A POLICE officer from the Reading Neighbourhood has been presented with an award to recognise his services to the night time economy.

PC Simon Wheeler was presented with the Malcolm Eidmans Award by the Chair of National Pubwatch, Steve Baker and the Mayor of Reading, Councillor Debs Edwards.

Gassan Shaladan, Neighbourhood Inspector, said: “Simon has been instrumental to the progression of Pubwatch in Reading, the strengthening of relationships between the police and licensed premises, and the town’s success in achieving a Commendation in its Purple Flag accreditation.

“He had a leading role in the implementation of the ‘Hub’, which is a safe space facility located in the Reading Minster, and his partnership approach helped to obtain funding from the Business Improvement District to ensure long term sustainability”.

The chair of the Reading Pubwatch Rob Kennedy believes that Simon has worked hard and is forward-thinking.

He said:“Simon has been intrinsic to the police support of Pubwatch over a sustained 10-year period.

“In 2015 Reading Pubwatch was struggling and we had limited manageable controls in the town centre. It was during this time that Simon really fought hard to get some of the larger venues within the town to support the night time economy.

“Simon was key to rebuilding Pubwatch with systems in place which were supported by the police; the town centre Hub initiative; Street Pastors and an electronic messaging system for the partners to share information.

“As Chair of Reading Pubwatch it is great to work with such a forward-thinking police officer, and with his support for the night time economy, he is a real pleasure to work with.”

PC Wheeler is honoured to receive the award.

He said: “I am honoured to receive this award and enjoy working with a range of partners to ensure the night time economy in Reading remains a safe place for everyone to enjoy.”