Dedicated cop clinches two Force awards at annual ceremony


PUBLISHED 13 Dec 2023

IN News

A Cambridgeshire Police Federation member says he was stunned to collect two gongs at the Force’s annual awards.

PC Justin Bielawski praised the work of colleagues across Cambridgeshire Police after being named Unsung Hero and the Chief Constable’s Grand Prix Employee of the Year Winner.

Justin, who works in the Wisbech Neighbourhood Policing Team, said there were many colleagues across the Force who were equally deserving of an award.

“It took me by surprise,” he said. “I do think why me?

“There are people all over the organisation, including on my own team, who are working equally as hard that don’t always get the recognition.

“As a Force we’ve got better in recognising people’s efforts, which is great, but there are a lot of other people who are doing great work and are as equally as deserving.”

He added: “Many people have put nominations in, so I’m very thankful for whoever nominated me.”

Justin said that when his name was read out for his awards, his focus was on getting to the stage in one piece.

“I sat there in the event when they were reading the stuff out and I hoped they didn’t come my way because I’d have to walk through everybody and I don’t like being the centre of attention,” he said.

“I couldn’t even hear what was being read out because my brain went into a tunnel vision to make sure I got onto the stage without falling over.”

Justin’s citation said he was “instrumental in the success of the Wisbech neighbourhood policing team”.

It read: “His professionalism, diligence and can-do approach to problem solving really sets him apart from others.

“Justin leads by example, setting the benchmark for the team to follow and has the highest outcomes in terms of engagement and targeted activity.

“His ability to develop and maintain key relationships in the community has contributed significantly to making Wisbech a safer place to live, work and visit.”

Justin said the awards related to the partnership building and working on Operation Luscombe, which aims to tackle street-level anti-social behaviour in Wisbech.

“The partnership agencies we work – mental health, the homeless charities, the councils, drug and alcohol support people and social care – it all works really well because of the people we’ve got here.

“That’s benefited me to get this award because everybody else has done their bit as well. We’re really lucky here that it works well.”

Justin joined Cambridgeshire Police as a Special Constable based in Wisbech in November 2002 before becoming a full-time officer in March 2004.

He transferred to the Met in mid-2009 – “just because I wanted to try something different” – and returned to Cambridgeshire at the end of 2013.

“I’ve been on neighbourhoods in Wisbech since 2019,” he said. “I love the neighbourhood stuff that we do.

“Because of the job you get well known and people come and chat, and I like that side of things.

“It’s good that people feel comfortable to come and talk to us because we’re a familiar face around town.

“I think it’s important in neighbourhoods that we do have that longevity and it’s not a position you come to just to move on in six months.

“It’s important you do it for some period of time.”