Posted on Monday 19th September

A 75-year-old Nantwich resident was the star of the show at this year’s Cheshire Constabulary ACE Awards event.

The prestigious awards recognise officers, staff and volunteers who have gone above and beyond the ‘normal’ line of duty. The event took place on Thursday evening (15 September).

Sixteen individuals and teams were presented with awards during the course of the evening, with the highlight being Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Chesters, from Nantwich, who was awarded with a ‘lifetime achievement’ award presented by Simon Byrne, Chief Constable and David Keane, Police & Crime Commissioner.

Betty started working as a tea lady and cleaner at Nantwich police station in 1967 – a job she still carries out 49 years later! During the years she’s fed and looked after hundreds of police officers and staff – and has garnered a reputation for her famous ‘Betty’s breakfast’.

In addition to her award, 15 other individuals and teams won awards, including four who were voted for by the Cheshire public:

• PCSO Peter Dean won ‘PCSO of the Year’ for his work in Crewe, and especially working with vulnerable young people.
• PC Ian Blanchard for ‘Putting the Public First’ – and rescuing a woman in crisis on the M62
• PCSO Amie Gillet won the ‘Community Engagement’ award for her work in Congleton
• Paul Flannery, from Warrington won the ‘Community Thank You’ award for his work with young people who might otherwise fall into anti-social behaviour in the Warrington area.
The other winners include:
• Family liaison officer DC Michelle Birkett won the Police & Crime Commissioner’s special award for ‘Services to Victims’
• The Warrington night time economy team won the ‘Working in Partnership’ award for their work, with the local authority, to tackle high levels of violence.
• Cheshire’s Police Motorcycle Team for ‘Team of the Year’ for their dedicated work in helping make Cheshire’s roads safer
• PC Dawn Taylor, a beat officer in Runcorn won ‘Police Officer of the Year’
• Schoolteacher Thomas Gilbertson won ‘Special Constable of the Year’
• Mike Jones won ‘Police Staff of the Year’ for his work behind the scenes to support the implementation of new drug-driving legislation
• Ken Davies, Treasurer of the Northwest Benevolent Fund won ‘Wellbeing at Work’, for supporting the rehabilitation of officers
• Sergeant Martin Campbell and Kat Stock jointly won the award for ‘Diversity and Inclusion’
• Stuart Timon won the award for ‘Creativity and Innovation’ for his ‘Blue Xmas’ dog video
• Chester Sgt Andy Smith won for ‘Inspirational Leadership’, and
• Cheshire Search & Rescue team for ‘Volunteers’ of the year, for the extraordinary lengths they go to in supporting the search for missing people.

Chief Constable Simon Byrne said: “I believe that Cheshire Constabulary employs some of the best men and women in the country, and these awards reflect the dedication and commitment I see every day from our officers and staff.

“All of those nominated had truly gone above and beyond the call of duty to support victims of crime, or their wider communities, and deserve recognition. Those who won the awards were truly the ‘best of the best’.

“I’d especially like to pay tribute to Betty Chesters, who has served the Constabulary for more than forty years. It was a touching moment to present her with her lifetime achievement award.”

Police & Crime Commissioner David Keane said “Having been able to spend time with officers, staff and volunteers, I am enormously impressed by the work undertaken to keep our communities safe, and am humbled by the commitment shown. The ACE Awards are a fantastic opportunity to highlight and recognise this hard work.

“I want to congratulate all the well-deserved winners.”

I am enormously impressed by the work undertaken to keep our communities safe, and am humbled by the commitment shown.