make him a credit to the police service.”

Stranton-based officers PC Stephanie Button, PC Katherine Lee, PC Mark Doherty, PCSO Graeme Handley, PSCO Mark Say, PCSO Darrell Aspery, PCSO Howard Kirk and PCSO Paul Slater were named the town’s neighbourhood policing team of the year.

A resident who nominated them said: “The area has improved considerably over the past few month, it’s nothing like it used to be, the culture on the street has changed, people are not scared to go outside anymore.”

Chief Constable of Cleveland Police Sean Price presented the awards alongside Cleveland Police Authority Chairman Peter Race.

Chief Cons Price said: “I’m delighted and proud to recognise members of the neighbourhood policing teams for the excellent work they do together with our partnership agencies and with the support of local communities.

“The nominations submitted have given heart-warming examples of the work that our teams are carrying out in our local neighbourhoods and the positive feedback from members of the public is greatly appreciated.”