Pembrokeshire gran awarded for 18 years’ voluntary work
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A GRANDMOTHER from Pembrokeshire has been recognised for her important contribution to local policing, winning the Volunteer of the Year accolade at Dyfed-Powys Police’s Annual Awards.
Anita Wheeler began her volunteering career with Dyfed-Powys Police 18 years ago, covering the front desk at Neyland Police Station, before moving to Milford Haven Police Station in 2012.
Anita volunteers three times a week – logging lost property, taking reports from the public, putting together information packs and supporting engagement activities.
She also keeps in touch with the town’s Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators, passing on any issues of concern to the Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) for them to investigate. All this helps to free up officers to spend more time on the beat. She also lifts spirits with her famous lemon drizzle cake, which she bakes to welcome new officers to the station.
Since the pandemic, Anita temporarily stopped her duties as a front counter volunteer to follow social distancing guidelines, although she has kept in touch with her policing family who are thrilled she has received the award.
NPT Sergeant Terri Harrison said: “Anita is exceptionally dedicated and a real asset to the Milford Haven policing family.
“Having lived here all her life she is well known by so many people in the town, providing a wealth of local knowledge and acting as an important link between the NPT and the community.”
Inspector Jonny Griffiths added: “Anita is a valued member of our team who consistently gives her own time to support us here. This award is thoroughly deserved.”
Anita is one of the force’s 125 volunteers, ranging from Special Constables and Force Chaplains to Police Cadet leaders to front counter support staff.
Also nominated for the award was Cardigan police station volunteer, Dewi Smith for his contribution to supporting staff, officers and the communities of south Ceredigion, and the Independent Custody Observers Pilot (ICOP) group.
The ICOP group is made up of 12 volunteers: Glynis Lazenby, Daniel Knudson, Mandy Davies, John Jones, Stephen Wood, Debra Cofft, Hugh Patrick, Robert Cosic, Carl Shutt, Patricia Crozier, Gwyneth Evans, Alar Laius; who give up their time to improve policing standards, work closely with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) and ensure detainees are treated fairly and respectfully.
T/ Chief Constable Claire Parmenter said: “Anita has been part of the extended Dyfed-Powys Police family for eighteen years, and we are very grateful for her service.
“Dyfed-Powys Police is very much a family force, the local knowledge and understanding of local communities shown by Anita and our other front counter volunteers is incredibly valuable.
“Our volunteers play such an important role in ensuring we provide the best service to our communities”.