Preston cops reunited with young Ariana Grande fan

Two ‘superhero’ Lancashire officers recently surprised a young Ariana Grande fan they helped at the One Love concert in Manchester.

Sgt Luke Newman and PC Nick Cross headed to Durham on Monday, June 12th on their rest days to be reunited with 10 year old Poppy Sutcliffe from Teeside after a chance meeting outside the concert on Sunday, June 4th.

Poppy had attended the Ariana Grande concert with her mum Sarah Sutcliffe when a bomb was detonated which sadly killed 22 people and injured many more. Thankfully, neither Poppy nor Sarah were hurt in the blast.

They were due to attend the subsequent One Love charity concert on Sunday 3 June but both became anxious and apprehensive as they were making their way in.

Sgt Newman and PC Cross – usually based at Preston – were at the Old Trafford Cricket Ground assisting Greater Manchester Police colleagues when they came across Poppy and Sarah. Sgt Newman said: “We saw a little girl, Poppy, and her mum, Sarah, understandably very scared and upset as they were going in. Poor Poppy was crying and sought comfort from Nick, who ended up hugging her because she was so upset.

“We reassured them that we were there to look after them and that they would be safe. We encouraged them to go in and enjoy themselves which I am delighted to say is exactly what they did.”

Their encounter didn’t end there; following the concert Sarah was keen to trace the duo to personally thank them for their kind words of reassurance.

She posted an appeal on Facebook which was seen by Durham PCSO Lisa Hall, an ex-colleague of Sarah’s, who turned detective and managed to track the officers down.

With the help of Durham’s Chief Constable, Mike Barton, who previously served in Lancashire and Assistant Chief Constable Tim Jacques from Lancashire Constabulary, Lisa arranged a surprise reunion.

The first part involved Sgt Newman and PC Cross going along to Middlesbrough College, where Sarah works, to surprise her.  She said: “Monday started off as a very ordinary day but became an outstanding day as I was asked to go and meet some visitors.

“The sight of Luke and Nick with my friend Lisa walking into my staff room knocked me for six and started the tears flowing!

“I was overjoyed to see two people that on the 4th of June became my inspiration, my reason to feel strong and protected and the catalyst to believe me and my little girl could confidently attend the benefit concert.

“They had time to talk to us, reassure us and even be there for a cuddle.  After the concert that night we were so proud that we did it but disappointed we hadn’t said goodbye or thank you to the two police officers.  Now we’ve had the opportunity to thank Luke and Nick for that night, talk about what had happened, gain a little closure and are actually really proud to have acquired two new friends!”

The officers, accompanied by Sarah, then went to Ingleby Mill Primary School in Thornaby to surprise Poppy and her classmates who got to experience what it’s like to be a police officer, sitting in a carrier van and trying on public order equipment such riot shields.

The last stop was at Durham Police headquarters where Chief Constable Mike Barton had a specially arranged lunch with Sarah, Poppy, PC Cross, Sgt Newman and PCSO Lisa Hall.

The day ended with Poppy being taken on a drive around the area with police interceptors Sgt Sam Turner and PC Grant Irvin, who also presented her with a ‘trauma teddy’ usually given to victims of crime and road accidents.

Sarah summed up her experience of the day saying: “Poppy became a little star for the day and as a parent I have been so proud of how she has dealt with this whole experience since the initial Ariana Grande concert.
“I can’t thank Lisa Hall enough for arranging this special day and Luke and Nick for simply being amazing individuals that have come into our lives and made it better. These two are infectious in their personality, their love for their job and how they looked after us along with this day will stay with me forever. We had such fun that I was sad to say goodbye!

“They told me they were just doing their job. This hasn’t just been their job, this was going above and beyond, travelling up on their day off and giving their time to us. They deserve the highest accolade for being our superheroes both at the concert and on Monday.

“These officers are proof that an ordinary day becomes extraordinary when the right people are part a part of it.”

Sgt Luke Newman continued:  “It was quite emotional meeting for Sarah, Poppy and ourselves, particularly after we heard there had been a social media search to find us.

“On that Sunday evening,  we were just there doing our jobs in reassuring members of the public but it was so rewarding to see what a positive impact we had on Lisa and young Poppy who could have been so traumatised by their previous experience that they daren’t go to the concert. I am so happy and proud that they chose to overcome those feelings and go in and enjoy themselves.”

PC Nick Cross added: “It was an absolute pleasure getting to meet both Poppy and Sarah again and to see the joy on their faces during this special day arranged just for them.

“Helping them out on the night and seeing how grateful they both were has made both me and Luke extremely proud of the job we do.”

Fancy being a Police Cadet?

Are you aged 13-18, looking for adventure, want to learn new skills and support your community, then why not join the Lancashire Police Cadets.

There are currently 500 volunteer police cadets across nine units in Lancashire; Blackburn and Darwen, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley, Nelson and Colne, Blackpool and Fylde, Lancaster and Morecambe, South Ribble, Preston and West Lancs and Lancashire Police are looking to recruit a further 100.

