A special constable who had to buy his first set of handcuffs himself when he set out to walk the beat in Camborne and Redruth has received a long service and good conduct award.
The awards were presented by the Deputy Chief Constable Bill Skelly, Colonel Edward Bolitho, the Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall, Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Hogg and Chief Officer of the Special Constabulary Marc Kastner-Walmsley, at a ceremony on Tuesday, July 29 at China Fleet Country Club, Saltash.
Special Constabulary Inspector Lee Higginson first joined the Specials in 1990 and was stationed at Redruth. The award citation reads: "Lee soon became part of the team and enjoyed his first two years on foot patrol in the villages before being able to ride in the vehicles on patrol with the response teams.
"It was during a foot patrol in the village of Carharrack when Lee was tutoring a probationer special that they were informed about two males stealing diesel. Lee's quick thinking and use of a local farmer’s phone to call the front desk at Redruth (the radios did not have reception) and ask for assistance led to the arrest of the two males who arrived back in a van and were caught loading the drums into their vehicle.
"For these actions Lee received a Chief Constable’s Commendation. Lee continued to serve at Redruth until 1998 and during this time he achieved the rank of section officer with a section of 20 officers before leaving for family reasons.
"Lee rejoined the specials in 2004 and again was stationed in Redruth, and when he had finished a short probation period he was promoted to sergeant. Due to the fact that the team at Redruth was small and there was no sergeant at Camborne, Lee was asked to cover Camborne as well so soon moved to Camborne station and ran both stations from there.
"Soon after this the post for inspector became vacant and Lee gained promotion again but this time he was set a target by his station inspector to up the numbers of Specials in Camborne and Redruth as numbers had dropped away. He has now done that and has a section of 16.
"Lee was chosen to represent the west regional forces along with 16 other officers from different forces to work alongside the NPIA to work on the Special Constabulary National Implementation Strategy and one of the major works to come out from this was the IL4SC programme. This is now used by most forces including Devon and Cornwall for the training of all new Specials.
"During his service Lee has been involved in many incidents both large and small and he has suffered his fair share on injuries during this time but he has always had the support of his family. Lee enjoys spending time with his daughters and his partner Lucy walking the seven dogs they have between them and he also enjoys riding his motorbike when he gets the time.
"Over his years in service, which total 18 years, he has seen many changes and he is often heard telling his new Specials how he had to buy his own handcuffs when he first joined and how there was only one reflective coat between 10 officers at Redruth.
"During all these changes Lee has always kept a smile on his face (but a grumpy face sometimes) and continues to build up the section at Camborne and ensure that the specials and their regular colleagues work well together."