POLICE officers and staff have been commended for going beyond the call of duty.

Chief Constable and Judge’s Commendations were presented at a ceremony at Durham police headquarters, by outgoing chief Mike Barton.

Eight officers and a special constable also received Long Service Medals in recognition of their dedication to their roles.

Mr Barton said: “It is always a huge honour to present these commendations and long service medals.

“The best bit is seeing the families of the recipients attend the event– some of the younger kids are being inspired by their parents in the job, which is great to see. At this particular event we had a 15-year-old lad who wanted to do some work experience with us, which we arranged there and then.

“So, while there were some oldies there, like myself, the next generation were also there being inspired. What’s not to like?”

PC Ryan Harrison, a response officer in Durham City, was recognised for his efforts in dealing with a sudden death of a woman in her home whilst a probationer. PC Harrison had only been on independent patrol for seven shifts when he attended the incident in which a woman had died in her home.

Attending the incident single crewed, he took control of the scene and remained calm, professional and level headed in what was a very stressful and charged situation.

Detective Inspector Lee Gosling received a commendation for his work on the annual Cops 30 miler challenge– a yomp across the Cheviots which raises thousands of pounds for the Care of Police Survivors Charity, which helps families of police officers who have lost their lives on duty rebuild their lives, and the Royal Marines Charity. Last year’s event raised £12,000, with the officers on target the beat that figure this year.

He was also awarded a Judge’s Commendation for leading a complex attempted murder enquiry, which saw two men sentenced to a total of 33 years in prison. Prosecuting counsel acknowledged that there had been a huge amount of work carried out by the investigation team both during the investigation and as the trial progressed. They stated that without this degree of dedication, the outcome could have been very different.

Durham City response officers, PCs Daniel Cuthbertson and Martin Nicholson received commendations for their bravery and professionalism when called to a domestic dispute between a man and his partner. After a lengthy discussion with the man, he lashed out at the officers, fracturing PC Cuthbertson’s cheek and eye socket. Both officers used their CS spray and arrested the man, who has since received a custodial sentence.

PC Steve Brown, from Shildon Neighbourhood Police Team, was praised for helping to ensure a fraudster who conned an elderly man out of his life savings was brought to justice. During the investigation, PC Brown built up a strong relationship with the victim, who was initially reluctant to engage with the police. As a result of PC Brown’s persistence, the defendant was sentenced to 22 weeks in prison, given 240 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £5,000 in compensation to the victim.

Chester-le-Street PCSOs Adrian Richards and Brian Donnelly received commendations for dedication to problem-solving in their communities and Detective Constable Andrea Wearmouth was commended for her investigative skills which were instrumental in ensuring a exual predator was convicted and jailed for 32 years.

Eight officers who have served for the past 20 years were presented with Long Service Medals. They were PC Tony Burgess, PC Scott Crowhurst, Sergeant Julie Fox, PC Steven Minns, PC Louise Rex, PC Richard Scott, DC Steven Smith and PC Graeme Thompson.

Special Sergeant James Palmer, who has served with the Special Constabulary for nine years, was also awarded a Long Service Medal.