POLICE granted a special wish for a 98-year-old war veteran when an officer visited him and offered to take him for a ride in a patrol car.

The ride-along came about as part of Fernhill Heath Residential Home’s ‘Wish Tree’ project.

Police visited Jack Wattis, who lives in the residential home, after hearing he spoke regularly about his own time in the police force.

Mr Wattis joined the force just before the Second World War, when he was 18. Shortly after, Mr Wattis volunteered to transfer to the Air Force to help with the war effort before returning to duty as a police officer for 35 years in Birmingham.

After retiring he worked as a gardener at Droitwich police station.

As a retiree, Mr Wattis stepped in to help when a prisoner tried to attack an officer. He later received a bravery award for his actions.

After hearing his stories, staff from the care home organised for a policeman to visit him.

Thelma O’Leary, activities co-ordinator said: “As part of our Wish Tree Project we have been working with our residents and their families to try to find something which we could arrange to make a day really special for all of them.”

PC Richard Rees from Droitwich Safer Neighbourhood Team visited the home last week, jokingly asking Mr Wattis to report the member of staff who had forgotten to buy him his favourite mint humbugs when he topped up the sweet cart.

Mr Wattis pointed to the home manager, Mike Dearn, and helped ‘arrest’ him.

PC Rees then took Mr Wattis off in a police car, with the blue lights flashing, for a drive around the area.

Kat Harris, events and community coordinator said: “Myself and a colleague only had to ask at Worcester Police Station and the next thing we knew, PC Rees from Droitwich Safer Neighbourhood Team got in touch and got it all sorted.

“PC Rees was so helpful and we cannot thank the team enough.”


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