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Our officers receive Queen's honours after recruitment campaign boosts diversity

22 Jul 2021

Two of our officers who were recognised by the Queen for their efforts to improve the force's diversity have been given their awards at a special ceremony.

On Monday (19 July) Chief Inspector Mo Aziz and PC Ruth Honegan were presented with their medals by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis during the event at the Luton Hoo.

The pair helped our force recruit record numbers of police officers from diverse backgrounds, transforming the force into one of the most representative police forces in the country.

The ceremony was attended by Vice Lord-Lieutenant Mr Chris Sharwood-Smith MBE, High Sheriff of Bedfordshire Eric Masih, Mayor of Luton Cllr Mahmood Hussain, Chief Fire Officer Andrew Hopkinson and Deputy Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst. They were joined by recipients and their family members to hear details about their achievements, which were read out by the Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets.

The recruitment campaign led by Chief Inspector Aziz and PC Honegan has been praised by the National Black Police Association, while nearly half of the country’s 43 police forces have approached our force to try and learn from the campaign.

In the first year of the campaign around 30 per cent of the new intake of officers were from ethnic minority backgrounds, with around a quarter of new recruits coming from these backgrounds the following year.

This nearly doubled the proportion of our officers from ethnic minority backgrounds, which jumped from 5.7 per cent to 10.4 per cent over two years.

Deputy Chief Constable Trevor Rodenhurst, who also attended the event, said: “It was an honour to see Ruth and Mo awarded their British Empire Medals.

“Their efforts to help transform the force into one of the most representative police forces in the country is a great achievement and one that they should be proud of.

“It is really important to us that people from all backgrounds can look at our organisation and feel that we are representative of their communities, as this is essential to build and maintain public confidence and trust.

This remains a priority for our force along with ensuring that those who join are supported to thrive and progress so that they can help to deliver and outstanding service to all our communities.”

The force is currently recruiting police officers, so if you are interested in joining to serve and protect the diverse communities of Bedfordshire, you can apply via our website HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis, said after the ceremony: “It was an absolute pleasure to meet some wonderful Bedfordshire people and present them with their British Empire Medals on behalf of HM The Queen. "Their stories were so inspiring and demonstrated how, as a county, when ordinary people pull together and look out for their neighbours, they can make a real difference to the lives of others. My sincere congratulations to all the worthy recipients.” 

 

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