POLICE officers and members of the public have been honoured for their courage and work to improve their communities.

North Yorkshire Police recognised the efforts of 26 men and women at an awards ceremony at Swinton Park Hotel, near Masham, on Sunday.

The commendations were presented by Chief Supt Bernie Mitchell, area commander for the western area.

He said: "The police officers, support staff and members of the public who received awards have demonstrated their courage, ingenuity, sensitivity and commitment for the benefit of the communities in North Yorkshire."

"Collectively they have achieved an impressive reduction in crime.

"They have been pro-active in detecting crime and their actions have resulted in offenders being sentenced to a total of 102 years' imprisonment."

Among the recipients were a constable who rescued a disabled woman from a burning building, two officers who worked with residents to close a drugs den and four detectives who collected evidence stretching back 60 years to convict a paedophile.

The recipients included:

* PC Carol Coles and PC Alan Russell, of Richmond, who ended a violent incident where a woman armed herself with a knife, harmed herself and threatened to harm her husband

* Det Con Pamela Dibb and Det Sgt Neil Stanton, of Northallerton, whose investigation into the cause of a serious injury to a four-month-old child resulted in the conviction of the child's mother to a three-year community rehabilitation order:

* Daniel Thrush, of Ripon, who saved the life of a stabbing victim by applying first aid.

* Det Sgt David Ellis, of Ripon, and Det Sgt Sarah Lynch, of Harrogate, for locating a missing person and the subsequent arrest of a man for child abduction and sex offences.

* The following people also received commendations:

PC Neil Waite, of Boroughbridge. Acting Insp Nick Wattam, Sgt Mark Gee, Sgt Christine Turner, Det Con John Simpson, Det Con John Robinson, Det Insp Mick Moore, Det Con Paul Somerville and Det Con Julie Dale, of Harrogate. Neighbourhood watch co-ordinators Peter Naylor, of York, and Maureen Asher and Dennis Woodcock, of Harrogate. Det Con Allan Harder, of Richmond. Det Con Fiona Ayre, John Middleton and Sgt Kevin Robinson, of Ripon. PC Tom Shardlow, of Pateley Bridge/Ripon. Lynsey Swales, of police headquarters, Newby Wiske.