A FARMER who has saved the life of man, stopped a raging bull and helped catch organised crime gangs is celebrating 35 years of public service.

Special Constable Michael Scott (58), who joined Northumbria Police in 1983, was thanked by Chief Constable Winton Keenen last week to mark National Volunteers Week.

Based at Bellingham Police Station, Michael has volunteered 1,361 hours as a police volunteer this past year.

His full-time job is in agriculture in the North Tyne, but he volunteered because he wanted to give back to the region he loves. “I do it because it needs doing, someone always needs help one way or another and I’m happy to be that person the community can turn to,” he said.

He has tackled disorder, stopped a raging bull from running into a crowd at Northumberland County Show, and found missing people deep in the hills of Northumberland during his time with the force.

In 1996 Michael was awarded a Chief Constable Commendation for saving the life of a 20-year-old man who had overturned his car and was trapped inside, slipping in-and-out of consciousness.

He sat with him in the car for over two hours to keep him awake, despite the fact the car was balanced on the bank of the River Tyne where it could have slipped into the river at any moment.

Michael said: “You don’t think about what could happen to you, you have a job to do and you just do it. When people need your help, they come first.”

He added that his saddest shift came with the death of his colleague PC Joe Carroll in 2006, who was killed after a prisoner he was transporting lent forward and pulled on the handbrake of the car they were in.

Michael said: “I’ll never forget that day or the moment I found out. Things like that really bring home the dangers of this line of work, I have my own family and I’m lucky enough to be a Grandad, and I do think about them when out on the job.

“But they also make me realise how important the work we do is. It’s about keeping communities safe.”

Chief Constable Keenen, who went out on patrol with Michael last week, said: “The contribution of Michael and our other volunteers is genuinely outstanding and something we couldn’t do without.”