A POLICE officer who provided exceptional support for a North Yorkshire dog handler who died after struggling with mental health issues when he could no longer do the job he loved has been given a special peoples choice award.

PC Brad Jackson is the Deputy Secretary of the North Yorkshire Police Federation. He supported dog handler PC Mick Atkinson in the months before he took his own life and continued to help family and colleagues after the tragedy.

At a special ceremony he was presented with the North Yorkshire Police Public Choice Award which is decided by public vote. PC Jackson said: "I feel incredibly honoured to receive this award and I gratefully accept it in Mick’s honour and memory. Mick was a very dear and close friend of mine and the support I provided to his family and my colleagues was nothing more than a friend would do.

"Mental health is on the rise nationally within the police and emergency services. North Yorkshire Police Federation has been working closely with the force to put in place additional support for those who find themselves struggling. Historically, police officers have suffered in silence, not knowing where to turn when they need help. The Federation now provides bespoke help for officers and staff, we continually encourage the use of these services and reinforce the message that it's ok to not be ok."

The award was presented by Chief Constable Lisa Winward along with a series of other awards to the county's police officers chosen for their exceptional service,courage, compassion and inspiration.

The Chief Constable said: "Every day, members of the North Yorkshire Police family do remarkable things and go the extra mile to serve and protect the public. I’d like to congratulate and thank those who have been recognised for their outstanding contribution and commitment."

A gold inspiration award was presented to Catterick based PC Heather Campbell for the support and help she provided to the community in Reeth when the village was hit with flash floods earlier this year

TS Paul Cording was given a silver inspiration award for the valuable work he undertakes promoting road safety, particularly through the use of social media. Northallerton PC Yvonne Coldbeck was given a gold compassion award for the work she undertakes as a family liaison officer, supporting families who are faced with tragedy

The Police Officer Lifetime Achievement award went to Detective Superintendent Dai Malyn for his tireless work providing justice to victims and their families and protecting communities.

The Glenn Goodman Award, which recognises the outstanding contribution of a Special Constable was presented to Nadine Slattery. She has been a Special Constable in the Richmondshire area for ten years regularly putting in over 30 hours of voluntary policing a month, as well as being a student officer assessor and a police cadet leader. Colleagues said: "She is an 'exemplary officer' who typifies what it is to be a Special Constable, who makes a difference to so many people on so many levels."