Community heroes were celebrated at the Forest Heath Crime Prevention Awards on Sunday.
The event, at Mildenhall Social Club, saw certificates handed out to police, special and community support officers, voluntary groups as well as awards for individual acts of courage.
Brave Silvia Blehova, from Bury St Edmunds, received a Caring for the Community Award for helping a young man in a vulnerable state.
Despite risks to her safety, she fetched him a blanket and stayed with him until police arrived.
After receiving her award she said: “He really needed my help – who else was going to do it. I just couldn’t leave him there.”
Thomas Fleet received a Care in the Community Award for holding on to a young woman trying to throw herself off a bridge on the A11.
Sean Padmore, who works at Sainsburys in Mildenhall, chased down a shoplifter despite being assaulted himself. He was handed a Police Partnership Award.
Hazel Burgess received the Forest Heath SNT award for her work with the Safer Neighbourhood Team.
Twins Pc Karl Benton and Special Constable Adam Benton, from Mildenhall, were given the Young Detectives Achievement Award. Both started out as youth detectives and have progressed to realise their dreams as full-time officers.
Karl said he had wanted to be a policeman since he was just eight years old.
“I feel really pleased to receive this award,” he said.
“I think it just shows when you have a career dream, working hard from a young age pays off and you can get a job you love.”
St Edmundsbury CCTV team was given a Police Partnership Award for helping the police ‘too many times to mention’.
Teresa Claydon, who manages the service, said she was really proud of her team who monitor cameras in Bury, Stowmarket, Mildenhall, Brandon, Haverhill and Newmarket.
“They do so much to help solve and reduce crime,” she said.
“They are usually on the scene before the police, gathering evidence before anyone else.”
The Eileen Jacob Special Trophy went to Special Constables Graham Tait, Jason Burchett and Haydn Stevens for their commitment to their work.
Despite it being voluntary, Graham Tait clocked more than 500 hours for the force last year.
Haydn Stephens also showed true dedication, at one point putting in 33 hours over a three-day period.
And through Jason Burchett’s attention to detail when dealing with offenders in a car that had been pulled over, he managed to discover one of them was a border agency absconder.
Sgt Keith Grant received the Specials Commitment Award for his dedication in training up new special officers and received the Crucial Crew Award for spending his annual leave helping to run the children’s safety workshops.
The Behaviour and Emotional Support Team at Mildenhall College Academy won a Youth Awareness Award for helping to reduce poor behaviour and attitude at the school.
Mark Skinner, a Brandon undertaker, was given a care in the community award for his work helping vulnerable people.
After the ceremony, Superintendant Terry Byford said: “It is wonderful to be here. Every time I come I cannot help but be humbled by the things people do to keep their district safe.
“It is about everyone in the community coming together and that is what we are celebrating today.”
Roll of honour
The Lions Fear of Crime Award – Ben Preston
Youth Detectives Achievement Award
– PC Karl Benton
– SC Adam Benton
Specials Commitment Award
– Sgt Keith Grant
FHDC Community Awareness Award – Newmarket Town Pastors
Caring for the Community Award
– Robin Hardy
Eileen Jacob Special Trophy
– SC Graham Tait – SC Jason Burchett – - SC Haydn Stephens
Forest Heath Youth Awareness Award
– Best Team (Mildenhall College Academy)
Community Partnership Award – PCSO Donna Miller
Mick Finch Car Crime Competition Winner
– Louise Shepherd
Crucial Crew Special Award
– Sgt Keith Grant
Forest Heath SNT Award
– Hazel Burgess
Caring for the Community Awards
– SOS Bus – Colin Middleton – Pete Gyte – Margaret Fulham
– Mark Skinner
– Silvia Blehova
Police Partnership Award
– Sean Padmore – St Edmundsbury CCTV Team
– Anthony Kay
– Andrew Fredette
– Thomas Fleet