GLOUCESTERSHIRE'S 'Police Officer of the Year 2022' is retiring from his neighbourhood policing role in the North Cotswolds.

PC Nicholas Westmacott, or more affectionately known in the community as ‘PC Nick’, has spent time in the police across Gloucestershire in Cirencester, Stroud and Stow-on-the-Wold.

But his career path into the industry has been an unconventional one.

At 40-years-old he joined as a special constabulary volunteer after working in the printing industry.

It was the process of adopting his two children that gave him confidence to finally apply for the police.

He said: “My outlook on life was very ‘in a bubble’ before that, what they say if you join the police is that we see behind this curtain that not many people get to see behind.”

Nick encourages others with life experience to join the industry.

Born and bred in the Cotswolds Nick said neighbourhood policing was the perfect fit.

He said: “It has been nice to police my own area because then you do make a difference you can see the impacts of it all the time.”

It’s also what he will miss the most about leaving the job.

Winning Police Officer of The Year in November has undoubtedly been the highlight of his career.

Cotswold Journal: PC Nick Westmacott winning Police Officer of the Year award in November at Pittville Pump Room, CheltenhamPC Nick Westmacott winning Police Officer of the Year award in November at Pittville Pump Room, Cheltenham (Image: Gloucestershire Police)

The initial reaction to this honour was shock, he said: “All of us put in 110% everyday, so it’s quite hard to win an award of that stature when it’s open to all police officers in Gloucestershire of every rank.

“To get that right at the very end of my career was a very proud moment.”

Being the 'bobby on the beat’ materialises in multiple formats; patrols, community engagement, going to markets, parish council meetings, schools etc.

PC Nick pinpointed two essential qualities for neighbourhood policing; communication and patience.

He has been busy handing over the reins to his replacement and sharing what he refers to as his 'database of local knowledge' as he is due to retire next week on March 1.

Nick said: “Policing gives you the confidence to deal with any situation, good or bad. It’s a job like no other.

"I have worked in lots of different industries and had very fulfilling roles, but nothing compares to working in the police.”

Cotswold Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Simon Ellson said: “Nick is everything a good Neighbourhood officer should be. Passionate, well connected and respected in his community. He always looks out for the community he serves and will be greatly missed by colleagues and the public.”