A VOCAL opponent of UK drug policy has been given an international award for his work.

Ron Hogg, who announced he was stepping down as Durham’s Police and Crime Commissioner in September, due to ill health, has been given the first international Sir Robert Peel Award for Excellence in Policing.

It was presented by the board of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP), which works to change drugs policy.

Mr Hogg said: “I am thrilled to be the first to receive this award, and I am pleased that the work we have done towards a change in drug policy has been recognised.

“However there is still much more to do, and I hope that the positive steps which we have made continue to take us in the right direction.”

Major Neill Franklin, executive director of LEAP and veteran of the Maryland State and Baltimore Police Departments said: “Sir Robert Peel was the first person to professionalise policing, and his principles, which emphasize that public approval and respect are crucial to the ability of police to perform their duties, are no less relevant today than when they were written almost 200 years ago. His ideals continue to live out in practice in the works of people like Commissioner Ron Hogg, who has been a tremendous inspiration to so many of us working in reform."

The Northern Echo:

“He has been on the global forefront of some of the most impactful, compassionate policing programs in the world.

"They have improved people’s lives and even changed the way we look at our profession. I think Robert Peel would be honoured to be able to anoint the next generation of police working in his name, and I know I am most honoured to have worked alongside Commissioner Hogg.

"This is the first time we have given out this award, and I am so happy that we have given succeeding generations of police officers two of the best examples to aspire to.”