Riot heroes receive awards

West Midlands Police have honoured many people who served the community during the August riots.

Last night (Thursday) 145 officers, police staff, partners and members of the community were honoured with special awards from West Midlands Police and the Police Authority for their outstanding contribution during the summer disturbances.

After Chief Constable Chris Sims had welcomed guests to Birmingham University’s Great Hall, a minute’s silence was held in memory of Haroon Jahan, Shazad Ali and Abdul Musavir, who were killed on Dudley Road during the disorder.

Tariq Jahan, Haroon’s father, presented Mr Sims with a plaque on behalf of the community to thank the police for their work during and after the disorder to restore peace to the streets and bring offenders to justice. Mr Jahan had himself been honoured for his impassioned appeal for calm after the death of his son, urging the grieving community not to engage in retaliation, which marked a turning point in the disorder after which peace was gradually restored to the region.

Mr Sims said: “I am genuinely moved to be receiving this award, and on behalf of every single officer and member of staff involved in policing the disorder I would like to thank the people of the West Midlands for their overwhelming support and the practical help they gave us, during and after what were very testing times for the whole region.

“Despite the actions of a minority who were intent on bringing violence to our streets, the disorder showed the West Midlands at its best, with our communities working with us, and together, to ensure that order was restored so quickly.”

During the evening, awards were presented by Chief Constable Chris Sims and chair of the Police Authority Derek Webley to a number of officers and staff, plus members of the public who gave exceptional assistance to the force during the disturbances.