A POLICE chief has been praised for his role in developing the next generation of officers as he was presented with an award last week.

Chief Superintendent Gilbert Houalla, Head of Neighbourhood Policing and Partnerships at Thames Valley Police, was handed a plaque from the Institute of Professional Policing at Buckinghamshire New University.

It was to recognise the "outstanding contribution" the former Wycombe Area Commander has made to BNU, and its students studying the Foundation Degree in Policing.

Stuart Norton, Director of the Institute, said: "Gilbert's lectures and contributes in a variety of ways that are always relevant and topical, and he clearly values greatly the work he carries out at Bucks New University.

"We are very pleased and proud to recognise his contribution with this award.

"Gilbert's relationship with BNU has been long-standing and has developed immensely since the Institute of Professional Policing was set up in 2012.

"His commitment to the development of evidence-based policing, research, and how this translates into the classroom as well as practically is inspirational to students and staff alike."

Ch Supt Houalla, a visiting BNU lecturer, said he was "very proud" of the award and hopes to help boost the Wycombe-based university’s profile around the country.

He said: "BNU is a considerable national player in training and developing our future police officers and the partnership between us is mutually beneficial.

"To gain an award for doing something which I enjoy is a great accolade. It is unexpected but a pleasure to have received the award and I am very proud.

"I try as much as I can to support BNU with its work, including attending open days and conversion events to attract new students and illustrate the great benefits of studying here.

"I have a great affinity for the university and I always will and I am now looking forward to helping it become an even more substantial player nationally."

Chief Inspector Colin Seaton, Wycombe’s Deputy Area Commander, said Ch Supt Houalla was the "driving force" behind developing TVP’s excellent relationship with BNU.