A VOLUNTEER with Durham Constabulary has won national acclaim for his outstanding contribution to making people in an east Durham community feel safer.

Stephen Maitland, of Shotton Colliery, near Peterlee, received a Lord Ferrers Award from Home Secretary Theresa May at a ceremony in Westminster - also attended by Policing Minister Damian Green.

The awards, introduced in memory of the late Lord Ferrers, a former Home Office minister, recognise the outstanding contribution made by police special constables and police support volunteers. Mr Maitland was runner up in this year’s awards scheme.

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Mrs May said: “All special constables and police support volunteers make a vital contribution every day to cutting crime and making their communities a better place to live and work.

“The Lord Ferrers Awards celebrate the outstanding commitment of some exceptional special constables and police support volunteers and the drive and energy shown by the winners is truly inspiring.

“I want to thank them all for their professionalism and selfless contribution of time.”

Deputy Chief Constable Michael Banks said, “Stephen has extensive DIY skills and local knowledge which make him an excellent community advocate.

“He has dedicated endless hours fitting security measures to homes of vulnerable people and victims of crime in his village.

“I am very proud of the work he has done and greatly appreciate Stephen dedicating his time to help others.”