The Chief Officer for the Special Constabulary for Dyfed-Powys Police has been named on the New Year Honours list.

Cairn Newton-Evans has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to policing and the LGBTQ community.

When he was 17, Cairn was the victim of a homophobic attack which spurred him on to join the police so he could stop this kind of thing happening to others.

A year later, he joined the special constabulary as a volunteer and unpaid special constable, with the same powers and uniform as a regular police constable.

He was then promoted to special chief officer for Dyfed-Powys Police – the highest rank possible within the special constabulary.

He was also the youngest chief officer in the UK at the age of 26.

Cairn, who has worked out of Ammanford Police Station for the past nine years, told The Guardian: “I received the letter about the BEM on November 22 so a good month before the list was officially announced.

“It was a hard secret to keep but it is a very proud moment and all my family and friends are delighted.”

The 27-year-old is a passionate advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights.

He is a trained hate crime support officer and established an LGBT social and support project in Carmarthenshire to support and counsel people.

“I hope this will inspire other members of the LGBT community to stand up,” added Cairn, a St John Cymru volunteer.

“I never thought of any award – it is a complete shock.

“Knowing that people saw me getting attacked and nobody phoned the police or for an ambulance meant I lost confidence in my local community.

“The way the attack was dealt with meant I lost confidence in the police service too.

“I had massive anxiety issues, I was scared to leave the house on my own, it had a big impact on my mental health.

“By joining the police I wanted to turn a negative experience into a positive one, and try to make sure no one else went through what I did.”

2018 has been a busy year for Cairn as he graduated with a first-class honour in Law and Public Services as well as becoming a lecturer at University Wales Trinity St David.