A planning enforcement officer who spends his Saturdays on patrol with the Met has been recognised in the New Year's Honours list.

John Ayers, who works for Haringey Council from Monday to Friday, was given a British Empire Medal for his 44 years of work as a part-time policeman.

Mr Ayers began his career in Tottenham and returned there after a brief spell in Enfield, but said he is lucky to still be here after being stabbed at Tottenham police station.

He said: “I wasn’t wearing a stab vest because they didn’t have them then, and I was trying to break up a fight. But another man joined in and stabbed me in the arm and chest, and stabbed the other guy too.”

He also recalled seeing someone being stoned with bricks and rocks on the street. He said: “It just sticks in my mind as such a strange thing. This man was standing there, all covered in bits of brick. It was just so strange.”

The 63-year-old, who was previously a special inspector but currently works as a special constable with the Waltham Forest Safer Neighbourhood Team, said he will remain in the force for as long as he continues to pass fitness tests.

He said: “I love helping people. Yes, I’ve sometimes got to arrest someone or give them a fine for something, but on the whole it’s all about trying to make a difference and trying to keep people safe and make the streets safer.

“Not everyone is anti-police, lots of people are very proud of our police and like to see them walking around. I do tend to walk, too, rather than drive in a car. I like to be out and about so people can come and talk to me."

Mr Ayers, who lives in Enfield, joined the special police force after being found too short to join the Met full-time when he was 18.

He said: “I was five foot six, and you had to be five foot eight. They relaxed the rules years ago, so there are officers shorted than me there now, but I’m getting older so wouldn’t join full-time. And I don’t want to be running around after 18 year olds and 19 year olds when I’m a septuagenarian."