POLICE officers and members of the public have been honoured for their courage, bravery 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, yesterday.

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

Chief Supt Mitchell 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."

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:

* Detective Constable Julie Dale, from Harrogate, whose investigations into an arson attack on a caravan, in which two women were badly burnt, led to the conviction of the woman responsible.

* Sergeant Kevin Robinson and pub landlord John Middleton, from Ripon, who worked together to set up a scheme banning violent drinkers from licensed premises in the town.

* 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 Detective Sergeant 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, who received a three-year community rehabilitation order.

The following people also received commendations: PC Neil Waite, from Boroughbridge; Acting Inspector Nick Wattam, Sgt Mark Gee, Sgt Christine Turner, Det Con John Simpson, Det Sgt Sarah Lynch, Det Con John Robinson, Det Insp Mick Moore and Det Con Paul Somerville, Harrogate; Neighbourhood watch co-ordinators Peter Naylor, of York, and Maureen Asher and Dennis Woodcock, from Harrogate; Det Con Allan Harder, Richmond; Daniel Thrush, Det Con Fiona Ayre and Det Sgt David Ellis from Ripon; PC Tom Shardlow, Pateley Bridge/Ripon; Lynsey Swales, from police headquarters, Newby Wiske.