A popular volunteer policeman is hanging up his uniform – a decade after he first began walking the beat in Llanidloes.

Special Constable Mark Ingram, known as ‘Sparky’, was presented with a long service medal at an awards ceremony last Friday, October 20. He volunteered every weekend for the past 10 years to police the communities of Llanidloes and surrounding districts, while also working as a delivery office manager for Royal Mail in Aberystwyth.

“The whole day was overwhelming, I couldn’t believe it to be honest,” said Mark.

“I attended with my family. The event was fantastic and so professionally run.

“I was taken aback by so many of the comments, particularly from Huw Edwards who was hosting the event.

“When you hear such lovely comments it stops you in your tracks. Obviously I had never dreamed of this when I started, it was about giving back to the community to be honest.

“I’m from Llanidloes and my parents and brother still live there so it was great to be able to put something back in.

“It has made me think again to be honest, I’ve been told to hang on to my warrant card just in case I change my mind, but for the time being I’ve finished. You never know.

“I’d really like to thank PC104 Rob Gallier and PC546 Andrew ‘AJ’ Jones, who were my two mentors for 10 years and I worked with one or the other of them every day. They always looked after me when the going got tough.”

Llanidloes Town Councillor and Powys County Councillor Gareth Morgan paid tribute to the “open and friendly” officer, who he says will be greatly missed on the streets of the town.

Cllr Morgan, said: “I know him personally as many people do in Llanidloes. He’s an excellent police officer and he will be sorely missed.

“Being born and bred in Llanidloes he has personal relationships with many people and he really has those excellent interpersonal skills which are so important in that job.

“He knows the community inside out and it will be a great loss to no longer see him working here.”

Colleagues at Dyfed-Powys Police also added their congratulations, Divisional Commander, Superintendent Jon Cummins said: “It was fantastic to see Mark gain a long service award today. Thank you for your service.”

Deputy Chief Constable Darren Davies said: “Amazing dedication, huge admiration for such commitment from a volunteer. Outstanding.”