A Lancashire Police officer has been recognised for his commitment and dedication to bereaved families with a national award.
PC Jonathan Ardron, a road policing constable and family liaison officer (FLO), was presented with the Outstanding Officer Achievement Award by Brake, the road safety charity, during its inaugural Police Family Liaison Officer Awards on Wednesday (June 6).
PC Ardron, from Preston, was given the prize at the Houses of Parliament in London after supporting the family of a woman who died in 2016 following a road traffic collision.
He said: “Being presented with the inaugural Outstanding Officer Achievement Award is a great honour and fills me with immense pride.
“Everyday family liaison officers across Lancashire and beyond play a crucial role in supporting families, often during their darkest hours.
“While it's wonderful to be recognised in this way, our FLOs do much of this work day in, day out. In many ways it is acknowledgment of their continued dedication, which often goes unseen."
In his role as FLO, PC Ardron attended the victim's mother's address to formally inform her what happened, before providing assistance and support during the months after the collision.
He supported the victim's relatives, assisted with funeral arrangements and often went above and beyond the requirements of his role, including helping the victim's mother and offending driver to meet through the Restorative Justice process.
PC Ardron added: “In this situation, the victim's mother wanted to meet the offender after he had admitted his guilt at court. A referral to the Force Restorative Justice Team was therefore made and a meeting was subsequently arranged at the prison between both parties.
“The meeting for both parties was very emotional but it enabled the mother to get answers to her questions. For the offender it was an opportunity to say sorry.
“It provided the mother a way of getting all those questions answered and enabled her to start the process of 'moving on'."
Judges commended PC Ardron for his excellent communication skills, his on-going compassion and the sharing of his knowledge and experience with officers inside and outside of Lancashire Police during his deployment.
He was presented with the award by Commander Stuart Cundy, of the Metropolitan Police.
Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner said: "This award is well deserved recognition of the work that PC Ardron has done, going above and beyond in his role as a family liaison officer.
"It recognises the role that all family liaison officers play across policing here in Lancashire, supporting bereaved families through the toughest times of their lives.
"Supporting vulnerable people and victims is a key priority for us here in Lancashire and it is the work by people such as PC Ardron which makes this a reality across the county."