A retired police officer who served with West Yorkshire Police for over 31 years was the recipient of a very special award during the evening.

Dr Martin Baines, QPM, LLB (Hons) was honoured with the T&A’s Community Stars Lifetime Achievement award in recognition of his dedication to Bradford’s diverse communities.

Following the Manningham disturbances in 1995, Martin was appointed as Bradford’s Community and Race Relations Officer.

During this time, he worked closely with South Asian communities across the Bradford district in order to build trust and confidence between minority ethnic communities and the Police.

With a focus was on “engagement, consultation and dialogue”, he worked with Sunrise Radio on a series of 52 programmes, providing multi-lingual opportunities for discussion.

Martin studied Urdu at Bradford College in 1983 which was immensely useful in helping me to both communicate and gain an understanding of Bradford’s diverse communities.

This is a skill that he has called upon on numerous occasions and it has helped him to break down barriers and provide a service to local people at sometimes very difficult moments in their lives. 

Working with communities in Lidget Green and Horton Grange, Martin developed initiatives such as community cricket matches and Grange Interlink Association.

In 1986 the Inner City Initiative was launched - forerunner of today’s Neighbourhood Policing Team - led by Martin, who formed a team of 22 Community Constables across Bradford West.

“For the first time, officers had their own patch but also worked as a team,” says Martin.

“They went to mosques, Gurdwaras and the Hindu Cultural Centre, working on dialogue and engagement. The focus was on helping officers to police diverse communities. while building trust and confidence in the police. It was a very successful initiative.”

Martin was responsible for the creation and development of the Minorities Police Liaison Committee in Bradford, an independent organisation that includes members representing spheres of influence from across all the visible minority communities in Bradford. 

He chairs Bradford Hate Crime Alliance, a charitable organisation which promotes for the public benefit the prevention and detection of crime and harassment motivated by race, religion, faith sexual orientation or disability within the Bradford Metropolitan District.

As director of Bradford Police Museum, Martin now takes visitors through the fascinating history and heritage of policing and criminal justice, from the early 19th century onwards.

Located in the original police station in City Hall, the Museum is home to a collection spanning 150 years of policing in the city, including uniforms, truncheons and radio equipment.

There are ghost tours of the old cells and Victorian courtroom with candlelit tales of the likes of ‘Chains Charlie’, a notorious burglar said to haunt the site.

As well as receiving the T&A’s Community Stars Lifetime Achievement award, Martin has been the recipient the Queens Police Medal in 2003, an honorary doctorate from the University of Bradford in recognition of his work in Community and Race Relations in 2005 and a lifetime achievement award by Bradford Council for Mosques.

Community Stars Awards winners

You can find out about this year's winners by clicking each award category below.