A SURPRISE Christmas Star Award was handed to a retired Cheshire Police officer who has raised more than £50,000 for charity.

Insp Dave Snasdell, who retired from the force on December 16 this year, served as an officer for 30 years – including 27 years at Northwich Local Policing Unit.

He was in complete shock when he was called back to Northwich Police Station as the BBC North West team presented him with a Christmas Star Award for his charitable work within the community.

Among his extensive work over the years Insp Snasdell has raised money for St Luke’s Hospice and Hebden Green School.

He has also campaigned for MIND, arranged five charity boxing events and completed three long distance bike rides.

He has been nominated for numerous awards and also volunteers for a rugby club, has supported a pre-school over many years and applied for a number of grants to improve local facilities for children.

The BBC Star Award is handed out at Christmas to people who have made a valuable contribution to their community. Insp Snasdell, 50, was nominated by a colleague in Northwich.

He said: “It was a real honour and very humbling to receive the award.

“I’ve always just wanted to give something back to the community because I believe that every little thing that we do helps.

“What I would like to say is that I couldn’t have done all the work I’ve done without the support of many other people. It’s always a team effort.”

Insp Snasdell is now working as a Business Improvement Manager at the Cheshire, Lancs and Merseyside Groundwork.

He thought he was returning to Northwich Police Station for a partnership meeting when he was presented with the award.

Insp Snasdell added: “It was a total shock – I didn’t even realise I’d been nominated.

“I thought it was someone playing a practical joke at first but as it carried on I realised that I’d actually won the award.”

Northwich Chief Inspector Simon Meegan added: “It’s fantastic to see Dave being successfully nominated for the BBC North West Tonight Christmas Star award.

“Over his 30-year career he has achieved so much in neighbourhood policing and raised money for many local charities.”