A COMMUNITY stalwart who lost a long service medal to burglars has been presented with a new award.

Fordingbridge councillor and former special police constable Ann Sevier MBE had been awarded the medal by Hampshire police. On September 20 last year, it was taken during a burglary at her home in Blissford Road, Blissford.

The raiders smashed through a window to get inside the property. The medal is believed to have been the only item stolen from the address.

This month, she was presented with a replacement by Chief Inspector Robert Mitchell at Lyndhurst police station.

Cllr Sevier, who was a special constable for 20 years, said: “I was very touched that they should be so kind as to replace it.”

Speaking after the medal was taken last year she said: “The reward for a special constable after nine years is the long service medal.

“My medal holds all the memories of my 20 years’ service and I am very sad to have had it stolen.”

Chief Inspector Mitchell, who is the New Forest District Commander, said: “Ann Sevier served the communities of Fordingbridge and the wider New Forest for 20 years as a special constable with Hampshire Constabulary and was a very popular member of the team.

“Ann was awarded a long service and good conduct medal in recognition of that service and it was very sad to learn of its theft during a burglary last September.

“Since retiring from the constabulary, Ann has continued to serve her community as a district councillor for Fordingbridge, which just underlines her commitment to public service.

"Organising a replacement for her loss was the right thing to do and it was an opportunity for me to show the continued appreciation of Hampshire Constabulary.”