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Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway and Bedfordshire’s Chief Constable Jon Boutcher joined the Force’s Community Cohesion team to celebrate their success in the Luton and Bedfordshire Community  Awards (Friday 14 October).

The Community Cohesion team are based in Luton but work to build links with communities and neighbourhoods across the whole county, and were singled out to win one of the most prestigious awards of the event – the Mayor’s award chosen by Luton Mayor Tahir Khan.

“It’s fair to say that the Community Cohesion team is a genuine part of the glue that holds the community together in Luton and builds valuable bridges to neighbourhoods across the whole of Bedfordshire. I couldn’t be more proud of them!” said Commissioner Holloway.

“Inspector Hob Hoque, Sgt Carl Perri and their team of PCs and PCSOs are becoming the faces of Bedfordshire Police for thousands of residents across the county and that is testimony to the incredible hard work and very long hours that they are prepared to put into building and maintaining high public confidence in the force,” she said.

The Community Cohesion team received their award at a glittering ceremony attended by 450 guests at Venue Central in Luton.

Community Cohesion Inspector Hob Hoque said: “We are delighted to win this award and thank the Luton Mayor for recognising us over a number of other nominees. The Cohesion Team work exceptionally hard and do a lot of hidden work in order to strengthen community relations increasing trust and confidence. Every member of the team goes that extra mile and I may be biased but I have some of the best officers in the force working for me and I can’t thank them enough.”

Chief Constable Jon Boutcher said: “The Community Cohesion team are a real asset to Bedfordshire Police, and they whole heartedly deserve this award for the dedication and long hours they put into the job.

“The team manages tensions in the communities by actively engaging, supporting and working with the hard to reach communities. They have also this year been informed by the national tension monitoring team they are ‘Gold Standard’ for monitoring tensions and seen as a flagship unit across the country."

The Community Cohesion team attend events on behalf of Bedfordshire Police such as the recent Luton Mela, where 5000 people tried on police uniforms and explored police vehicles. They played a prominent part in the Luton Peace Walk, as they do every year, and Inspector Hoque and his team welcome invitations to attend or speak at community events wherever they take place in the county.

The Luton and Bedfordshire Community Awards recognise those who make an outstanding contribution to their communities. Among those receiving recognition at the ceremony were carers, teachers, parents, arts, theatre and community groups.