Lisa’s legacy is so very Special

September 26 2013

THE first police award in memory of Downend mum Lisa Bessell has been awarded to Special Constable Darren Gailey.

darren gailey

THE first police award in memory of Downend mum Lisa Bessell has been awarded to Special Constable Darren Gailey.

Lisa, who died a year ago from breast cancer at the age of 40, had been a special constable as well as working for the force.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary decided to honour her by creating an annual prize — the Lisa Bessell South Gloucestershire Probationary Special Constable of the Year Award.

It was handed over to SC Gailey by Lisa’s husband Jon at a ceremony at Downend Day Centre last month, watched by their daughters Evie and Grace.

He said: “We feel very honoured and proud to be here tonight and have this award in Lisa’s name.”

Chief Superintendent Geoff Spicer, commander of the force in the area, said: “Lisa was a valued member of the constabulary, working in many roles, but she was most proud of her role as a special constable. She was a truly inspirational lady. Five weeks before she passed away from breast cancer she was still serving.”

Darren Gailey became a special constable in May and has already contributed more than 100 hours’ duty, working from district headquarters, Concorde House in Emersons Green.

In July he was directly involved in the arrest of a man in relation to sexual offences on the cycle track.

Mr Spicer said SC Gailey “showed excellent communication skills and was able to seize key items of evidence.” 

He added: “More recently, Darren assisted officers in the arrest of a violent man. He ensured the man did not harm himself by supporting his head all the way back to the station.”

South Gloucestershire has 82 special constables who work alongside the police to help keep the district safe. They and other volunteers give about 20,000 hours a year to policing – the equivalent of nine full-time officers.

Mr Spicer thanked them for their support and David Farrell, chief officer of the Avon and Somerset Special Constabulary, said: “Special Constables make a positive contribution to the lives of others every time we turn out. These officers know they have helped someone and that’s what brings them back.”

Other awards went to Christopher Smith for his efforts with the volunteer police cadet unit; Dave Allen for his dedication to his role as a chaperone to victims and witnesses taking part in suspect identification procedures. 

Chris Perrott, one of the first new Avon and Somerset Volunteer Police Cadets, and a volunteer with the neighbourhood policing team based at Staple Hill.

Roly Lock for his dedication to the Thornbury area; Scott Raybould; Nick Groves. Chris Membury; Colin Reid, Kingswood neighbourhood team; Tony Leighton; Wayne Macy, Jake Haskins, Tony Millington Dominik Zalewski, Melanie Barton and Daniel Wiltshire.