Police in Cumbria have recognised the hard work and positive impact of volunteers who help the police in their efforts to keep the communities of the county safe.

The Citizens in Policing Awards is traditionally held each year to recognise the achievements of the volunteers who help make Cumbria Police what it is.

The awards event could not take place this year due to the Covid-19 outbreak, however the constabulary has still made sure those who go above and beyond are recognised for their achievements.

One such volunteer deserving of recognition is Kitty Rooney from St Patrick's School in Cleator Moor, who has been given the title of "Mini Police Officer of the Year."

Kitty has been given this honour for having "thrown herself in the role of Mini Police Officer with passion, and has really grown in confidence."

"She has been the perfect role model leading on many Mini Police initiatives including fundraising, creating leaflets and delivering presentations to the school," a spokesman for Cumbria Police explained.

The Mini Police School of the Year award also went to Kitty's school, - St Patrick’s.

"St Patrick School was awarded this award for their hard work into the programme and the willingness of everyone involved to go the extra mile, most importantly the positive impact the scheme has had on the young people taking part and the wider community."

Also in west Cumbria, PCSO Emma-Jane Light has been given the award for Mini Police PCSO of the Year.

This has been for the "hard work she has contributed to the mini police programme which has been recognised by the teachers and young people at Ewanrigg Junior School who nominated her for this award.

"The positive impact she has had on the young people taking part and the wider community has not gone unnoticed."

And in the Eden district, the police Cadet of the Year award was given to Hannah Bentley.

She was recognised "for her commitment to her role as a cadet and approaches everything with professionalism, passion and dedication.

"She attends sessions regularly and is always keen to support every community based event where she represents the constabulary in a highly professional manner."

Awards were also given out to volunteers in the south of the county.

The Cadet Team of the Year award was given to Furness Cadets, while their leaders were given the Cadet Leaders of the Year award.

The Barrow Special Constable team were given the Special Constabulary Team of the Year award, while Barrow Special Constable Anna Merrell was recognised as Special Constable of the Year.

Police Support Volunteer of the Year was given to David Keevil, from west Cumbria.

"David was nominated for this award for his passion towards working with young people and has helped massively to improve the relationship between young people and the police," a spokesman said.

Chief Constable Michelle Skeer said of the awards: “Although we haven't been able to celebrate these amazing volunteers and young people as we normally would I am pleased the awards have continued and that those are being recognised for their courage, community service, dedication and skill.

"All of which make me feel incredibly proud of these citizens who selflessly dedicate their time and passion to the Constabulary.

"These individuals make a huge difference to their communities and a firmly part of our police family. There is incredible work being carried out every day by these volunteers, cadets and mini police officers.

"Citizens in policing is an integral part of the Constabulary.

"Mini Police officers and cadets will positively shape the future and already positively give back to the Cumbrian community, and special constables and police support volunteers provide specialist skills and experience to support the vital work of the force.

"I would also like to thank all of the officers and PCSOs who support the citizens in policing units, their passion and dedication are evident in the support they consistently provide to our volunteers, cadets and mini police and could be felt in the submissions that were written for those receiving awards.”

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “Congratulations to everyone who has been recognised in this year’s Citizens in Policing awards.

“I know that this isn’t the ideal way to celebrate due to Covid-19 but everyone receiving an award deserves the recognition as their commitment and enthusiasm to their roles is an inspiration.

“There are so many citizens in policing who are dedicated and selflessly give their time to serve our community and it is vital that we show our gratitude to those involved.

“I am grateful for their contribution to the Constabulary and behalf of the public I would like to thank everyone for their valued service and commitment.”