A TEAM of special constables from West Swindon has received an award for their contribution to local policing.

The Arthur Ellis trophy was launched by a former Special Constable from Gloucestershire Police and is awarded to a team from one of the five forces in the South West each year.

A panel of independent judges award the trophy based on written submissions from each force evidencing good practice, long-term commitment and sustainable impact by special constables.

The team consisted of Special Sergeant Matt Saunders and acting Special Sergeants Lee Hitt, Ben Cox, Dan Laurie and Martin Ainsworth.

They tackled a range of local issues including anti-social driving in Shaw Ridge, cannabis use in country parks, metal theft and burglaries in Toothill and Freshbrook and late-night problems on the cycle routes from the town centre to West Swindon.

Superintendent Gavin Williams said: “The Special Constabulary plays an important role in tackling issues highlighted by local communities.

“This team has shown just what can be achieved by committed and enthusiastic Specials.”

Richard Palusinski, Chief Officer of the Special Constabulary, said: “The whole force is proud of the dedication and professionalism shown by these officers in identifying and addressing concerns expressed in the community.

“Their work is a credit to the Special Constabulary.”

The five-strong team of officers will retain the trophy for a year.