A POLICE chief who trained in Wiltshire and has been at the forefront of defending the use of stop and search powers around the country been knighted in the new year honours.

Craig Mackey, 55, from Devizes, who became deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police six years ago has been made a Knight Batchelor. He originally trained as a police officer in Wiltshire and spent his early years in the county.

On his Knighthood the Deputy Commissioner Craig Mr Mackey said: "Receiving a knighthood has left me feeling both amazed and deeply honoured. I truly believe it is a recognition not just for me but for the dedication of all the men and women of the police service that I have had the privilege to serve with during the last 33 years.

" It comes at the end of what has been an extraordinarily difficult year, when so many of our officers have demonstrated huge courage, compassion and professionalism in the very worst of circumstances.

"Also, most importantly I must mention my wife Debbie. It would simply not have been possible for me to have had this career without her love and unstinting support. Both professionally and personally, I consider myself to be a very lucky man."

Mr Mackey, a married father of one, joined the police in 1984, having previously been in the Merchant Navy working for BP. He spent his early years in the service in Wiltshire, where he held a variety of roles, and has served as a staff officer at Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, the police watchdog.

In November 2001, he joined Gloucestershire Constabulary as assistant chief constable and was the head commander for the terrorism operation in Gloucester that resulted in the arrest of the second would-be 'shoe bomber', Saajid Badat, in 2003.

He was appointed a deputy chief constable in 2005 in Gloucestershire and was awarded the Queen's Police Medal in the New Year's Honours of 2009.

A spokesman for The Metropolitan Police said: "The recognition is a result of the Deputy Commissioner's many accomplishments including, demonstrating outstanding leadership in UK policing and through what has been a challenging year.

"Mr Mackey has been the driving force behind the Met's comprehensive reform programme, transforming the whole business to deliver a better service for London. He has led on delivering savings of £600 million from the Met's £3.6 billion budget, but ensured that the Met, which accounts for 25 per cent of England and Wales's police officers, was the only force not to cut officer posts to deliver savings.

"Mr Mackey launched a major initiative on the use of stop and search, which between 2012 and 2015 led to a reduction of around 70 per cent in the volume of searches and complaints while doubling the arrest rate. This initiative has had a fundamental impact on the Met's relationship with communities, improving trust and confidence - 74 per cent of Londoners are now in favour of use of the tactic.

" In addition, he has overseen a radical transformation of the Met's diversity approach, notably BME recruitment. The Met now has half of the national total of BME officers, and since 2011 has increased the number of BME officers in the Met from 3,000 to over 4,150."

The Commissioner, Cressida Dick, said: "I congratulate these extraordinary members of the Met who have dedicated their working life to policing and to protecting and serving London. They have achieved some amazing accomplishments.

"It is to their credit that they are role models to all, for their commitment, hard work and innovation.

"I am very proud of them all, as they should be of themselves. To be honoured in this way is so very special and richly deserved."