A POLICE officer has been recognised for helping a Jewish community establish themselves on Canvey.
PC Ian Risden received the George Cook Trophy for public and partnership work at the Essex Police Awards.
PC Risden was among the first people to welcome six Haredi Orthodox Jewish families to the area five years ago.
Since then, nearly 100 other families from the community have made the move from London to Canvey to set up a new life.
This has included setting up a new community centre, school and synagogue.
PC Risden says his job is all about reaching out to all communities so if they are subject to anti-social behaviour or crime, they feel comfortable to report it.
As the majority of the Haredi community do not use technology, a new system was developed so they could report crime by dropping handwritten messages into a box at the synagogue that PC Risden and his team would collect.
IHe said the strength of the relationship that has developed has been thanks to the “two-way street” of dialogue between the police and the Haredi community and he praised Joel and his team for being “extremely accommodating”.
After receiving his award, PC Risden said: “It’s always nice to have your work recognised and I was as shocked as anybody on the night because there were so many outstanding candidates, but it’s not about receiving awards, it’s about knowing you’ve done a job that has probably changed the community.”
Haredi community leader Joel Friedman said: "It’s important for us that everyone in the community can speak directly to the police. Ian has been ever so accessible, which is very much appreciated.
“Ian’s award is very well deserved. In fact, he should have won it a few years before!”