FOR the past 26 years, Ammanford man Peter Stych has given up his time to support victims of crime in Carmarthenshire.

He has now been rewarded for his work with the Goleudy Victim and Witness Support Service by winning Volunteer of the Year at Dyfed-Powys Police’s annual awards ceremony.

Mr Stych has given up more than 50 years to policing, from 27 years as a Special Constable patrolling the streets of Birmingham and Carmarthenshire, to the past 26 years volunteering in the Dyfed-Powys Police victim support unit, where he helps victims and witnesses of crime through the justice system.

On winning the award, Mr Stych said: “I’m overwhelmed because there are a lot of people more worthy of an award than me. It is a surprise, but a nice surprise.

“It’s been 26 years, but I’m still very much enjoying my work in victim and witness care. It is a privilege, and it makes me feel very humble when I look at how people allow me into their lives.”

Since 2017, Mr Stych has dedicated his free time to Goleudy – a victim and witness support service funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed-Powys Police – and has encouraged others considering a volunteer role to apply.

“To anyone else thinking of becoming a volunteer, I’d say just take the plunge,” he said. “It’s surprising what a simple comment can do to help someone who is feeling depressed or down.”

Speaking previously, Mr Stych said he found it difficult moving from the frontline as a Special Constable tackling crime to a position working with people affected by crime.

“You see everything when you’re out on the job, and you become hardened to it in some ways,” he said. “Then I changed roles and started visiting victims of burglaries and assaults. I was now seeing things from the other side. These victims might only experience crime once in their life, and all of a sudden I changed my attitude and my outlook on it.”

Assistant director of strategic criminal justice Irene Davies-Jones nominated Mr Stych, saying that his knowledge of the law from his experience as a Special has been invaluable to the service.

“The support he has provided the victims of crime, and the knowledge he has gleaned as a special constable helps reduce the fear of crime within our communities, and promote confidence and trust in the organisation,” she said.

“Through offering practical and emotional support, he helps victims to come to terms with their ordeal, aiding and promoting their recovery.

“Peter is a kind, considerate and very empathetic person who frequently goes beyond the remit of his role and assist Goleudy to ensure that victims receive gold standard provision of service,” Mrs Davies-Jones said.

“He is an invaluable asset to Goleudy and has a tremendous understanding of what we are striving to achieve. He is a tremendous credit to both himself and the organisation.”

Runner-up in the Volunteer of the Year category was the Quality Assurance Panel for their support of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s scrutiny work.