Police Constable Scott Franklin-Lester was named Police Officer of The Year after being nominated by colleagues for his dedication to tackling county lines drug dealing and cuckooing of vulnerable people; showing incredible drive and motivation to disrupt criminality and protect the most vulnerable.

He said: “This is quite amazing really, I’ve had some awards before but this tops it all.

“I have been working for the force for 23 years, 18 of those in Eastbourne town centre. For me it’s just going in and getting on with the job and trying to do what I’m paid to do really and making a difference to the people out there.
“I would like to thank my Sergeant Dave Sands, I’ve got two really good inspectors, Rachel Barrow and Sara Taylor and an amazing team.”

Inspirational leaders, role models, volunteers and a super sleuth police dog were just some of the winners at the Sussex Police Chief Constable Awards on Thursday (November 24); recognising the difference these individuals and teams have made to the communities of Sussex.

A total of 16 awards were presented on the evening in front of family, friends, distinguished guests and award sponsors.

Chief Constable Jo Shiner said: “I’m proud to say that we have some of the most inspirational and dedicated people working for our force. Out of many nominations, 51 finalists were shortlisted for tonight’s awards and while we could only award 16 people as category winners, every person recognised at the event should be proud of the difference they are making to our communities, every single day.

“It was my honour to recognise the hard work and incredibly dedicated and selfless acts which are carried out to protect our communities, catch criminals and deliver outstanding service. And being able to host this event and celebrate those in our force who are going above and beyond is just a small way to say thank you and demonstrate that their extraordinary efforts are not going unnoticed.”

Sergeant Sapna Patel was named the winner of the diversity and inclusion award after leading the Positive Action Team for the past three years and working tirelessly to build relationships with the diverse communities of Sussex.

She said: I’m really, really humbled. I was against some phenomenal people in the organisation and we work together, but to receive this recognition for something that you do and you really believe in is just phenomenal.

“I feel so proud to see officers joining from black, Asian and ethic minority background. It’s phenomenal. I see them when they do not have a lot of confidence, but I was in Brighton and saw two officers who are absolutely in their element in specialist units loving their job. It was just such a proud moment.

“I would like to thank Adrian Rutherford and the Chief Constable for giving me the absolute autonomy to do what I want to make this happen. They believe in me and that’s what counts, because then I’m able to get the results and the people in that deserve to be in our organisation.”

Detective Sergeant Kerri Bartrup was awarded the Police and Crime Commissioner Award after being instrumental in developing the force’s approach to stalking, which is recognised as best practice with many other forces seeking to implement similar approaches in their own organisations.

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “It was a privilege to attend the Chief Constable’s Award Ceremony to recognise and celebrate the resolute efforts and steadfast determination of those who work to keep Sussex safe. Throughout the evening, we heard many examples of bravery, quick-thinking and perseverance. The awards provided an opportunity to shine a spotlight on those who run towards danger, continuously go above and beyond in their role and demonstrate their commitment and professionalism despite the difficult challenges they may face.”

The full list of award winners are as follows:
• Diversity and Inclusion – Sgt Sapna Patel
• Hidden Unsung Hero – PC Rachel Bourne
• Innovation – Shannon Marchesani
• Inspirational Leader – Joy Chant
• Investigator of The Year – PC Neil Twelves
• Lifetime Achievement, sponsored by the Police Federation – Carolyn Ross
• PCSO of The Year – PCSO Martin Hylands
• PCC Award, sponsored by the Police and Crime Commissioner – DS Kerri Bartup
• Police Cadet of The Year – Katie Edwards
• Police Dog of The Year – PD Isla
• Police Staff of The Year – James Gartrell
• Student Officer of The Year, sponsored by Blast! – Rebecca Lewis
• Team of The Year – Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT)
• Volunteer of The Year – William Smith
• Officer of The Year, sponsored by Peter James – PC Scott Franklin-Lester
• Special Constable of The Year – SC Julie Rainey

Some of the awards were proudly sponsored by Peter James, The Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Police Federation, Unison and Blast!