Steve Whitmore, a special constable in Brixton was awarded the Chris Donovan Trust Award at the station last month for his work with the Books in the Nick project.
He started it a year ago with the charity Give a Book. The aim is to give prisoners detained in all 43 of the Met’s custody suites access to more than 30 books, which they are able to take away for free.
Whitmore’s experience of lending a book to a teenager he had arrested made him realise that books can make a difference and help build relationships.
Teenagers were often held in Brixton police station for up to 24 hours without access to suitable reading materials.
The Chris Donovan Trust was started by Vi and Ray in response to the murder of their son Chris.
They help to educate people about the impact of crime on the victim, their family and wider society.
Whitmore said: “We are about to commence a three-month trial at Brixton custody suite to see the impact books, comics and magazines have on detainees’ stay in custody.
“Inside each book, markers will be placed sign-posting local charities that will focus on diverting under-17s away from knife crime, and gangs.
“We’ve just recruited our first Met Volunteer to oversee the books in the custody suite acting like a “librarian”.
“We will also be working alongside Met police cadets who will transport books donated by Lambeth’s libraries.
“So a real effective local volunteer project that is planned to be replicated Met-wide.”