A SPECIAL constable who has given 31 years of voluntary service to Sussex Police was this week presented with an MBE by the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
Martin Hovenden, who also works full-time as a public enquiry supervisor at Hastings Police Station, recevied his award on Wednesday (February 13).
He joined the force as a special constable in Rye in September 1981 and since then has put in well over 20,000 hours performing his role.
In addition, he worked with police cadets for ten years and is regularly cited as an inspiration to young people who choose policing as a career.
On receiving his award, Martin said: “It was a momentous day and I was very proud and privileged to be presented my MBE by the Queen. I felt honoured to have been selected to receive such a prestigious award for a job I enjoy doing.”
The Special Constabulary forms part of the extended police family (EPF) which is also made up of police cadets and volunteers.
EPF lead Chief Superintendent Graham Bartlett congratulated Martin on receiving his award saying: “This is an outstanding achievement and one of which Martin should be extremely proud. Throughout his service Martin has provided invaluable support both to the community and to his policing colleagues. Alongside his work as a special constable and a member of police staff he has inspired many young people through the police cadets scheme.
I am delighted that his contribution to policing in Sussex has been recognised as the Special Constabulary is an integral part of our policing family.”
Martin is always keen to promote the role of special constable to new recruits and at the end of last month, along with a colleague, he spent a shift with the new Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katie Bourne, who has pledged to increase the number of specials employed by Sussex Police. They showed her around the district and talked to her about both the challenges and the rewards of the role.
East Sussex Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent Neil Honnor said: “I’d like to thank Martin for his commitment to Sussex Police. This award is well deserved for all the fantastic work he has done over the past 31 years. He is a valued member of the East Sussex team and an excellent example of the difference volunteers can make in their local communities.”