DORSET’S Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill has been presented with a top award.

Mr Underhill and his team took the gold at the Compares Police and Crime Commissioners (CoPaCC) PCC’s and Public Engagement Awards.

Bernard Rix, chief executive officer of the organisation, praised Mr Underhill for his efforts.

Speaking during the awards, he said: “I am delighted to announce the winners of the 2014 CoPaCC Awards for the PCCs’ public engagement.

“This follows CoPaCC’s publication of the ‘PPCs and Public Engagement’ thematic report, which provided a detailed examination of PCCs’ work in this area. The PCCs and OPCCs (Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner) listed have provided between them some truly excellent examples of how PCCs can engage with the public.”

He added that he looked forward to seeing other commissioners “learn from the good practice that these award-winners have shown”.

Dorset was awarded with the top prize during the ceremony, while Avon and Somerset, Cleveland, Humberside and Merseyside were highly commended.

Cumbria, Devon and Cornwall, Dyfed-Powys, Greater Manchester, Leicestershire, Surrey and Staffordshire were also commended.

Mr Underhill writes a regular blog to keep Dorset residents updated on his work.

He was formerly a Detective Chief Inspector in Sussex Police, and retired in 2009 after 30 years of service.

In February 2012, Mr Underhill declared himself as an Independent candidate for the PCC role in Dorset, and won the election in November of that year.