Honour for long-serving Bungay policeman

PC Martin Skuse with his gifts and, from left, Sgt Kevin Howell, Judy Cloke, Alison Skuse and Bungay

PC Martin Skuse with his gifts and, from left, Sgt Kevin Howell, Judy Cloke, Alison Skuse and Bungay mayor Sylvia Knights. - Credit: Archant

Bungay’s popular community police officer Martin Skuse retires in the autumn and on Friday he was honoured by the town for his work there.

During the annual town reeve’s festival ball, town mayor Sylvia Knights paid tribute to his 15 years as Bungay’s community police constable, praising his hard work, commitment, dedication and, above all, compassion he brought to the role.

“On many occasions young people in particular have overstepped the mark and put themselves on the wrong side of the law. Rather than immediately bringing the weight of the law to bear on them Martin has talked to them, helping them to see the error of their ways and in many cases sent them on their way chastened but wiser, and many owe him a debt of gratitude for that approach,” she said.

“For the rest of the community he has been a friendly, caring, responsive and reassuring presence, which has gained him enormous respect from us all.”

Mrs Knights presented him with a framed illuminated address from Bungay Town Council.

PC Skuse said: “I had absolutely no idea that this presentation was going to take place. I was overwhelmed and very much humbled to receive such appreciation.

“The demands of modern day policing and all it brings have made me realise that for me it is time to go. So after 30 years’ service, in October this year I have the privilege to retire from policing and start a new chapter in my life as a volunteer serving people in the community of Beccles through the outreach of the Salvation Army Church in Blyburgate.”

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PC Skuse joined Suffolk Police in October, 1984, at the age of 20.

More than 300 people enjoyed the annual banquet and ball, organised by John Groom and his wife Jayne for the town reeve, Michael Davies. Civic leaders from the district, and Waveney MP Peter Aldous were among the guests, and the cabaret included a troupe of can-can girls and The Three Waiters - professional singers masquerading as banqueting staff.

Proceeds from the event will go to the town’s reeve’s appeal for his year, All Hallows Hospital and the new Bungay Playpark, and other charities.