PCSO Ken Short from West Yorkshire Police who used the new SelectaDNA ‘tagging’ spray to catch a moped criminal has been awarded the people of Wakefield’s top officer following a public vote.
Police and residents who showed bravery, compassion and tenacity in protecting the vulnerable, and catching and punishing criminals were commended at this year’s Wakefield Policing Awards which also honoured detectives who snared a prolific child rapist and specialist officers who unravelled a complex £4-million fraud.
PCSO Short’s commendation was for his bravery in helping tag an anti-social quad bike rider with SelectaDNA, leading to his conviction in court. In February, Ken approached and challenged two men, getting close enough to spray one with SelectaDNA. The unique DNA tag, together with Ken’s body cam footage, led to Connor Walker, 18, being convicted in court in October.
Walker, from South Elmsall, was sentenced to 15 months in prison (suspended for 18 months) and a curfew after being identified, arrested and charged in West Yorkshire Police’s first use of the high tech SelectaDNA spray.
PCSO Short also won the ‘public choice’ category in this year’s awards.
Chief Supt Mabs Hussain said: “Ken should feel rightly proud of himself for the good will his actions have generated in his community, and for the key role he also played in helping to secure the force’s first conviction of an anti- social rider through the use of a DNA spray.
“As a district we rightly recognise the concern anti-social riders have caused in communities this year, and I hope our use of new tools, such as this spray, will reassure residents of our determination to tackle this issue.”
PCSO Short added: “I am proud to win the award for the first officer to deploy the SelectaDNA spray and this is just the equipment we have been waiting for to use in conjunction with our body worn cameras.
“The spray gives me confidence, as when deployed it provides fantastic evidence as the offender cannot say they weren’t at the scene of the crime. Since its deployment and the recent conviction, calls from the public about nuisance bikes have reduced. I can’t wait to deploy the spray again and have full confidence that I will.”
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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