A HARTLEPOOL police officer and a victim support worker scooped awards for their service to the community.
PC Stephanie Button and Lorna Hilton, were left stunned when they both won trophies at the Cleveland Community Safety Awards.
The awards, organised by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland Barry Coppinger, were aimed at celebrating people who make a huge difference to the community.
PC Button was named Neighbourhood Police Officer of the Year and Lorna took the title in the Outstanding Support to a Victim category.
Lorna, 47, who lives in the town, works for Victim Support and was praised for the outstanding support she provided to the many traumatised victims and witnesses involved in a high-profile murder investigation.
The mum-of-two said: “Being nominated by the police made this very special. I was thrilled just to be nominated and was amazed when they said I had won, I was shaking.
“The case was very traumatic and I am still supporting some of those involved to this day. I got a lot of support from my colleagues as well to cope with it.”
Having worked as a community officer in Hartlepool for 10 years, PC Button was praised for her work in supporting vulnerable people and helping a career criminal of 25 years to turn her life around and stop offending.
PC Button, 39, said: “It was brilliant to be nominated, but I never thought I would win, I’m really pleased, It was a massive shock.”
The officer added: “I love my job, I would be happy to work as a community officer for the rest of my career.
“Hartlepool is a great place to work, you won’t find many officers who work in the town who would want to work anywhere else.”
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, Barry Coppinger, who attended the event at Hartlepool College of Further Education, said: “The awards give us the opportunity to recognise those that have made outstanding contributions in their communities and for us to come together to celebrate their achievements.
“I am pleased to have been able to present some of the awards to those officers and teams that keep our communities safe.”
Deputy Chief Constable Iain Spittal said: “Yesterday evening we saw a number of individuals and teams who have been highlighted by the people of Cleveland for the service that they provide. I am delighted to be able to celebrate their successes with them.
“As a force we strive to serve our communities as best we can, and it makes me very proud that we have officers and staff who have been nominated for doing such a good job of it.”
Others in Hartlepool who were nominated for awards included, PCSO Andrew Douglas, the Burn Valley Integrated Neighbourhood Team, Hartlepool Allotment Team and community volunteer, Mary Beck.