Awards for community-minded pair

Honours for two community champions.

TWO people heavily involved in promoting safety in the community have been honoured.

PC Jacqueline Murray, who is based in Hitchin town centre, is the winner of the Neighbourhood Police Officer of the Year Award 2010 given by Hertfordshire Police Authority.

Dennis Wall from the North Herts Crime Prevention Panel received the Community Safety Citizen’s Award 2010.

Police authority chairman Stuart Nagler said: “The nominations for Jackie were, quite frankly, glowing. Those who nominated her could not praise her work enough, and she was a clear winner for the award.

“Her innovative work in Hitchin is driving the way forward for other districts in the county and I hope many can take a leaf out of Jackie’s book and dedicate the enthusiasm and passion to projects that she does to those in her area.

“Jackie should be really proud of her achievements.”

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Of Mr Wall, he said: “Dennis dedicates a great deal of his time to the North Herts Crime Prevention Panel and his passion and motivation to his work really is inspiring.

“Many of those who nominated Dennis for the award commented on his willingness to often go beyond the call of duty and carry out tasks that were not expected of him.

“Dennis is a truly admirable person and much of the crime prevention panel’s success can be attributed to him. I hope Dennis keeps up the good work and continues to set the standard for others in the county.”

PC Murray has been instrumental in overseeing police community support officers as part of the work for the Hitchin Improvement District Company, launched in 2009, in dealing with problem areas around the town.

She is also involved in the Shopwatch and Pubwatch schemes. Keith Hoskins, of the Hitchin Town Centre Initiative, said: “Jackie has worked hard to expand Shoplink, establishing a reassuring presence and identity in the town, and increasing cooperation of partners, thereby improving the image and perception of the police.”

Rob Holgate, CCTV manager, said: “Without a doubt, Hitchin has the best Shoplink scheme in the county. It has the widest coverage, the best response and contributes to a lot of arrests.”

As well as his work with the crime prevention panel, Mr Wall is also Neighbourhood Watch coordinator for Letchworth GC, Baldock and Royston, and recently volunteered to become a community crime fighter in North Herts.

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