We were pleased to present the Cambridge Assessment-sponsored Student Officer of the Year award to PC Steve Girdlestone (pictured above, centre, with Group Director of Public Affairs Bene't Steinberg).
St Ives (in Cambridgeshire) is a pretty little place and the British Police are held in such esteem that I had no hesitation in volunteering to present an award at the county Police Safer Cambridgeshire Awards ceremony being held there this month.
We were sponsoring the Student Officer of the year, mostly drawn from those who were completing their two year probationary period – learning on the job. Well, what an impressive set of nominees it was! Not just for our award but for Investigator of the Year, Team of the Year, Unsung Hero of the Year and so forth.
I couldn’t, and still can’t, imagine how the Chief Constable and his team made decisions on winners. The citations were impressive – from intelligence, via slow careful investigation, to arrests, and the whole panoply of disciplines that go to make up a modern police force – as were the people to which they referred. How someone who knew the ‘stories behind the stories’ made up his mind as to which person stood out that tiny bit more than their colleagues I do not know.
I spent a pleasant evening in the company of an impressive young man who had been making serious inroads into the more challenging elements of the local community, and his parents, who were justifiably proud both of his achievements to date and his obvious trajectory onwards and upwards.
The emphasis on teamwork, taking responsibility and making a difference, combined with life-long learning made this a natural sponsorship for us at Cambridge Assessment and I was delighted to hand over 'our' (very nice looking) award. And, as the Chief Constable said, with our and the other sponsor's help, the ceremony – so vital in celebrating achievement and building morale among those who will go on to protect our communities– had the additional benefit of costing the taxpayer nothing!
Group Director of Public Affairs, Cambridge Assessment