BEAT bobby Simon Turton is flying high.

The Kirklees police officer has graduated with flying colours, becoming the first police officer to receive a prestigious University of Huddersfield award.

Pc Turton was the first of the 1,100 police officers who have taken the foundation degree in police studies at the university to receive the Chancellor's Prize.

The prize is awarded to students who achieve a pass mark of 80% or higher for their studies.

As well as being the first police officer to be acknowledged in this way, Pc Turton was one of only 28 students, out of the 3,000 who graduated this month, to receive the prize.

Now back on the beat, the 34-year-old from Hebden Bridge is putting the fruits of academia into action, working for the Dewsbury and Mirfield Neighbourhood Policing Team.

Pc Turton said: “I am proud to be the first police officer to have received this prize.

“I know that what I learnt on the course, as well as during my time at the police training school, will stand me in good stead when dealing with the challenges that being an NPT officer in Dewsbury will present me.”

A former teacher in Leeds, Simon worked as a special constable before successfully applying to be a Pc, and starting his studies and training two years ago.

The part-time university degree, which covers a range of social and human sciences such as criminology, victim care and how to deal with vulnerable groups in society, complements the specific officer training that is undertaken at the force’s training school at Bishopgarth, Wakefield.

Chief Supt John Robins, Divisional Commander for Kirklees Police said: “I am very pleased for Simon and proud to have him working with us in Kirklees.

“It is great to see that the high standard of all our recruits can be acknowledged formally by organisations such as Huddersfield University.”

Such is Simon’s devotion to his police work, he did not ask for a day off to attend his graduation, choosing to work instead.

But Simon’s dedication to his job doesn’t end there – on the day of his graduation, he arrested a 21-year-old man in the Westtown area for drugs offences after catching the suspect with cannabis.