Posted on 8th June 2019

Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner is commending a PCSO and a retired police inspector from Cheshire Constabulary who have been recognised in the Queen's Birthday honours list for their services to community policing.

PCSO Tony Spruce has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) after his “exceptional commitment” to the Latchford community over the past 12 years.

Tony has been the driving force behind a number of successful community initiatives including the Victoria Park Experience (VPX), the Westy Boxing Club, St Werburgh’s community hub and Warrington’s Got Talent.

In 2017, the boxing club won an award at the Street Games National Conference, a charity which promotes sport in disadvantaged communities, for ‘Outstanding work in the Community’ and Tony has been awarded ‘PCSO of the Year’ in the Constabulary’s annual awards.

David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, said: “PCSO Tony Spruce embodies the true ethos of the role of a police community support officer; he is truly dedicated to making the community he serves a safer and happier place to live.

“He knows the value of community and is passionate about reducing anti-social behaviour which saw him develop the Victoria Park Experience as a diversion activity 12 years ago. His hard work and dedication to develop this event has seen the event grow into one of the biggest annual events in Cheshire.

“He truly deserves this recognition which is testament to his devotion to his career over so many years.”

Former police inspector Mark Watson has been awarded an MBE. He joined Cheshire Constabulary in 1982 and retired at the rank of inspector as head of equality, diversity and human rights in 2012. Since then he has continued to work voluntarily for the force supporting work relating to Gypsy, Roma and Traveller issues.

He also works part time as the coordinator of Cheshire Crimebeat, a charity which awards grants to young people for crime prevention and citizenship projects.

As well as working in Cheshire with the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) community Mark has been involved in national bodies to promote equality. He is a member of the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Working Group and also a trustee of the Traveller Movement charity.

David Keane added: “This is a fantastic achievement and one that is well deserved for Mark who has dedicated so many years of his life to serving the people of Cheshire and making it a safer place to live.

“His passion for community safety and his commitment to diversity has seen him carry-out some incredible work to tackle discrimination on a national level. He has continued this work well into his retirement and is now ensuring the younger generation play a significant role in preventing crime through his work with Cheshire Crimebeat.”