A POLICE constable who has Parkinson’s disease helped launch an awareness week into the disease.

PC Hywel Griffiths was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 15 years ago at 32 while working as an operational dog handler with Gwent Police, but with support switched to the intelligence side of policing.

And launching Parkinson’s Awareness Week at the Pierhead building in Cardiff Bay, he said: “ I can honestly claim I’ve caught more criminals with my mouse than I ever would have with my dog.

“Luckily very soon after being diagnosed I was offered the support of a Parkinson’s Nurse Specialist. She convinced me that having Parkinson’s didn’t mean the end, just a change of path through the rich tapestry of life.

“With fantastic support from my family, friends, medical support and my employers I set off on this journey, during which I have obtained a BSc Degree from the Open University and successfully changed my career path to the intelligence side of policing.”

PC Griffiths donated £600 to Parkinson’s UK from the proceeds of his poetry book entitled Poems, Parkinsons, The Police and Me at the launch of the awareness week, which runs until April 13.

Staff from the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent and the Gwent Police Force also managed to raise £1,200 for Parkinson’s UK by hosting a charity dinner dance and a cake sale at their offices.