Special Constable (SC) Dave Christophers, a volunteer who gives up his free time to support policing teams in Truro, has recently been awarded with the Special Constable of the Year award at the Police Annual Recognition Awards.

Despite only being in his role for two years, SC Christophers has quickly proven himself to be a vital member of the team, having always expressed an exemplary attitude to work and completing tasks to the highest standard to best serve the communities of Truro. After gaining a vast range of on-the-job experience, he now has the ability to competently respond to nearly all types of emergency and non-emergency calls on his own.

Over the past 12 months, SC Christophers has dedicated over 1,200 hours of his free time to volunteer with frontline policing, which exceeds the expected number of hours from a volunteer special constable by 1,000 hours.

Over the course of the year, he has arrested 18 people, and assisted other officers with a further 20 arrests. SC Christophers has supported officers to attend 200 jobs over the past year, with the majority of these being emergency 999 calls from members of the public needing immediate assistance.

SC Christophers is one of only two special constables across Cornwall who have received the highest level of speed detection training. This means he is able to support the community even further by patrolling local road networks and ensuring dangerous drivers are apprehended.

As part of this, SC Christophers has actively engaged with local residents and organisations, including parish councils, to understand which roads cause the most concern for residents in relation to speeding. As a result of the intelligence he has gathered from engaging with local people and listening to their concerns, 1,522 speeding drivers have been identified and have all been issued with fines.

Special Superintendent Scott Kneebone said: “Dave’s interaction with the community has not only kept our roads safer by reprimanding speeding drivers, but has also increased local people’s confidence in our local officers thanks to the positive results his work has achieved. We have received some extremely positive feedback from local people.”

He continued: “In the short time Dave has been with the team, he has made a huge impact within his local community.

“One shift that particularly stands out was his sensitive and compassionate handling of a call from a ‘paedophile hunter’ group. Dave and a fellow special constable were called to a situation where a suspected child groomer had been caught out by the group.

“This was a complex and difficult situation to manage for any officer, and Dave was under more pressure with the entire incident being live streamed on social media. Despite this, Dave approached this situation in a professional manner, and gathered all the relevant information instead of rushing into a decision.

“Although the group were putting Dave under pressure to arrest the individual immediately, he explained to them that he needed to establish that a crime had taken place, and carry out the relevant checks before making an arrest. Once he had examined all of the evidence presented to him, Dave made the arrest under his own suspicion.”

“We are so lucky to have Dave on our team, and we are proud of the great work he has done, and continues to do, for the community.” added Special Supt Kneebone.