A recently retired police officer who dedicated much of his career to supporting rural communities in East Northants has been awarded the Queen’s Police Medal.
Former PC Paul (known as Mitch) Mitchinson, who retired in June, has been awarded the accolade in the New Year’s Honours List.
Mitch had a varied career during his 27 years with Northamptonshire Police, having worked in roads policing as a Family Liaison Officer, as a firearms officer and for the last 12 years as a member of our Neighbourhood Team covering East Northants.
During this time, Mitch built close links with the rural community while also helping to tackle wider issues in the area, such as drugs gangs and supporting vulnerable people being targeted by them.
Mitch said: “I was absolutely gobsmacked to find out about the award, it was a shock, completely out of the blue.
“I loved every minute of my career, there was never a morning when I didn’t want to go to work. You go into people’s lives when they’re at their lowest and you can do something to help them.
“Working on Neighbourhoods was one of the best jobs I had, it’s so diverse, one day you can work with our rural communities, then the next work as a crime team tackling drug dealers and the next helping vulnerable people.
“I still keep in touch with a lot of the families I helped when I was a Family Liaison Officer and a lot of the farmers, I worked with I am still good friends with.”
Following his retirement, Mitch is now spending time volunteering at Stanwick Lakes.
Chief Constable Nick Adderley said: “I am absolutely delighted that former PC Paul Mitchinson has been recognised for his sterling work as a Neighbourhood Officer.
“This accolade is befitting of an officer who went above and beyond his duty to serve the communities across Wellingborough and East Northants both in fighting crime and protecting vulnerable people, as well as being a positive role model for so many.
“Neighbourhood Policing is the absolute cornerstone of safer, sustainable communities and I am thrilled that Paul’s work, to further strengthen this endeavour, has stood out and been rewarded in this way.”