F District's Farmwatch Scheme wins police award

Published: 16 Oct 2012 09:00

F DISTRICT enjoyed huge success at the Policing with the Community Awards in Belfast on Friday.

North Fermanagh Neighbourhood Policing Team leader, Sergeant Scott Fallis and Constable Trevor Connor receive the Problem Solving Award at the Policing with the Community Awards on behalf of F District for its Farmwatch Scheme. Presenting the award is Chief Constable Matt Baggott and Mary Scullion, Fujitsu, category sponsor.

The Farmwatch scheme, headed up by North Fermanagh Neighbourhood Policing Team leader, Sergeant Scott Fallis, and Crime Prevention Officer, Joe Keys, both received awards at the annual ceremony at City Hall.

Sergeant Fallis picked up the Problem Solving Award on behalf of F District for Farmwatch, while local officer, Mr Keys received the Police Staff Member of the Year Award.

Farmwatch is an innovative scheme developed in F District to tackle theft of agricultural machinery and livestock.

The number of crimes against rural communities was impacting significantly on the livelihoods of farmers and was damaging confidence of the farming community in the police.

Following consultation between police and Farmers' representatives, the Farmwatch scheme was launched in April of this year by the Agricultural Minister, Michelle O'Neill. Since its launch, over 200 farmers in Fermanagh have registered on the Scheme.

Mr Keys, meanwhile, has worked in the police for almost 20 years.

In 2011 he took up the post of Crime Prevention Officer in Omagh. In his role, Joe has responsibility for providing an effective anti-crime strategy for all the community.

"Joe has excellent communication skills and can identify what issues are troubling the community," said a PSNI spokesperson, "Since he has started the Crime Prevention role, Joe has rapidly gained himself a reputation and credibility as someone who can help and will help. Joe's continued commitment and dedication has been consistent throughout."

The Awards aim to publicly recognise and reward outstanding problem-solving while highlighting the benefits of policing in partnership with local communities. They also seek to celebrate the important contribution that police staff make.

District Commanders, departmental heads and residents from local communities submitted nominations for the various categories.

Congratulating the Award winners, Justice Minister, David Ford said: "Policing with the Community underpins everything that the Police Service does, and those who have been nominated for awards today display precisely the qualities these awards seek to highlight - effective engagement with the community, the desire to make a difference on the ground and ultimately improve the lives of the community they serve.

"I would like to take this opportunity to recognise the outstanding work that each and every member of the Police Service has made towards delivering a safer, more confident and peaceful society in Northern Ireland."

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