Sgt Helen Nellany, Citizens in Policing Development Officer said: “The cadets give young people the opportunity to experience the full spectrum of policing within Lancashire, whilst carrying out fundraising challenges. They get involved in an array of projects aimed at breaking down barriers between the police, young people and the wider community.

“Police cadets help and assist in the community by getting involved in a number of activities, including stewarding local events such as fairs, town shows and carnivals. They also help the local neighbourhood policing teams, carry out leaflet drops, crime prevention initiatives, community safety events and street surveys.

“They also benefit from learning valuable team skills and disciplines, with many opting to progress further and become a special constable or a regular police officer, whilst others utilise their experience when applying for jobs.”

Lancashire Police is also looking to recruit cadet leaders to support the expansion of its new junior police cadets programme aged 10-13 years old.

The recruitment window opens 18 May and interested applicants can apply on line via

It is open to both boys and girls.

cadet ceremony seated

Kayleigh’s Love Story

Kayleigh’s Love Story is a film about the last 13 days of the life of 15-year-old Kayleigh Haywood.

The schoolgirl was groomed on Facebook by Luke Harlow, a man she had never met, she thought she had found someone who loved her. But she had walked into a nightmare and was raped by Luke before being raped and murdered by his next door neighbour Stephen Beadman in October 2015.

Murders like this are very rare, but sadly grooming via Facebook by older men pretending to be younger men are not.

Luke was actively trying to groom several girls at the same time and sent 2,000 messages in a 24 hour period to lots of girls. Sadly Kayleigh believed his story and was lured to his home.

Please be aware of the dangers you face. If someone you don’t know is talking to you on line, check they really are who they claim, and don’t arrange to meet them. Your well-being is too precious for that.

Watch the film here, some viewers may find this content upsetting.

If you are worried about an online friendship or are worried for a friend or loved one, get help. Check out our E-Safety and Abuse sections for more or visit Nest Lancashire.

Massive turnout for Apprentice Expo

Thousands of youngsters passed through the doors of Preston Guild Hall on Tuesday 14 March to find out about apprenticeships with some of Lancashire’s most well-known employers.

Staff from Lancashire Police and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner were on hand to answer questions about careers within the policing family. Young people who attended wanted to know about apprenticeships, the variety of jobs within policing, what qualifications they may need and how to apply.

Nest Lancashire were also on hand to answer questions and let visitors know how they support young victims of crime in Lancashire.

Clive Grunshaw’s, who currently employs two apprentices to help with the daily duties and general running of his office, said: “Apprenticeships are a fantastic opportunity for those who want to take an alternative path into policing. We currently have two apprentices in our office who support the various departments from media and communications to executive support.

“It has been encouraging to see the interest from young people and I am proud to be able to help fund such a successful event.”

A Lancashire Constabulary spokesperson added: “The day was a huge success. It was great to see and talk to so many people about the different careers available within the force. As well chatting to officers and staff, people had the chance to give us their views on policing in our video booth, try on a public order kit and even have their fingerprints taken.”

Apprenticeships give you the chance to earn a wage, gain a qualification and benefit from important industry experience to kick-start your career.

For more information about careers with Lancashire Police click here



Don’t use a phone at the wheel

From Wednesday 1 March 2017, changes to the law come into effect that mean drivers who are caught using a mobile at the wheel will receive six points on their licence and a £200 fine, doubling the previous punishment.

This means that for those of you who are new drivers, if you are caught just once using your mobile phone whilst you are driving, so that’s within two years of passing your test, you could lose your licence. You will then have to re-apply for your provisional and re-take both the theory and practical tests.

Whether it’s looking at a text or a new social media post, streaming a video behind the wheel, checking emails or making a phone call, all of these activities are dangerous. Research shows that your four times more likely to crash if you use your phone and drive and your reaction time is 50% slower.

For those who aren’t able to drive yet, even as a passenger you can help to keep our roads safe. Don’t distract the driver with a mobile phone, a momentary lapse in concentration could cause a crash. And why not tell your friends, siblings, parents and family members about the tougher new penalties and encourage them to stay safe by not using a phone behind the wheel.

The message is clear and simple – don’t use you mobile phone when driving.

Hundreds of Apprenticeships up for Grabs

Get those CVs at the ready as the countdown begins to Lancashire’s largest ever Apprenticeship Expo on Tuesday 14th March at Preston Guild Hall.

The event is ideal for school leavers, young people and adults who will have the chance to meet face-to-face with some of Lancashire’s biggest and best employers to discuss the Apprenticeships and job opportunities on offer.

Around 50 businesses will be there between 12pm and 7pm with confirmed attendees including: BAE Systems, Leyland Trucks, NHS, BAXI, United Utilities, Harrison Drury, Sika and KPMG.

Amongst the many Apprenticeships on offer include jobs in construction, business, engineering and healthcare.

Jobseekers are encouraged to come armed with their CV to take advantage of this one-of-a-kind opportunity.

The event is being run in partnership with Preston’s College, University of Central Lancashire, Lancashire Constabulary and Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Andrew Richardson, lead organiser of the event, said: “This is a great chance for young people and businesses to come together and discuss job opportunities available across the county.

