A HOST of Swindon police officers have won recognition for going beyond the call of duty.
Four officers and one member of police staff were given awards at a presentation at Devizes headquarters on Monday.
They included PC Matt Barnett, of the drugs squad, and town centre neighbourhood officers PC Paul Bezzant and Sgt Barry Reed.
PC Barnett was recognised for his role in Operation Derby, a 12-month investigation by the Swindon Drug Enforcement Team to smash a Swindon and London drugs ring.
After a trial seven people admitted conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and four were found guilty by a jury.
When passing sentence the judge commended PC Barnett for carrying out a complex inquiry single-handed, and showing dedication, enabling a very complicated scenario to be presented in a comprehensible way.
PC Barnett said: “It’s nice to be recognised but it was a team effort involving the whole Dedicated Crime Team.” Also recognised with a Chief Constable’s certificate of commendation, the highest award, were PC Bezzant and Sgt Reed for their work in reducing anti-social behaviour caused by street drinkers.
Their citation read: “The officers’ dedication, resulting in an exceptional ASBO application being submitted, led to praise from Swindon Borough Council senior solicitor, who commented that they were the highest quality he had ever seen.
“Since the commencement of Operation Arcadia, there has been a steady decrease in reported anti-social behaviour in Swindon town centre.
“Sgt Reed and PC Bezzant have worked tirelessly to reach this outcome, spending many hours on research, analysis and preparation, while continuing their normal day to day role.
Sgt Reed said: “It is appreciated but it was very much a team effort.”
PC Bezzant said : “I did not expect it at all. Our job is never going to be finished but what is nice is that the businesses and stakeholders say things have improved.”
Sgt Donna West was given a long service and good conduct medal while staff member Richard Day also received a certificate of merit.