It’s a case of thumbs up for our award-winning police service

Policing in the upper Calder Valley has been praised at the Calderdale Police Divisional Awards Evening.

Monday, 11th March 2013, 9:54 am
Calderdale Police Divisional Awards Evening at The Shay, Halifax. PS Michael Bowden, PS Louise Holbrook, Insp. Dave Browning and PS Damon Walker.

Inspector Dave Browning and Sergeants Michael Bowden, Damon Walker and Louise Holbrook, all from the Upper Valley Neighbourhood Policing Team, received a commendation, along with PC Ian O’Grady from Halifax Response Team. Meanwhile police worker Tracy Pritchard received a Royal Humane Society Award.

Insp Browning and Sgts Bowden, Walker and Holbrook were commended for their work in convicting Mytholmroyd car dealer Kirk Claus, who was given three years’ imprisonment after being convicted of conspiring to defraud customers at Leeds Crown Court.

Over £3 million worth of vehicles were seized thanks to the dedication and hard work of the four police officers - the highest value seizure of property ever in Calderdale.

Investigations by Sgt Bowden established the location of a number of vehicles which had been hidden to avoid confiscation as part of a money-laundering enquiry. Sgt Walker and his team developed information which gave a precise location and identified the landlord of the premises where vehicles were kept. And on October 9, 2012, Sgt Holbrook worked out the logistics and subsequently drafted an operational order in respect of a warrant obtained by Trading Standards to enter the premises.

Tracy received her award for her selfless act of bravery after she lifted tiny Daisy Swift, who was just 17 days old, out of a stricken car, which was stuck in waist-high flood water in Rochdale Road, Todmorden.

She then carried Daisy back to her house while Daisy’s mother, Zoe Whittaker, followed with her other daughter. Tracy works on the counter at Todmorden Police Station but as a civilian has had no training to deal with an emergency on such a scale. Earlier that night in June 2012, Tracy, who lives in Daleside in Todmorden, offered an elderly resident and his severely disabled son sanctuary at her address, giving them warmth and comfort.

PC O’Grady was given his award for running across lanes of traffic, putting himself in danger, to arrest a well-known outstanding offender in Todmorden.