A SPECIAL Constable from West Somerset won the award for ‘Special Constable of the Year’ at this year’s Neighbourhood Policing Awards.

Paul Andrews, the area officer for Minehead who is responsible for managing, recruiting and training specials, was nominated by West Somerset residents.

He said: “We have a great team of specials in West Somerset of which I am just one and we have excellent support and training from our regular colleagues which makes it all worthwhile. Policing in your local community is great because you can help make a difference to everyone’s lives and to have been nominated by residents makes it more worthwhile.”

Paul was one of three district winners in his category and was chosen as the overall winner at the awards which were held last Thursday (October 24) in Bristol.

BBC Points West presenter Alex Lovell presented Paul with the award.

The awards are organised jointly by Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens and the Constabulary, and reward dedicated officers, staff and volunteers for their hard work.

Ms Mountstevens said: “The awards are a tribute to the fantastic people we have here in Avon and Somerset and it was an absolute honour to be in a room with so many inspirational, selfless and dedicated individuals.”

Paul has been volunteering as a special constable for nine years alongside his job as a managing director for a local company.

He said he remembers telling the careers advisor at school that he either wanted to be in the Police or run his own business and now he has the best of both worlds.

On receiving the award he added: “I am doing something I enjoy doing, I work with a great team of specials and I don’t do it for recognition I just love doing it.”

Chief constable Nick Gargan told the winners: “These awards celebrate what’s best about British policing.

"People like you who are out there on those wet, dreary mid-week nights, who make our service special.

“It’s the professionalism that you show day in, day-out that makes you the heroes you are.

“These awards are extra special because the nominations come from the residents and local communities across the force area.”