Special award for dedicated beat PC

PUBLISHED: 10:27 07 March 2008 | UPDATED: 08:53 10 June 2010

A long service award has recognised the dedication of an Exmouth policeman whose two decades on the local beat have helped him devote time to a son affected by a rare heart disorder.

A long service award has recognised the dedication of an Exmouth policeman whose two decades on the local beat have helped him devote time to a son affected by a rare heart disorder.

Versatile officer Constable David Veale was joined by his family at a ceremony to receive his award after 23 years serving the Devon community.

The 48-year-old former army tank commander swiftly returned home to Devon after initial service in Cornwall when the medical needs of son Nathan, now 21, came to light.

Nathan, who is unable to work for a living due to a rare illness which has seen his heart stop beating as much as nine times in a single month, requires close attention from his family. The Veales remain on constant alert to rush him to hospital to save his life.

PC Veale, who has just returned to front line duty in the Exmouth office after stints in many district stations, said: "At first I was posted to Launceston, but we have to be near the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital for Nathan. I have got a particular pride in helping people in my own town.

"I do love the job, and I still have the same enthusiasm I had when I started."

Enthusiasm went a long way for PC Veale on his first posting in Cornwall. Within months of starting the job, the keen copper had earned a letter of commendation for a rooftop chase and arrest of a knife-wielding jewel thief.

With experience in the force Tactical Aid Group, on firearms and response teams as well as plain clothes work, PC Veale says police work has got tougher over the years.

"I think some members of the public have lost morals, and self-respect. I try to treat victims and offenders with respect and hope I can get a rapport with whoever I'm dealing, and I think local knowledge goes a long way."

The Exmouth-based response officer met wife Nathalie in 1986. The couple have four children, James, Nathan, Lucie and Ryan.

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