A GREENOCK PC has been crowned as Scotland's Police Officer of the Year.

Dedicated Constable Kirsty Boyd - known locally simply as 'PC Kirsty' - has been recognised for her 'immeasurable' contribution to the lives of young people throughout the district.

News of the accolade left her stunned because she'd no idea she'd been quietly nominated by proud boss, Inspector Julie MacDonald, until a week before she received it.

Kirsty said: "It was an email I'd received that I hadn't opened that morning, so I got a call saying I'd better come back to the office.

"I thought I'd won £25 on the Scottish Police Recreation Association lottery, but it was a bit bigger than a lottery win.

"I had to read it a couple of times.

"I was just taken aback."

The award for the highly respected officer comes as she celebrates 25 years in the police service.

She admitted: "I'm a bit overwhelmed to be honest."

Community PC Kirsty, 46, specialises in working with schools, residential units and youth clubs, providing positive guidance, advice and support to young people.

Subjects such as social media issues, drink, drugs and the 'No Knives Better Lives' campaign form part of her day-to-day work.

Inspector MacDonald said: "Kirsty has a genuine passion and real expertise in child protection which undoubtedly protects the most vulnerable children within Inverclyde.

"Her flexibility and commitment is exceptional.

"She has a reputation for excellence in her field and has secured a high standing in the community, and I am absolutely delighted that she has won this richly deserved award."

Inspector MacDonald added: "Kirsty always goes out of her way to help the young people of Inverclyde, and I am very proud to work with her and have her as part of my team."

The district's police commander, Chief Inspector Debbie Reilly, said: "We routinely look at statistics and we measure trends and numbers, but you can't measure what Kirsty does.

"How do you measure the amount of young people she's prevented from coming to the risk of harm?

"The immeasurable work means that she's invaluable and I really genuinely mean that."

PC Kirsty — who received the award at a ceremony at the Scottish Police College, Tulliallan — said: "It's nice to be awarded for a job you love doing.

"I'm absolutely over-the-moon."

Kirsty, who has two children and three stepchildren, added: "It sounds corny, but the award's putting Greenock on the map in a way.

"Everyone who works out of this police office does a superb job."