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Met officers recognised in 2019 Queens Birthday Honours

News   •   Jun 08, 2019 09:00 BST

Met officers and staff and have received Queens Birthday Honours accolades for their achievements and long service in policing, and charity work.

The recipients of honours from Her Majesty the Queen were confirmed on Friday, 7 June.

Commissioner Cressida Dick said:
“I would like to congratulate all of the colleagues whose remarkable achievements, both in their professional and personal lives, have been recognised by Her Majesty The Queen. These are special accolades that they and their families and loved ones can take great pride in for years to come.

"The awards reflect a huge variety of contributions in many different aspects of policing in London and beyond. In addition, there are officers whose contributions to charity work and fundraising have been extraordinary and inspirational.

"This is a snapshot of the brilliant people working across the Met, and I am incredibly impressed and proud."

+ Inspector Gary Byfield, of South SN - OCU, has been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

Gary, who has 32 years’ service with the Met, has been supporting the families of police officers who have been killed in the line of duty for around 20 years.

He dedicates a lot of his free time to supporting families following deaths on duty, providing emotional and practical support, helping them through both the legal and grieving processes over many years.

Gary has participated in both the USA and UK Police Unity Tour cycle rides over the past 13 years.

The UK Police Unity Tour, which he co-founded in 2013, has raised in excess of £500,000 for charity Care of Police Survivors (COPS) UK. Gary has himself raised around £275,000 through various fundraising efforts and events.

Described as “an exemplary ambassador for UK policing”, he has also been integral to establishing an effective support network between British and American families who have lost someone.

Inspector Byfield said: “I am honoured that I have been awarded the MBE for supporting families through COPS and UK Police Unity Tour that have lost police officers in the line of duty. I want to dedicate this award in the memory of all those officers that have paid the ultimate sacrifice whilst serving in the Police.”

+ Jeff Hancock, of MetCC, has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for his dedication to charity work.

He has raised over £100,000 for 64 different charities including GOSH, Cancer Research UK, Marie Curie, Help for Heroes, Poppy Appeal, Neuroblastoma Alliance UK, and Child Victims of Crime UK.

Jeff, who joined the Metropolitan Police in 1991, has raised more than £30,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) through ‘Sweets for Life’. This has been recognised by the Hospital who gave a painting by one of the Children receiving care at the hospital in recognition of the amount raised and this is on display at MetCC Hendon

Following the untimely passing of a friend and colleague, he was inspired to organise a 30-mile charity walk to raise funds for charity Marie Curie. This has become an annual fundraiser, now in its Ninth year, which has raised nearly £11,000 to date.

He also organises charity golf days, fundraising collections, dress-down days and bake sales for a range of good causes – all in his own time.

Jeff said: “I am truly humbled by this award. I have never looked for recognition for what I do as it has always been about the charities and those they support. This is an incredible honour and I am very grateful for all those who have supported me over the years and this is also recognition for the invaluable part they have played as well.”

+ Acting Detective Sergeant Chris Davison, of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command (SO15), has been awarded a Queen’s Police Medal.

A/DS Davison was nominated for playing a pivotal role in the successful management of evidence from almost every major counter-terrorism investigation since 2005, when he was seconded to work on one of the scenes of the 7/7 terror attack in London.

He has been at the forefront of delivering London’s Counter Terrorism crime scene management, victim identification, and evidence recovery.

A/DS Davison is credited as having driven excellence and national development of capabilities through first hand delivery to mentoring of the next generation of CT Exhibits Officers and the development of multi-discipline Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) scene analysis, sharing his knowledge from live deployments.

He assisted in the Alexander Litvinenko murder inquiry in 2006; the Westgate attack in Nairobi, Kenya in 2013; the terror attack in Tunisia in 2015 in which 30 British citizens were murdered; the inquiries into the Westminster and London Bridge terror attacks and the Grenfell Tower fire all in 2017; and the Salisbury Novichok investigation in 2018.

A/DS Davison said of the honour: “I am both proud and humbled to receive this award. My work is now and has always been a team game and without my colleagues both new and old, I would not be in this position today.

“I have served as part of the Anti-Terrorist Branch and latterly the Counter Terrorism Command for many years and seen many things. Never did I think many years ago as a uniformed PC that I would be privileged to do the things I do with some of the most professional Police Officers and Staff in the Met.”

A/DS Davison joined Sussex Police in 1991 and held several roles there before transferring to the Met in 2003.

+ Commander Stuart Cundy has been awarded a Queen’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service.

Commander Cundy, from the Met’s Specialist Crime commands, led the police response on the night of the London Bridge terrorist attack in June 2017. Less than two weeks later, he took responsibility for the police response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy, where over 70 people lost their lives. He continues to lead what is one of the largest, most complex investigations undertaken by the Met in recent years, and has ensured the bereaved families and survivors have been at the heart of the recovery operation and police investigation.

