West Midlands PC Honoured

Friday, 13 November, 2009

A BEAT bobby who has helped transform a Birmingham community once blighted by drugs, crime and prostitution has been honoured for his years of dedication.

PC Tudor Roberts collected the award for going "above and beyond the call of duty" in his work to improve the lives of families on his Waterworks estate in Ladywood.

The 42-year-old has been hailed by his community as "the face of what the police service should be today" as he worked tirelessly to change things.

But the volunteers who put him forward for the award say scores of police officers at Ladywood and Rose Road were almost as deserving of the recognition.

Chris Hoare, who founded the Birmingham South West group 12 years ago with the estate ravaged by crime, said: "All the young policemen and woman have been fantastic.

"They have rolled up their sleeves and backed everything we've done and as the families have seen that, they've joined in because they can see we're all in it together."

PC Roberts' backing for the group's work over the past decade has seen crime plummet on the estate, off Monument Road on the Edgbaston border.

In the last decade families, partner groups and the police have:

Closed nearly 40 crack houses
Dramatically reduced prostitution
Created four gardens and an orchard.
Built ornate railings around the state
Opened a booming youth club, which attracts an average of 70 youingsters every Thursday.

Mr Hoare said: "The youth club is run by the police and they have built up an incredible rapport with the teenagers who use it.

"I can't speak highly enough of their efforts and I hope that PC Roberts' award will act as a spur to any other areas considering the same thing."

Crime levels have dropped dramatically as the group has clinched funding for projects including ultra-bright white lighting, CCTV cameras and retail radio links.

The partnership has been so successful officials from France, Mexico and Scotland have been to visit.

PC Roberts was officially recognised by Prime Minister Gordon Brown who handed him a Community Crimefighters' Award.

Police efforts have also led to fresh investment in the estate, where pride has now returned thanks to the surge in community projects.

Mr Hoare said: "Tudor and his colleagues have listened to the views of families - and then changed things for the better.
"They have been there for us since day one, so we felt it was only fair that we as a group of residents said 'thank you', which is why I put Tudor forward to accept the reward.
"He has not only given up his own time but has got other police officers to do the same. He could see the bigger picture of what we wanted to do.

"He is the face of what the police service should be today."
The Government launched the Community Crimefighters programme last September to help develop stronger links between crimefighting agencies and local communities.

PC Roberts, from the North Edgbaston neighbourhood policing team, took the award for Wonderful Worker.

He said: "I work in an inner city area which has problems with drug-related incidents and prostitution. Working with partners we've managed to clean it up and now it is much better."

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: "I'm proud that these brave and resilient people, who have taken a stand against crime and anti-social behaviour in their communities, have been recognised."

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