DEVON and Cornwall Police hosted a special evening at Sandy Park recently, home of the Exeter Chiefs, to honour members of the public who went above and beyond to help their communities during the unprecedented snow fall at the beginning of March this year, including a Launceston driving instructor.

An appeal to find the region’s snow heroes earlier in the year received in excess of 400 nominations, 24 of whom were chosen by a police panel for special recognition and a commendation from the Commander of Alliance Operations, Chief Superintendent Glen Mayhew.

In his speech Chief Supt Mayhew explained that while in charge of police operations during Storm Emma as Gold Commander, working with the other emergency services and partner agencies, he had to make a series of tough choices as to which calls could be prioritised.

He noted that the snow heroes’ selfless actions helped the police and partner agencies by dealing with situations and incidents that they simply did not have the resources to get to, safeguarding communities and, ultimately, saving lives.

The snow heroes and their guests also learned more about how the police work, with officers on hand from various alliance operations teams to explain and demonstrate their skills.

The dog unit put on an impressive display of substance detection by Mollie the spaniel, and PD Max showed how he can catch and hold a suspect and then instantly revert to being a friendly dog who loves being stroked.

An ARV (armed response vehicle) crew showed the firearms that they carry and are highly trained to use if needed, and PC Tom Shainberg fascinated his audience with a display by one of the current force drones, using it to take a group photo and video.

There were four police vehicles on display outside, along with a road policing team motorcycle and rider. The level of access available to the Snow Heroes and their guests was unprecedented, and all agreed it was a fascinating evening.

All of the other nominees will receive a letter of recognition for the Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police, Shaun Sawyer.

Launceston driving instructor Colin Mullis advertised on a local Facebook page 4x4 availability to deliver supplies and medication all over the area, as well as offering lifts to people who needed to get to work to get home from their work places.

l At the time, the Post reported a number of local ‘snow heroes’ had battled the harsh conditions to help others, including Jay Haxby, who travelled round the area with Colin, helping as many people as they could.