Commander Cundy has spent most of his policing career investigating major and serious crime in London; he is also the national police lead for homicide investigation and family liaison.

Through his compassionate leadership he has supported and worked with investigators, family liaison officers and voluntary organisations across the UK to improve and secure families’ trust in major crime investigations.

He joined the Met in 1994, and moved to Surrey Police as Assistant Chief Constable in 2013 before returning to the Met in 2016.

Commander Cundy said: “It’s an incredible privilege, but most of all extremely humbling to be recognised and awarded the Queen’s Police Medal.

“I joined policing with a belief in fairness and justice, and to serve others. I’ve been fortunate to work with so many exceptional colleagues and had the incredible support of my family.

“This recognition is particularly poignant for me as we approach the anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, and remember all those who have been so deeply affected.”

+ Commander Jane Connors, head of Public Order branch and MetCC, was awarded a Queens Police Medal (QPM).

Commander Connors is one of the Met’s most experienced Public Order officers, having previously headed up the Taskforce team and risen through the ranks in frontline borough policing.

She had a key strategic role in the response to the 2017 Westminster terror attack, and has also coordinated major protection operations for senior international government figures, as well as taking a leading role in preparing for major events such as the Notting Hill Carnival, and the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London.

Throughout her career, she has been a champion for gender equality and promoting a culture of diversity and inclusion in the traditionally male-dominated Public Order command.

Commander Connors said: “I am genuinely surprised and absolutely thrilled to have received such a huge honour.

“I have served in the Met for 26 years and I count myself very lucky to have had had so many great opportunities and worked with so many fantastic people. It’s a real privilege to have been awarded this QPM.”

+ Former Police Constable Stephen Hicks has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to young people in Enfield.

PC Hicks, who joined the Met in 1991, was instrumental in strengthening relationships between police and young people in Enfield.

To this end, he formed Operation Crest, aimed at increasing awareness of serious youth violence, knife crime, gang awareness and child sexual exploitation.

He presented at schools to over 3,200 children, and his unique approach has been emulated by other forces.

Praised for his energy and enthusiasm, he was also the lead for the Enfield Junior Citizens Scheme, developed to support young people as they go from primary to secondary School. These workshops are attended by around 4,000 children a year.

This was all separate from his police role; he was the dedicated Officer for the Borough’s Pupil Referral Unit in Enfield. He retired from the Met in May this year.

Mr Hicks said: “I’m honoured and thrilled to have been awarded the BEM. I’ve enjoyed trying to help and support the young people of Enfield.

“It can be hard for young people to make the right choices, with so many pressures and temptations around them.

“It’s so rewarding when a young person comes up to you and tells you ‘you probably don’t remember me, but I was at one of your presentations, and it really helped me to make the right decisions and I’m now I’ve got a place at university’.

“I’d also like to thank those that nominated me and supported me in the work. I’m truly grateful.”

+ Detective Chief Inspector Nick Palmer, formerly of SO15 Counter Terrorism Command and now with National Counter Terrorism Policing, has received a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to British nationals overseas and services to justice.

DCI Palmer was the investigative police liaison officer supporting the Tunisian Police and National Guard following the terrorist attack in Sousse in June 2015.

Spending three years in Tunisia, DCI Palmer provided invaluable assistance to gather evidence, identify suspects, mentor Tunisian law enforcement and ensure a thorough investigation. He also established a close relationship with Tunisian law enforcement and judiciary that allowed them to work with UK Police.

He was able to draw on the experience gained during his deployment to Egypt in a similar liaison role following the 2005 Sharm-El-Sheikh hotel bombings, and his involvement in UK efforts to work with the Algerians following the 2013 terrorist attack in In Amenas.

DCI Palmer’s work helped expedite the investigative and coronial processes, introducing investigative methods and technology not usually at the disposal of Tunisian law enforcement.

The relationships he built have endured and continue to help in the ability of the UK Police to work effectively with the Tunisian authorities and to combat the ongoing threat of terrorism in the region.

+ Robin Wilkinson, the Met’s Chief of Corporate Services, has been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), for services to policing.

Robin joined the Met in 2012, after stints at the Royal Air Force, Home Office, MoJ and then for ten years in the Prison Service, mostly as HR Director.

He leads over 1,200 staff and sets the long-term strategy for the Met's corporate services - including HR, finance & commercial, transformation, property, media, strategy, legal - and has been the driving force behind efficiency reforms and investment programmes across the Met.

Robin has led the work on improving representation in policing in the Met, from London-only officer recruitment to second language campaigns, with diversity across the force having increased.

He is a keen musician and was an RAF bandsman. He has been bandmaster of the Claygate Scout and Guide band since 2001, comprising 50 young musicians who perform at national and international events.

Robin said: “I have the privilege of leading and working with so many hugely talented and professional colleagues, who work tirelessly to support front line policing. I am humbled to receive this honour, but for me it simply reflects the dedication to public service of all staff colleagues in the Met, and the important part they play in keeping London safe for all.”