15 May 2019

Tilley Award winners announced

Multi-agency projects to tackle problems in communities have been recognised at a national awards ceremony

The Tilley Awards were relaunched in September 2018 by the Problem Solving and Demand Reduction Programme* from South Yorkshire Police. The awards aim to celebrate problem-oriented projects that demonstrate the use of scanning, analysis, response and assessment methodology to transform ways of working across police and partners.

Seventy-two entries were received under five categories; Neighbourhoods, Police Now, Investigations, Partners, and Business Support and Volunteers.  The five category finalists presented their projects at the National Problem Solving and Demand Reduction Conference which took place in March 2019. The overall winner was selected at the Conference by a judging panel consisting of Professor Nick Tilley, Chief Constable Stephen Watson, Professor Stuart Kirby, Sylvia Chenery and Mario Demetriou and by conference attendees voting on the presentations.

The overall winner of the Tilley Award was the Durham Community Peer Mentoring Project (submitted by the Durham Police, Crime and Victims' Commissioner) which had already won the Business Support and Volunteers category.  This project demonstrated success in using community mentoring to improve the lives of individuals, communities and organisations; addressing vulnerability and underlying mental health issues. Community Peer Mentors work in pairs and their life experiences are used to match them with the needs of clients. They help to empower the client by offering support and establishing the root cause of their particular issues. The project encourages clients to actively engage with the community; signposting them to the most appropriate support network or other professionals. The overall aim is to make people feel safe and improve the circumstances they have found themselves in, as well as reduce the demand on frontline services.

The four other category winners were:

Neighbourhoods:  Warwickshire Police, Operation Redgate

The team used a wraparound service with statutory and charitable partners to reduce levels of begging whilst increasing resources available to rough sleepers. Information about the problem was gathered from a range of sources such as CCTV, car park attendants, public surveys and retailers. This identified that begging was often linked with problems associated with homelessness and rough sleeping. The project addressed a number of issues related to homelessness such as violence, shop lifting, drug dealing (linked to organised crime) and introduced a Client Vital Interest Action Group comprised of agencies already providing support to provide a coordinated response to support individuals affected by homelessness.  Measures also included social media campaigns to reduce begging, raising funds to reduce rough sleeping and approaches to address the root causes of the problem.

Police Now:  South Yorkshire Police, Tackling the use and supply of Spice in Sheffield City Centre

​This project tackled widely-used Spice (a class B controlled drug) among vulnerable people in Sheffield city centre. It focused on spice use and related anti-social behaviour in a concentrated area of the city centre. An inter-agency response between treatment providers, the Council, local businesses and the police identified problem hot spots and then devised and implemented a series of innovative approaches to tackle the problem. These measures included a drop-in clinic and outreach, introducing password protected Wi-Fi in shops and businesses, removal of street furniture and shrubbery, installation of CCTV and proactive policing.

Investigations:  Durham Constabulary, Education is Compulsory, School is Not

​The project used joint proactive welfare visits by police and local authority representatives to reduce the number of home schooled children in Darlington who are unmonitored by the local authority.  This approach was implemented to reduce any associated risks of harm (neglect, sexual and physical abuse) that would historically have gone undetected as a result of their invisibility by not attending school.

Partners:  Durham Constabulary, Herbert Protocol

​The team used the Herbert Protocol which is a scheme where Durham Constabulary, working alongside its partners in the council, fire and rescue as well as Age UK and The Alzheimer's Society, encourage staff, families, friends and carers to compile useful information which could be used in the event of a vulnerable person going missing from either care homes or their own homes. The protocol covers any adult who is at risk of wandering or going missing for any reason.


Jim Cunningham, winner of the Tilley Award 2019, said: "It is a great honour highlighting what a problem solving approach can achieve when support, encouraged and championed as it is by Durham Police, Crime and Victims' Commissioner, Durham Constabulary and South Yorkshire Police. The real winners are the volunteers and area coordinators who brilliantly support vulnerable and isolated people across County Durham and Darlington, they are amazing, it is very humbling for me personally to be recognised by the Tilley Awards".

Professor Nick Tilley, also commented on the winning project, "Jim Cunningham led a great project and is a worthy winner. The project has benefited from continuous improvement over a sustained period. It reflects Jim's passion, imagination, hard work and cool thinking. The strategic use of volunteers effectively to tackle problems of high impact repeat callers benefited the police, callers and the volunteers Jim recruited and cultivated."

As part of the prize for winning the Tilley Awards, the Durham Community Peer Mentoring Project will now be automatically submitted to the international Goldstein Awards.

To keep updated on the activity of the Problem Solving and Demand Reduction Programme, visit - https://www.southyorkshire.police.uk/find-out/problem-solving-and-demand-reduction-programme/ or follow @PSDRprogramme on Twitter.


*The Problem Solving and Demand Reduction Programme was established in 2017 to transform ways of working across the police and partners at a local, regional and national level, by embedding problem solving as a core discipline.


Photograph of Jim Cunningham and Professor Nick Tilley courtesy of the Problem Solving and Demand Reduction Programme