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Commissioner commends award-winning officer for going the extra mile

Mark Garfoot with Michael Banks

PC Mark Garfoot (L) with retired Deputy Chief Constable Michael Banks

A resident has been saved from sinking into a deep alcoholic depression and physical illness, thanks to outstanding support from a Durham Constabulary police officer.

After stealing wine from a local shop, the County Durham and Darlington resident said he was cold, wet, ill and in a terrible state from alcohol withdrawal.

The man, who prefers not to be named, was so grateful for the additional support he received to help him turn his life around, he nominated PC Mark Garfoot for an award. In his nomination, he said:

"I deserve the punishment I received and should have had 'the book thrown at me', but they were patient and understanding and helped me seek support from the Durham police drug and alcohol worker. Their professionalism and approach to try and help me saved me from further crime and sinking into a deep alcoholic depression."

Ron Hogg, Durham's Police and Crime Commissioner congratulated the officer on receiving his WOW! Award, which celebrates customer service excellence. The awards ceremony held this month coincides with the launch of Ron's Annual Report, which sets out key developments achieved within County Durham and Darlington during 2014-15.

Ron said: "Well done to PC Garfoot on receiving his much-deserved award. This is an excellent example of how the actions of individual officers can make such a difference, not only to victims of crime, but to offenders who can be supported and diverted away from crime.

"Police forces have a duty to keep communities safe and protect people from harm. However it is not all about crime data and statistics, there is also a human element to ensure individuals get the support they need to improve their lives, whilst reducing the chances of future reoffending.

"I am grateful to all of our partners for working together to tackle the harm caused by alcohol, and for continuing to improve the lives of individuals and communities."

The Annual Report highlights key services developed which support victims of crime and keep communities safe. These include supplying Body Worn Video Cameras to all front-line Police Officers, PCSOs and Special Constables, as well as investing in specialised resources and services to tackle hate crime, domestic abuse, alcohol and drugs and road safety.

To find out about other key achievements, services for victims, community funded projects and how Ron has scrutinised police performance during 2014-15, view the Annual Report at: www.durham-pcc.gov.uk, or search for Durham Police and Crime Commissioner on Facebook and Twitter.


Note for editors:

  • The WOW! Awards scheme – was set up in 1999 to raise standards of customer service throughout the UK’s industries.
  • The awards programme helps organisations give even better customer service by recognizing their staff when they have gone above and beyond their normal duties to help someone.
  • The awards ceremony on 16th June 2015 was aimed at recognising excellence in customer service across the force, with members of Durham Constabulary staff picking up awards.
  • PCC Ron Hogg's Annual Report can be viewed directly on the following link: Annual-Report-2014-15.
  • Information about the Police and Crime Panel, who commented on the report, can be viewed here: The Police and Crime Panel


Posted on Tuesday 30th June 2015
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