York Police Service Recognised with a Special Blue Plaque

York Civic Trust Chief Executive Andrew Morrison and Chairman Stephen Lusty went along to the Fulford Road Police Station to present a ‘York’s Lockdown Heroes’ Blue Plaque in recognition of the dedication and hard work shown by staff working in the Force Control Room.

The Force Control Room played a critical role in policing response over the lockdown period, handling an increased number of calls and providing an excellent service to the public of North Yorkshire and vital support to the frontline.

Chief Constable Lisa Winward, said: “We are incredibly honoured that our Force Control Room has been recognised by York Civic Trust and we’re proud to have been awarded one of their prestigious blue plaques for being one of York’s lockdown heroes.”

“Every day the control room plays an essential role in the service we deliver – it’s the heart of our organisation and our operational engine room. So it’s fantastic that their hard work and dedication has been recognised.

“I’d like to express our thanks to the Civic Trust and to Andrew and Stephen for coming to present the plaque to us. We will display it with pride.”

Staff operate in a demanding, stressful and often emotionally exhausting environment, where prompt action can be lifesaving. The control room receives calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and took an increased number during the pandemic, with over 2000 over Easter weekend alone related to Covid-19.

Andrew Morrison, Chief Executive expressed that “York Civic Trust is thrilled to be able to hand over a blue plaque to mark and celebrate the commitment of the officers who work 24/7 within the North Yorkshire Police Force Control Centre. We are very pleased that they were nominated by Katherine Johnson as often the hard work of these front line and crucial services is not recognised publicly.”

Photos of the plaque presentation were shared on social media by York Civic Trust and received an enthusiastically warm response. The post was shared widely, and reached over 35,000 people on Facebook alone.

Katherine Johnson, Communications Officer, holding the York’s Lockdown Heroes Plaque

Stephen Lusty, York Civic Trust Chairman stated, “we were really pleased to be able to present this award. We are lucky in York to have a Police Control Room team which is so capable and resilient when often having to deal with the most difficult of calls.”

At the start of lockdown the York Civic Trust launched a campaign on social media involving personalised blue plaques, inviting the public to nominate an unsung hero who was making a positive difference to people’s lives during the pandemic and deserved public recognition and commemoration. These virtual plaques were then shared across social media, receiving universally positive feedback and lots of engagement from the public on social media.

To say thank you to the amazing individuals and groups that were represented in the campaign, York Civic Trust then decided to create physical blue plaques for all of the nominees to keep as a special memento of their amazing contributions to help others in difficult situations as a result of Covid-19.