A POLICE officer who used to carry out patrol shifts in Oswestry has been named as the UK's strongest police officer.

West Mercia Police officer DC Stuart Edwards has been a police officer across the region for 11 years, and spent time working in Oswestry back in 2011.

During his time working in the town, he was invited to compete in a local charity strongman event at Oswestry Rugby Club.

He has since competed in the 2019 UK's Strongest Police Officer competition – which he won.

At the beginning of the year, Stuart was approached and encouraged by two previous supervisors Inspector Tracy Ryan and Inspector Charlie Parker who had heard about the competition organised by Police Sport UK.

They urged Stuart to take part, so he began 16 weeks of training for the competition in March.

Speaking about the training, Stuart said: "Although this seems like a lot of time, Strongman is a brutal sport with the risk of injury extremely high due to the unnatural loads and extreme pressure the body is put through.

"This meant 50 training sessions lasting up to three hours per session and over the 16 weeks it meant I had to consume nearly 500,000 calories!"

Stuart initially won the charity Strongman event in Oswestry, but soon after was sidelined for a bit after sustaining an injury through work.

After some time out of the sport, he returned to action in 2017 when he won Shropshire's Strongest Man competition.

In the recent event, Stuart had to participate in several categories, including a truck pull, a yoke carry into farmer's walk and other weightlifting challenges.

He added: "Following the first four events, three of us were tied for first place and as usual in Strongman, it all came down to the Atlas stones, which means the fastest man to pick up and load the stones wins.

"Once the event was finished came the long wait for the winners to be announced. Last but not least, I was announced as the UK's Strongest Police Officer.

"On the day over £1,000 was raised for two charities; MIND (a mental health charity which provides help support and advice to police officers) and the Police Dependants Trust."