More than 200 Essex Police officers, staff and volunteers have attended a ceremony held in Chelmsford which honoured their efforts to protect and serve Essex.

Presenting the awards to the winners, Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said: "These awards were about showing our staff they are appreciated.

"The officers, staff and volunteers do a difficult and often dangerous job and it is great to be able to give them recognition for the excellent work that they do.

"We often hear about the negative side of policing but at this event we have heard some truly humbling stories of dedication and commitment to the people of Essex."

Police Officer of the Year: The winner of this award is an officer whose operational role means they cannot be identified but who was nominated for her outstanding work in the community within South LPA.

Police Staff Member of the Year: Katy Green, based at Chelmsford headquarters, for her excellent work as a communications officer in the Force Control Room (FCR). She is described by colleagues as a top-notch dispatcher, performing to the highest standard every day.

PCSO of the Year: Kelly Roberts – Kelly has been described as a valued asset and member of the Thurrock East Neighbourhood Policing Team and has established herself as a strong link between partners and the community.

Special Constable of the Year:  Special Inspector Alexander Ward, based in the Operational Policing Command at Boreham, is described as a dedicated individual who prides himself on perfection and is committed to spending a huge amount of time and energy supporting Essex Police. He has provided 506 voluntary hours to the force over the past year.

Team of the Year: Basildon Retail Crime Unit – for achieving, amongst other successes, the best district shoplifting solved rate out of all the LPAs – 74.68 per cent against a target of 63.26 per cent. When the team was formed in December 2012, the district was fifth.

The Liam Brigginshaw Award: Presented in memory of Assistant Chief Constable Liam Brigginshaw, who died in February 2007 after four years’ service with Essex Police. The award is presented in recognition of outstanding commitment to Essex Police. Winner: is a detective who due to his operational role cannot be identified but who is described by colleagues as a truly excellent detective who is highly respected and responsible for securing the convictions and lengthy prison sentences of serious criminals who would have had a major impact on the safety of the Essex public.

The Wilson Trophy: Awarded in recognition of performing the most commendable or meritorious act during the year. Winner: Sgt Hayley Lambert, based at Harwich, nominated for saving the life of a woman who was trying to leap from a bridge over the A12 and for displaying outstanding actions during other incidents involving difficult circumstances. She is described as an absolute credit to Essex Police, consistently showing a high level of courage.

The Millard Trophy: Presented in recognition of an officer’s contribution to social services in the community or to police and public relations. Winner: DI Hayley King, based at Colchester, works tirelessly with other agencies to ensure victims of sexual assault receive a consistently high level of service and support, whatever their background. This is often outside of her working hours.

The Anthony Peel Trophy: Awarded in recognition of commendable or meritorious achievement in the field of crime reduction. Winner: Sgt Paul Costin, based at Basildon, for his excellent work in reducing and enforcing scrap metal crimes and legislation working with Trading Standards and the British Transport Police.

The Diversity Trophy: Awarded to a police officer or member of police staff who has shown personal commitment to promoting equality and diversity in the workplace and improving the confidence of diverse communities. Winner: Dc Phil Merriam, based at Chelmsford headquarters, in his role as hate crime and performance review officer, Phil has improved the service the force gives to victims of hate crime and is helping to improve public confidence in Essex Police’s ability to respond to such incidents.

The George Cook Trophy: Awarded to a police officer, Special or member of police staff who has shown outstanding commitment to public service. Winner: Assistant Chief Officer Derek Hopkins, based at Chelmsford headquarters, is one of the longest-serving Specials in Essex. His commitment, dedication and energy, for more than 30 years, makes him a worthy recipient of this award.

The Bennett Trophy: A long-standing traditional award which is presented to an outstanding student officer. Selection for the award is based on the various feedback Essex Police College receives from the LPA teams, assessors and tutors working alongside the student officers. It was first presented in October 1959 by Alderman W. J. Bennett, then chairman of Essex County Council. Winner: Leo Fordham, currently based at Harlow.