OFFICERS, constables and volunteers have been hailed for their instrumental work within Bury's police force.

PCSO Dave Johnson is among those whose efforts were recognised at the Greater Manchester Police Bury Divisional Awards 2017.

The Ramsbottom neighbourhood officer received the Brave Officer of the Year award after jumping over a wall taller than himself and pulling a man out of a river who was 'minutes from death'.

The Bury Times previously reported that the 6ft 35-year-old rushed down the steep banks of the River Irwell and dragged the man to safety during the incident in June 2017.

Mr Johnson, who lives in Bury, said: "It is a huge privilege to receive this award. I'm really proud of myself but I was only doing my job.

"I joined the police force 13 years ago and my motivation has always been to help and serve others.

"When you see someone drowning in the river, it is instinct to help."

He added: "I'm really grateful to the force. I would like to thank my sergeant Simon Ward for nominating me for this award."

The awards ceremony took place at Bury College.

Opening speeches were given by chief superintendent Stuart Ellison and superintendent Rick Jackson, followed by the awards presentation.

Helen McGuire was hailed Volunteer of the Year for her work with domestic abuse victims and their families.

Ms McGuire began working on the police's voluntary team at STRIVE Bury in July 2017.

She works with the team one morning each week, visiting as many as four families. Alongside this, Ms McGuire is studying for her BA Honours degree working with children and families via the University of Cumbria, at Bury College.

The 42-year-old said: "Since day one, I have never felt like an add-on to the police.

"The most rewarding thing in the role is when you are working with a family and they realise you are there to help. Knowing you can change their lives for the better is amazing, especially when there are children involved.

"Luckily, most of the time we leave a home having at the very least offered services that they can consider using."

She added: "Receiving this award came as a bit of a shock. I'm absolutely thrilled."

Other awards were handed to the top special constable, staff member, leader, PCSO, officer, customer service and problem solver.

Bury's strategic support inspector Jim Jones said: "Tonight is about recognising the hard work, dedication and bravery of the officers and staff at Bury.

"The last 12 months have highlighted the horrific things officers have to deal with in the line of duty but rarely is it publicised the great work they and their support staff colleagues do on a daily basis.

"With all of their colleagues they contribute massively to the 'Team Bury' ethos we have and we are extremely proud of what they have achieved."

District Superintendent Rick Jackson said: "I have the privilege of leading a fantastic team who are committed to serving the people of Bury.

"Many of the stories I hear on a daily basis of staff placing themselves in harm's way or having gone the extra mile to protect people are often considered the ‘norm’ for those very same staff.

"The awards evening is an opportunity to recognise the outstanding work and demonstrate that for members of the public their commitment is anything but the ‘norm’ and is very much appreciated."

Award winners in full:

Volunteer of the Year – Helen McGuirk - Helen is a valued member of the STRIVE team, she commenced her volunteering role in July 2017. Helen is the longest serving volunteer on STRIVE who attends every week to visit victims of domestic violence to offer support in a professional and caring manner.

Staff Member of the Year - Shaun Dwyer - With the decreasing number of Police officers over the years the use of other staff to conduct tasks has increased taking them away from Police officers. Shaun has under taken a quantity of those tasks and is a great asset to not just my team but all the CID office.

Leadership — Sgt John Stocks - ‘Stocksy’ won for his motivational and supportive attitude.

PCSO of the Year — Tracy Kyle - PCSO Kyle was awarded for her work with the Op Phoenix Bury CSE team.

Officer of the Year — DC Ian Smith - DC Smith is officer of the year for his efforts to ensure justice was done even when the victim of a crime had died.

Best Team Performance — D Relief, CID - To date, the team have secured prison sentences totalling over 140 years in this year alone.

Customer Service Award — Bury LRO’s - Who often go the extra mile to help those who are reporting crimes over the phone.

Brave officer of the Year — PCSO Dave Johnson - Rescued a man who was 'minutes from death' in the River Irwell.

Problem Solving — PC Tim Heap - PC Heap works with his team to build up communication in a variety of communities. He was praised for the links they have built up with Bury Asian Women’s Centre.

Special Constable of the Year — SC Moshe Rothstein - SC Rothstein won for his unmatched dedication to his duty, he and his officers have put in more hours at work than any other Specials in any GMP district.