Sheffield officer wins national award for work around spice abuse

Date published: 25 February 2019 14:56
Dated: 25 February 2019 14:56:02

One of South Yorkshire Police’s neighbourhood officers has been praised for winning a “highly significant” national award for her work around Spice related crime in Sheffield city centre. 

PC Libby Bettney, who joined the force as part of the Police Now graduate scheme in 2017, was announced as the winner of the ‘Police Now’ category of the upcoming Tilley Awards last week.  

The Tilley Awards were relaunched last year after an 8-year hiatus, with the aim of celebrating problem-orientated projects that have resolved issues faced by the community, police and partners. 

The awards are run by the Problem Solving and Demand Reduction Programme, which is being led by South Yorkshire Police on behalf of all forces. 

PC Bettney will attend the awards ceremony on 27 March which is being held as part of the National Problem Solving Conference. Supported by colleagues from the Sheffield Central and North West Neighbourhood Team, Libby will speak about Spice use and the impact it is having on city-centre policing. 

She will also present her award-winning, problem solving strategies to the judging panel. 

Libby said she was shocked to win: “‘The application is a reflection of the work the neighbourhood team have put in over several months. Although when submitting the application I didn’t anticipate on getting this far! We’re now focusing on preparing for the conference at the end of March, which the team is looking forward to.”

The overall winner of the Tilley awards is yet to be decided, but after scooping the Police Now category, PC Bettney is in contention to take home the top prize and progress to the Goldstein Awards in the US later this year. 

Chief Inspector Paul Ferguson is Force Lead for Problem Orientated Policing: “These awards mark excellence in problem solving and are internationally recognised.  Spice is a complex problem to tackle, no whimsical issue.  Libby’s achievement in pulling together a group to tackle this problem is significant.

“This is great news for Libby, great that she is an officer who is young in service and who is already achieving; great for the city centre and those affected.  But also, this is great news for South Yorkshire Police and testament to the force’s investment in our Neighbourhood teams and problem solving.”  

Inspector John Mallows from the Sheffield Central and North West Neighbourhood Team says he was thrilled to hear about PC Bettney’s success: “This is highly significant, not just for Libby in a personal capacity, but also demonstrates the value and return of investment that the force has made in Neighbourhood Policing.  

“On a personal level we are all so proud of her and crossing our fingers that she might even bring back the overall Tilley award to Snig Hill…” 

You can read more about the Tilley Awards here

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