Heroes who halt spread of despair By Gordon Brown 21/10/2009
First of all I want to thank the Mirror for being a champion of criminal justice staff and bringing their exceptional work to the attention of the British people. You do a brilliant job on behalf of Mirror readers.
These awards are a great opportunity to recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements of the unsung heroes of our criminal justice system. Every day the hard work of frontline staff and volunteers provides inspiring examples of what can be accomplished with commitment, dedication and the will to make a difference.
I know what a tough job it is, so I want to congratulate all those who have gone the extra mile for our communities over the past year. But I’d like to reserve special praise for the winners at yesterday’s 2009 Justice Awards.
Like police sergeant Stephen Osbaldeston [pictured], who won the People’s Choice Award – voted for by you, Mirror readers. His life-changing Ozbox scheme of non-contact boxing and fitness sessions is helping youngsters in Derby steer clear of antisocial behaviour and crime. He is also tackling the problem of gang culture head on by inviting young people from all areas of the city to take part. So the scheme is not only giving youngsters a fresh start, it is bringing communities together.
I also want to pay tribute to teenage volunteer Amy Hillier, who won the top award, the Justice Shield, for her work in Bristol to encourage young people away from crime, antisocial behaviour and alcohol and drug misuse.
Steve and Amy are just two examples of how people across the country are coming together to make our communities stronger. And it is by celebrating such excellence with the Justice Awards that we can raise public confidence and trust in the criminal justice system. Congratulations again to all those who have received awards – and to the Mirror for being their constant supporter.’