“The Expo gives a platform to find the right talent and we know that some employers could potentially interview candidates on the day.”

Entry to the jobs fair is free and more information can be found at including a full list of exhibitors.

Lancashire students celebrate Safer Internet Day

Students across Lancashire joined their local officers to celebrate National Safer Internet Day 2017, taking part in talks and activities discussing how to stay safe online. Pupils used their creative talents to think of new ways to get these serious messages across. A fun day was had by all – here are some of the best moments.

Safer Internet Day 2017

Tuesday 7th February is Safer Internet Day and this year’s theme is ‘Be the change: unite for a better internet’. Lots of you will be taking part in activities in school and college to think about how to use the internet well and what you can do to improve you online life. The Safer Internet Centre are encouraging you to follow these tips to make a positive change online:

  • Be kind
    Use images and videos to make a positive impact, and think carefully about the impact on others before you share something online.
  • Be the change
    Make the internet a great place for all. Use the positive power of images and videos to help create a better internet.
    Do you know how to be positive to keep yourself and others safe online? Try their Safer Internet Day 2017 quiz now to find out!
  • Be you
    Think before you post. What do your images and videos say about you; are you happy with the story you are telling? What you share online could be there forever, can be misinterpreted and could also reveal personal information about you.
  • Be a critical thinker
    Seeing is not believing… when you see something online take a moment to see the full picture. Not everything or everyone online can be trusted.
  • Be safe
    Never agree to meet up offline with someone you only know online. No matter how friendly they might seem or how well you think you know them, they are still a stranger. Always tell a trusted adult if someone online asks to meet up.




Average speed cameras for Lancashire roads

Lancashire Road Safety Partnership has given the go ahead for new average speed enforcement camera systems on eight routes across Lancashire with the hope of reducing the death toll and making the roads safer for all to use. The routes have seen a total of 406 casualties with 62 people suffering serious or life changing injuries since 2011. It is also hoped that with improved traffic flow, fewer road closures and slower speeds both noise and pollution will reduce.

How do they work?

Average speed camera systems work using automatic number plate recognition and a set of cameras over a planned length of road. In Lancashire this ranges from 0.5 miles to 8.5 miles long. The cameras recognise number plates at set points along the routes; the system will calculate vehicle speed based on the time taken to travel between the points of a known distance. Infrared technology means images are clearer in low light and in the dark.

Why are they there?

Lancashire’s Average Speed Camera Systems are being installed to improve road safety. They encourage road users to travel within the existing signed speed limits. Some of the average speed camera systems will be placed on routes where there is a need for action but there aren’t any other options for enforcement. All the routes have been carefully selected based on casualty information since 01.01.2011 on a case by case basis.

The average speed camera systems are used alongside other existing education and engineering solutions. Any existing fixed housings will be removed as part of this process.

To find out more about average speed cameras, which roads have been chosen and for more on road safety click here

Nominate Lancashire’s Young Citizen of the Year

Applications for Lancashire’s Young Citizen of the Year 2017 close at the end of January.

This year, High Sheriff John Barnett MBE DL wants young people to be nominated who have put others first.

He said: “Some of our youngsters receive negative coverage in the media but my experience has always been that the vast majority are hardworking and help others.
“Perhaps you know someone who goes above and beyond the call of duty at school, a young charity fundraiser or they may be a young carer who looks after a family member – whatever they have done, we’d like to hear about it and they may win the top prize!”
The awards take place every year and involve the High Sheriff inviting applications to find a young person, ideally aged up to age 21, who has helped either their local neighbourhood, an individual, family member or local organisation.

The University of Central Lancashire are sponsoring this year’s awards, and are happy to be supporting the scheme.  Vice Chancellor Mike Thomas said:  “Our young people play a huge role in making local communities safer and better places to live and it is extremely important that we recognise and celebrate their achievements. Many step out of their comfort zones to make a difference and crucially they act as powerful ambassadors for inspiring positive change in others.”

Winners and runners will be selected by the High Sheriff and a panel of judges from the Lancashire Partnership Against Crime (LANPAC), Lancashire Constabulary, the University of Central Lancashire and the former High Sheriff Rodney Swarbrick, who initiated the award.

Lancashire Constabulary’s Chief Constable, Steve Finnigan said: “This award highlights the contribution that young people can make towards supporting people in their communities, helping to reduce vulnerability and build community resilience.

“Our Volunteer Police Cadets are an example of that as they show that young people have a lot to offer and I am really pleased to play a part in making sure that young people get the recognition and support they deserve.”

All finalists will be invited to attend a presentation at Lancashire Constabulary Headquarters in March 2017 where the winner will receive £500 along with a specially commissioned trophy and certificate from the High Sheriff and Chief Constable Steve Finnigan.

The scheme is being administered by the Lancashire Partnership Against Crime (LANPAC) charity on behalf of the High Sheriff and the closing date for nominations is 31st January 2017.

Two runners up will also receive £100 and a certificate.

Approval of a parent or guardian is needed for the nomination, subsequent publicity and any future events involving the finalists.

Application forms can be completed online at For more information you contact Al Yusuf from LANPAC on 01772 412796.


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