Leeds District Police Awards: Celebrating the work of our city heroes

OPERATION DICE: DCI Robert McCoubrey, DC Adrian Tong, DC Keith Young, DC Lee Thimm, and DI Mark Atkinson were honoured for their part in helping jail 13 people for their involvement in a Halloween ride out.
OPERATION DICE: DCI Robert McCoubrey, DC Adrian Tong, DC Keith Young, DC Lee Thimm, and DI Mark Atkinson were honoured for their part in helping jail 13 people for their involvement in a Halloween ride out.
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More than 100 police officers and members of the public were awarded for incredible acts of bravery at the Leeds District Police Awards.

Many of the honours highlighted the life-saving work carried out by officers in the city, as well as the role they play daily in helping some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

Others recognised the dedication shown by teams and officers investigating kidnapping, human trafficking, serious assaults, armed robberies and other violent crimes to ensure the perpetrators were brought to justice.

Chief Superintendent Paul Money, Leeds District Commander, said: “Every day across Leeds, police officers and staff are working hard to keep people safe, often with the support of our partner agencies and with invaluable help from members of the public.

“These awards give us the opportunity to recognise some excellent examples of that work, and the individuals that have made and continue to make a real difference in our communities.

“These include situations where people have shown courage, tenacity, dedication to duty and a commitment to serving the public in some of the most challenging circumstances.”

Laura Collins and Gael Stigant from the Yorkshire Evening Post presented an award to Dep Supt Robert McCoubrey, Det Insp Mark Atkinson, Det Con Lee Thimm, Det Con Darren Young, Adrian Tong and Keith Young for their involvement in an operation known as ‘Dice’.

This summer 13 people were jailed for a total of nearly 15 years for offences relating to an “unprecedented” Halloween ‘ride out’ which caused chaos last year in Leeds. A large number of motorbikes congregated and were ridden dangerously and anti-socially through the city centre and surrounding areas on October 31.

Mobile phone footage of the chaotic scenes was quickly posted across social media by people who witnessed it. Some reports compared the events shown to scenes from the post-apocalyptic Mel Gibson film Mad Max.

The police investigation included detailed analysis of CCTV from a range of sources to identify suspects and their vehicles. Public appeals for information and extensive enquiries, including social media, also supported the investigation. A series of early morning raids at addresses across Leeds in December last year resulted in the arrests of the main suspects and saw a number of motorbikes seized.

Following the ride out, Leeds City Council secured a landmark injunction, which bans anyone from participating in anti-social driving of motor vehicles in any public place in the Leeds district. The order also forbids people from promoting, organising or publicising the anti-social driving of motor vehicles.

There was also recognition for Leeds District Serious Organised Crime Unit, who secured the city’s first ‘gangbo’ injunction against seven men linked to a violent feud played out on the streets of Beeston.

The crimes included 10 violent incidents of robbery, assault and kidnap, and a further 30 offences of public order, threats, intimidation and extortion. There were a total of 24 arson attacks on vehicles and properties, which caused damage totalling more than £200,000. A further £100,000 in damage was caused during 22 incidents of criminal damage at various addresses, eight of which were rammed by 4x4 vehicles. An additional six drug-related offences led to the recovery of £180,000.

The actions of individual officers also came into focus as acts of bravery and outstanding contributions to the force were applauded.

PC Tom Goringe, from a patrol team in North East Leeds, was handed the bravery award for his “efforts and willingness to put himself in harm’s way” to prevent someone putting others at risk driving dangerously through Leeds city centre on New Years Eve.

Whilst on foot patrol on one of the busiest nights of the year, PC Goringe became aware of a car being driven along Call Lane and Lower Briggate in a dangerous manner. While the vehicle was stationary, he approached and tried to speak to the driver. The driver suddenly set off at speed with PC Goringe hanging out of the drivers window, before deliberately colliding with parked vehicles in an effort to shake him off. Tom was able to jump to safety without being injured. Having hit the parked cars the driver then got out and ran into the crowd with PC Goringe chasing him. After a short foot chase, Tom caught the driver who violently resisted and had to be subdued, before being arrested.

But it was not only police officers and staff who received awards on the night as members of the public and colleagues from other organisations were also honoured.

Among them was Diego Grabowski, a five-year-old boy who took a missing toddler to safety after spotting him alone in the street.

Diego, pictured below, was playing on his scooter near to his home in Cottingley when he noticed the two-year-old boy wandering about on his own.

The child had managed to get out of the back garden of his home further up the road, while his mother was momentarily distracted seeing to her baby.

Diego had realised the boy should not have been out alone and led him to the nearest adult, which was a man working in a garden nearby.

They then came across the boy’s father out looking for him and he was reunited.

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