Volunteer of the Year Sue Edmund

On Thursday 14 March Humberside Police held their first ever Excellence in Policing Awards.  One of the awards was given to Sue Edmond who was nominated and won the title of Volunteer of the Year 2019.

Working from Driffield Police Station, Sue has played a pivotal role in tackling hare coursing in our rural communities. She supported the rural crime officers and local farming communities by collating and sharing important information with East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

Sue has shown exceptional commitment to rural and wildlife crime prevention, working over 400 unpaid hours in 2018.

Before joining Humberside Police as a PCSO in 2007 she worked for the RSPCA.  Having a natural affinity with the care and welfare of wildlife and rural crime matters she was a natural candidate to become and serve as a PCSO in Driffield.

For personal reasons Sue took early retirement as a PCSO but the very next day started to volunteer to continue her work with the wildlife and rural teams.

Sue says; “I couldn’t commit to a full time job as a PCSO anymore but wanted to continue the work I did with the rural crime team.  Volunteering gives me the flexibility to continue to contribute without having to work full time.

“I love the work I do and am happy to help out as much as I can.”

Sue works closely with the Driffield Farmwatch group serving as their Secretary, the group now has close to 200 members and is something that sue is passionate about. Sue says “I would encourage anyone that isn’t already a member to contact us, not only do you join a very active group that shares information about crime and rural issues you will also make friends and potential business contacts.  We all have a shared interest in rural matters and welcome new members.”

Hare coursing is a significant issue for rural communities across the Humberside force area but especially in the Driffield and Wolds area. It is a crime where the offenders chase hares with lurcher type dogs to kill them and often bet large sums of money on the outcome. This activity also involves threats, criminal damage and raises the fear of crime in rural areas and is one of the most complained about rural issues.

Innovative ways of tackling the problem are constantly being sought. During the 2018-2019 hare coursing season the use of Community Protection Notices were piloted in conjunction with the ERYC ASB team. One of the key things identified is that the dogs in this illegal activity are very rarely microchipped.

Officers dealing with hare coursers now have access to microchip scanners and check for chips, the information was then passed on to Sue who collated these and where the legislation has not been adhered to the Local Authority Dog Warden covering the area the offender resides is notified for them to follow up. Details of suspected hare coursers, stopped by rural crime officers within our area, are forwarded by either the officers dealing or Sue via the Fairway system to ERYC. One of the conditions of the Community Protection Warnings and Notices issued by the ERYC is that dogs must be microchipped and kept up to date.

It is only due to Sue collating and sharing the information with the ERYC and the various other local authorities that we are able to use this tactic which appears to be very effective as several suspects have quickly been elevated to a final CPN.  There has also been a significant decrease in reported incidents.  It is thought this is in large part due to using a tactic which other forces are not using to tackle the issue.

Sue spends a significant amount of time volunteering and works at least two full days per week.  She has found her niche with the rural crim teams and loves her work.  There are so many ways in which volunteers can make a real difference in their communities.  You don’t have to commit to as many hours as Sue, what we ask is for people who are considering volunteering to give what time they can to help serve their community.

Joy Harvie manages the volunteers that working within Humberside Police and said: “Community Safety Volunteers are members of the public who make a massive difference to the community and support the police and Humberside Fire and Rescue by making Humberside safer.

“Volunteers come from lots of different backgrounds and cultures, and use their wide range of skills and experience to make a positive contribution to the force.

“I am impressed every day by the commitment, flexibility and enthusiasm of all our volunteers but Sue has made an outstanding contribution and I am delighted for her in winning the Volunteer of the Year award 2019. 

“Volunteers undertake many roles from assisting with crime prevention, training, administration and dealing with enquiries from the public. Undoubtedly they are a vital asset to both services and actively contribute to the work we undertake. 

“Volunteers are a valuable asset, and we thank them for the commitment, flexibility and enthusiasm they bring to the force.
“I would encourage people who have free time who want to make the area safer or want to gain experience of working within either organisation to take up the challenge and join as a Community Safety Volunteer. If you would like more information on volunteering contact me on 01482 220723 or alternatively by e-mail."