TWO police officers from West Wiltshire are among 36 from the county who have received awards from their Chief Constable for their bravery and commitment to serving the public.

PC Jamie Collings, who serves in Melksham, received a commendation for his bravery when trying to protect a child, while PCSO Andrew MacLachlan received an award for excellence in partnership working.

They were among awards presented to 36 officers at the first Wiltshire Police ceremony of 2019 at Casterley Barn, Rushall near Pewsey.

Wiltshire Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said: “It is an honour to get the opportunity to say thank you and recognise the effort our people deliver day in, day out.

“We heard some truly remarkable stories throughout the evening and it meant even more that the recipients’ loved ones were present and got to share in their successes and celebrations.”

The ceremony was overseen by the Master of Ceremonies T/ACC Deborah Smith and guests included Angus Macpherson, the Wiltshire and Swindon Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire, Lord Lieutenant Mrs Sarah Troughton and High Sheriff Nicky Alberry.

PC Collings was the first officer on the scene of a domestic dispute, which resulted in a man smashing his hand through a double-glazed window and taking his two-year-old child without permission.

He quickly located the man, who was bleeding heavily, and the extremely distressed child in a nearby street. With the child’s welfare paramount, PC Collings negotiated with the man to enable the child to be taken to safety.

PC Collings was subjected to several violent outbursts, resulting in blood from the suspect covering his face and entering his mouth.

Despite being punched in the face and ribs, and slammed against a garage door, PC Collings was able to detain the man and wait for back-up crews to arrive and assist.

The Chief Constable’s citation read: “Thank you for the bravery, calmness and confidence you displayed when trying to deal with a vulnerable member of the community despite the extreme aggression and violence shown towards you.”

PCSO MacLachlan, who serves in the Bradford on Avon community area, trained as a hate crime advisor in 2012 and has been pivotal in assisting Wiltshire Police in improving the overall response to hate crime and has delivered training sessions for newly-recruited PCSOs and call operators.

PCSO MacLachlan has assisted Wiltshire Police to expand its team of hate crime advisors from 13 to 42 across the county. In 2017, he was part of a small team that delivered a hate crime conference and launched a partnership strategy.

He has also played an active role in Prevent, which has links to hate crime, and provided “invaluable support” in times of tension, such as the 2017 UK terror attacks.

The citation read: “You consistently go above and beyond in your role. Thank you for the dedication and ongoing commitment to putting victims at the heart of everything you do. Your work is the embodiment of the Force values and behaviours and something to be immensely proud of.”

Mr Macpherson, who closed the ceremony, said: “I have been truly humbled by some of the stories we heard - the commitment and dedication of our officers, staff and volunteers never ceases to amaze me.

“Ceremonies like this rightly recognise those who run towards danger when everyone else is running away and those who go above and beyond to keep our communities safe.”