IT is not an easy time to become a police officer. Budgets are tight, criminals are cunning, and cases are complex.

And in recent times, there have been challenging situations such as at Gatwick airport, and the ongoing battles against antisocial behaviour and drugs in Brighton and Hove.

So attending the Brighton and Hove Divisional Awards yesterday offered a rare glimpse into what life is like on the right side of the thin blue line.

We often write about defendants in court, but we don't always hear the stories of the dangers faced to bring them to justice.

There were countless examples of bravery and courage on display yesterday, and no doubt many more cases that did not get a mention.

What is also striking is that what can often seem a more mundane call out can quickly escalate into a situation where lives of the public are in danger, and lives of officers too.

There were stories of officers tackling knife-wielding suspects, stepping in to help their buddies in danger, and also racing into difficult scenes to save other people's lives,..just in the nick of time.

And it was not only the police to thank, there were inspiring stories that included the general public.

We learned about children Francesca and Oliver who foiled a suspect in Hove, and we also learned about retired volunteers driving police vehicles late on weekends to save time for officers.

Their examples reveal some of the best values in society, helping others and serving one another, and should be applauded.