One of the Foyle area’s best known and most experienced police officers has been shortlisted in the final stages of the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s annual Policing with the Community Awards.
Inspector Trevor McKeown has been nominated in the Police Officer of the Year category, which is sponsored by the Northern Ireland Policing Board. He will be joined at the awards ceremony by officers of the Foyle City North NPT, who have been nominated in the Neighbourhood Policing Team of the Year category, which is sponsored by Sodexo. They will be competing against other nominees from across Northern Ireland. The results will be announced at a ceremony on Wednesday, October 23rd.
Inspector Trevor McKeown
Inspector McKeown has been involved in policing for 30 years and for the last seven has been in charge of Foyle City North Neighbourhood Policing Team and Foyle City West Neighbourhood Policing Team based at Strand Road Police Station
In his involvement with the NPTs, he has overseen a transformation of community policing. This has been achieved through engagement at all levels, but in particular policing within communities. Inspector McKeown has shown leadership and determination in forging links with communities who have traditionally found difficulty in engaging with the police. His approach has been to respect people, whatever their background, showing compassion and concern for making a difference in the communities he serves.
Over the past year Inspector McKeown has led his community teams through some extremely challenging events in relation to public order events, but also on a brighter note, he had a key role in the policing operation surrounding the hugely successful 2013 UK City of Culture
Foyle City North NPT
The Foyle City North Neighbourhood Policing Team covers the areas of Shantallow, Galliagh, Steelstown and Culmore. These areas have historically been extremely challenging in achieving police engagement. This, however, has not deterred the team from developing relationships and setting up effective partnerships to address community issues.
The team has worked to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour and was successful in attracting significant funding for a free music festival at a bonfire site. This initiative included gaining the support and involvement of some of those who had engaged in anti-social behaviour before.
Among the team’s specific operations to tackle criminality was their involvement in an operation to seize illegal gaming machines. In ‘Operation Blackjack’ 65 suspected illegal gaming machines seized, a man was arrested and over £26,000 in cash recovered.
One local representative said of the team: “In the many dealings myself and my office would have with the members of the team, they have without fault shown the highest level of professionalism, courtesy and understanding.
“Most importantly, the team has shown a natural, human disposition to the complex community issues which they face day to day. It is this demeanour and approach, so valuable but often so lacking, which has enabled them to gain the trust and respect they now enjoy.”
Commenting on the awards scheme, District Commander Chief Superintendent Stephen Martin said it was designed to encourage and reward officers and staff who deliver the highest possible standards of policing for the community.
“It is interesting, encouraging and always thought-provoking for us to see what people in the community think of the job we are doing. That feedback gives us the assurance that we are delivering personal, professional and protective policing, as well as the encouragement to do even better. I want to say thank you to those who have made nominations; to all who work with us on Policing and Community Safety Partnerships; and to all who meet and communicate with us in a range of other ways.”