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PCC praises Force for 'unprecedented' awards ceremony to celebrate community cohesion
Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, has praised the Force for successfully hosting the Community Cohesion Thank You Awards 2018 for the fourth year running in what she described as an “unprecedented” show of engagement for any force in the country. 

The Commissioner shared the cost of the event with business and other sponsors from throughout the county at The Auction House in Luton (on Friday 16 February) with over 420 people in attendance from all faiths, ages and backgrounds to celebrate the diversity of Bedfordshire and improving cohesion between all communities. 

“This event has been singled out by the national Community Tension Summary team, which monitors events which could cause problems for our diverse neighbourhoods, as being truly exemplary with not even the huge metropolitan forces like the Met in London and Greater Manchester Police able to match it,” said Commissioner Holloway.

“The show of goodwill it represents shows the whole county what Bedfordshire Police is doing to build genuine bridges of trust and confidence and it’s the investment I most enjoy making each year,” she said.

Throughout the evening, 16 awards were handed out to those who have been working with the Force’s Community Cohesion team over the last year. The Community Cohesion ‘Choice Award’ was presented to Kim Greig, who has supported the Cohesion team on a weekly basis, working with young Cohesion Champions aged between 13 and 15 to help their communities by raising money for local charities while learning about policing.

Bedfordshire Police’s Community Cohesion team is a small unit who spend time meeting and working with communities around the county to understand issues they have and build better relationships with the Force.  

Chief Inspector Hob Hoque, who helped to run the awards, said, “The night was amazing with so many dedicated individuals and organisations who have supported Community Cohesion and Community Policing in the last year.  We are grateful to all our sponsors, which included the Bedfordshire Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, who supported this amazing evening and without their support this may not have been possible.”

During the awards, over £7,000 was raised by those in attendance to support a seven-year-old child in Bedfordshire with cerebral palsy who is in need of an operation which is not currently funded by the NHS, to improve her mobility.

“I wish to thank all those who helped to raise £7,000 and to my team who worked tirelessly to make this event happen with over 420 guests attending. It was a truly amazing night and showcased the best of our communities here in Bedfordshire,” added Chief Inspector Hoque. 

“Every year we want to make this awards ceremony bigger and better. It’s an outstanding and beautiful event. I’ve attended ceremonies and dinners at BAFTA and it’s no exaggeration at all to say this matched any I’ve experienced. It was also genuinely moving to see how much our communities understand and appreciate all that is done for them by their police force despite all its challenges,” said Commissioner Holloway.