Havering police volunteer honoured for London riots work

A Havering police volunteer was able to rub shoulders with David Cameron in Downing Street as part of a special event to celebrate the role he played during the London riots.

John Ayris, 68 from Wayside Avenue, Hornchurch was the only volunteer from the Metropolitan Police to be invited to a reception at Downing Street last Wednesday January 11.

John said: “It was quite a memorable experience.

“I have never been to anything like that in my life and it was just amazing to be the only police volunteer.”

The event was also attended by police officers, firefighters and members of the London Ambulance Crew who all played a part during the summer’s disturbance.


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John was nominated to attend after clocking up more than 100 hours of volunteering in two weeks.

The grandfather of four spent his time at Romford Police station and the Havering police unit in Harold Hill making sure that all the police vehicles were fully equipped before they were sent out.

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He also helped to ensure that all the officers had food supplies before going out on duty in the capital.

He said: “I felt like a bit of a fraudster being there because there were so many people who had laid their lives down and all I did was volunteer.

“I am a fim believer in team work because I would’t be able to do anything without the support of my managers.”

The retired bank manager signed up to become a police volunteer four years ago after seeing an advert in The Romford Recorder.

He says that he feels that he is helping to give something back to his daughter and son-in-law who are both police officers.

During the riots his daughter, Tracy was part of the police investigation team and his son-in-law, Adrian Harris was also on the scene in Tottenham on the worse day of the riots and was injured when a brick was thrown at him.

John’s son, Ian also works for the Ministry of Defence and during the riots he spent three days without leaving the office.

John said: “I did it all to support my children because they are putting their lives in danger for people like me and this was a small way of saying thank you.”

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