Citizens' Award Winners 1999
John Bevan lived in the Low Hill area of Wolverhampton for 63 years until his death in August 1999. He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather, in a large extended family. In July 1995, when recently retired, he volunteered to work with the Low Hill Housing Office to try to revive the old community spirit of the area which had long gone. Neighbours did not know each other and thus did not offer any support in times of difficulty as in the past. A high crime and disorder profile with wide-spread anti-social behaviour was prevalent. With fearlessness, both moral and physical, John Bevan assumed the mantle of ambassador for his area, working successfully with the local authority to establish a police base on the estate - something which could not have been dreamed of two years ago.
Mrs Yvonne Todd
Mrs Yvonne Todd played a key role in helping the authorities to combat a major gang problem and associated intimidation on the estate where she lives. She became the driving force behind a local self-help group assisting other victims to come to terms with their experiences, giving enormous help in their attempts to eradicate the problem. Despite constant threats and abuse she and her son continued to give evidence in criminal and civil proceedings. Her degree of harassment was severe, injunctions were breached 70 times, many directed at her personally. So far, 12 notable criminals are now serving custodial sentences or are remanded, the main trouble-making family has been evicted from the estate, the two sons have been barred from entering it at any time. These successes would not have been possible without the help of Yvonne Todd - she has shown immense and unwavering courage in her determination to uphold the law and civil rights.
Miss Andrea Wimot
Miss Andrea Wimot acted promptly in detaining a very dangerous mentally disturbed man who assaulting a member of staff at an estate agent's office. The man entered the office and grabbed one of the women staff, pushing a pair of scissors against her throat. Andrea Wilmot, patrolling nearby, as a traffic warden, responded, without hesitation, to a call for help. She entered the offices and attempted to force the man to release his grip but he was too strong for her. The man then held the scissors as if to stab his victim. She grabbed his arm and prevented him from causing injuries, enabling him to be then be disarmed and restrained until police officers arrived. Her training did not equip her to deal with disturbances or emergencies but Andrea Wilmot acted on her own initiative as a brave and responsible citizen. He courage and instant action in this hazardous situation averted more serious injuries and possible tragedy.
Mrs Sandra Parker
Mrs Sandra Parker was the manager of a branch of a building society where, in November 1998, a very frail, 87 year old man was accompanied into the branch by a man who pressed him to withdraw £1,500, for building work he said he had completed for him. Sandra Parker was extremely suspicious and allowed only £150 to be paid in cash and the remainder by cheque. She then alerted the police. Enquiries commenced but the client was unable to give details about the work completed. She arranged for the cheque to be cancelled. She also spent a long time with the client and, with his agreement, took possession of his passbook, until the funds had been returned to his account and in order to prevent any possible further pressure on him to withdraw cash at other branches. Sandra Parker's sharp perception, her quick thinking and her prompt action prevented a very vulnerable man being exploited by unscrupulous persons.
In August 1998 two elderly men were assaulted by two teenage youths, one of whom had a handgun. One of the victims was felled to the ground, the other was wounded in the arm by a shot from the gun. Kenneth Moore had just parked his car and saw two men lying injured on the ground and two youths, one holding a gun and aiming it at a group of residents disturbed by the commotion. He had already heard a gunshot but ran across the road and grabbed the gun. The other youth jumped on his back and threatened to kill him and bomb his house if he did not let go. He continued to struggle with these men before being overcome and the offenders fleeing. His courage was of the highest order. He confronted two violent young men, well aware of the danger and possible threat to his life and in the full knowledge that the youth with the gun had used it earlier. Kenneth Moore's conduct was entirely selfless; his main concern being that of the safety of the victims and the onlookers.
Steven Edward Mays
Steven Edward Mays was in a betting office when four masked men entered, armed with a gun, an axe and a knife. The customers were ordered to the floor but Steven Mays remained standing, so a knife was held at his throat, whilst the cashier was being robbed of a substantial amount of money. Noticing that the knifeman's attention was diverted, Steven Mays kicked his legs away and pursued the man from the shop. On the way he punched the gunman full in the face and floored him, continuing his pursuit of the knifeman to a waiting car where he tried to detain him, but had to let him go when the car set off. He returned to the scene, disarmed the prostrate gunman, who is known as a prolific and violent criminal, and handed him to the police. The other robbers fled. Steven Mays, in extremely stressful circumstances and at considerable risk to his own safety, single-handedly tackled four violent men, and secured the arrest of one of them. His act of bravery and resolution was outstanding, and of the highest order of good citizenship.