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A Leicestershire Police “role model” has been awarded a Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) in this year’s birthday honours list.
Chief Inspector Manjit Atwal will be awarded her medal later this year for her dedication to the job and support shown to others in a career spanning more than 24 years.
Nominated for being a “truly inspiring officer in policing”, Manjit joined the force in 1996 as a mum to two small children and a drive to do something for herself.
In her time she has worked in 18 different areas of policing – including neighbourhood policing, youth offending, operational planning, intelligence gathering and counter terrorism. She is also a nationally trained hostage and crisis negotiator.
Until July 2019 she had spent more than two years as the Commander of the City Neighbourhood Policing Area before taking up roles working with partners to help tackle and prevent serious violent crime.
Alongside her career Manjit is also Chair of the Sikh Police Association and an active part of the Women’s Inclusive Network.
She has been highlighted as an “exemplary advocate for those under-represented in policing” – providing coaching and mentoring to a number of officers through promotion and personal development programmes.
With a number of accolades already to her name, including Student Officer of the Year, Beat Bobby of the Year and Asian Community Person of the Year, Manjit is no stranger to winning awards.
But this latest achievement is not only an honour Manjit could never have dreamed off but it also left her totally speechless when she found out the news.
She said: “I was totally shocked and speechless when I found out I was to be awarded a QPM. It is such an honour and I feel truly grateful to have even been nominated, especially when I think of all the amazing people who deserve recognition for the incredible work they do.
“I have been fortunate to work with so many talented and committed people across my many years in policing and my achievements have only been possible because of the fantastic teams I have been a part of.
“It sounds like a cliché but policing was something I’d always wanted to do from a young age growing up in Derbyshire. I’d seen a female Asian officer working in the city centre and I thought ‘I’d like to do that’.
“I’m so grateful for all the opportunities my career so far has given me, including this incredible honour and I look forward to see where the next few years will take me.”
Alongside Manjit, former Leicestershire detective Colin Stott has also been awarded a QPM for his instrumental role in the development of the UK policing’s response to serious and organised crime as the former national coordinator of the Regional Organised Crime Units (ROCU).
Recently retired Detective Chief Superintendent, Colin began his career in Leicestershire where early in his service he was involved in the development of what is now known as evidence based policing – where evidence is used to inform and challenge policies, practices and decisions.
During his time in force he was also Director of Intelligence and Head of Professional Standards. He also played a pivotal role in the development of the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU).
The pair are among 19 officers, including two special constables, across the country who have been recognised.
Chief Constable Simon Cole said: “The whole force is thrilled to learn of the honours of two of our team.
“Manjit has led the way on so many policing issues and has been instrumental in working with local communities, especially through our Sikh Police Association. She really is a role model to so many colleagues across the force.
“Colin had a distinguished career as a detective within the force and we are delighted that this, coupled with his national work, has seen him also rewarded with a QPM.”