A MAN who says his mission is to unite people of all ethnic backgrounds amid rising tensions, segregation and fragmentation was honoured at this year's Yorkshire Awards.

Former West Yorkshire Police officer Kash Singh, of East Morton, was presented with the Richard Whiteley Award at a ceremony at the Hilton Leeds City Hotel earlier this month.

The award is not made every year but is given as a special accolade when organisers come across someone who captures the spirit of Yorkshire, like the late TV presenter Mr Whiteley.

Mr Singh set up his charity, called One Britain One Nation, in 2012 after a career in the police force. The charity promotes patriotic events which have so far attracted about 50,000 people.

He said: “I'm humbled and honoured that my work has been recognised at such a distinguished level, and I feel privileged to be associated with the name of Richard Whiteley, who was such a great Yorkshireman.

“My life has been in Yorkshire – it is a fantastic place to live and work. The people are friendly and the scenery is beautiful.

“I've created a template for my work in Bradford, and my goal is now to take it to every corner of the nation.”

Mr Singh moved to the Bradford area from Punjab with his parents at the age of six, and joined West Yorkshire Police when he was 20.

He rose to the rank of inspector and in 2006 was tasked with restoring order to the Manningham district, which had been hit by severe rioting in 2001.

An awards spokesman said: "Within 18 months Kash Singh was presiding over one of the lowest crime rate areas in the district – an achievement that won him the West Yorkshire Police Oscar, the Criminal Justice Award, third position at a national competition for outstanding police work as well as the nickname “The Famous Bollywood Inspector” among his colleagues."

Yorkshire Awards committee member, Canon Keith Madeley, said: “Kash is an outstanding individual who is making a huge contribution to the social fabric of Yorkshire and beyond.

"He's a lovely man who is passionate about the UK and he has been a force for good during his police service and now with his One Britain One Nation charity.”

Mr Singh, who is chairman and founder of the British Indian Association, said: “From an early age it was my desire to help people and make a difference, and I was always so proud to wear the Queen’s uniform.

“I want to encourage all our communities to love our nation and pull together as one people.

“When I was policing in Manningham I succeeded in getting 13,500 people on board. I think being local helped and with my Sikh background I had an understanding of the community and that made a huge difference.”

Mr Singh said he and his team of helpers at his charity now want to get people united under the national flag – not just during Jubilee celebrations or at the Olympics.

“People are shy about bringing out the flag and some people from white communities don’t do it because of how it might be perceived," he said.

“Hate crime has increased by 29 per cent, tensions are rising, but I am trying to bring out the best in all communities, to bring people together to work in the interests of our country and instil an element of hope and inspiration in future generations."