A POLICE volunteer, who has helped people in Nailsea, Clevedon and Wrington, has been named as the best in the South West.

Area officer Paul Weeks was recognised for his outstanding contribution to policing, at a ceremony this month.

His career has seen him tackle everything from arresting a violent drunken man on a plane at Bristol Airport to overseeing Clevedon’s annual five-kilometre Boxing Day run for a decade.

He said: “I feel very honoured and surprised by this award.

“I’m really grateful to my wife and family for their support which has enabled me to do this role that I love and be there for the public.”

Paul started out as a volunteer police officer in Watford in 1975, before moving to Nailsea 30 years ago.

He earned a reputation for going the extra mile and won praise from magistrates in 1988 for arresting a man who was threatening him with a broken bottle.

Seven years ago he joined the dedicated neighbourhood team at Bristol Airport and apprehended and secured convictions against four protesters in 2012.

Chief Superintendent Nikki Watson said: “These awards recognise the significant contribution made by the special constabulary – members of the public who give up their own time for free to put themselves on the front line and help keep their communities safe.

“I am proud of all our special constables and the contribution they make, and I’d like to give my very sincere congratulations to Paul for his win and the Somerset specials for their nomination.”

Avon and Somerset special constabulary’s chief officer David Farrell added: “For more than 33 years as a special constable, Paul has demonstrated professionalism, unwavering enthusiasm and reliability, a willingness to learn and a strong desire to work with his team to provide reassurance and ensure public safety.

“He has brought a unique skill-set to his volunteer role and continues to make an outstanding contribution to policing.”