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Merseyside Police employees recognised in New Year Honours

7 months ago

Merseyside Police employees recognised in New Year Honours
Merseyside Police King's New Year Honours

A trio of Merseyside Police staff has been recognised in the King’s New Year Honours.

Merseyside Police have announced today, Friday 29 December, that three members of staff with be recognised in the King’s New Year Honours for services to policing.

Donna Dawber, News and Campaigns Manager, has been awarded an MBE for Services to Policing. Special Chief Inspector Laura Hart and retired Detective Constable Andy Duignan have both received the King’s Police Medal (KPM), also for Services to Policing.

Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said:

“I am thrilled that Donna has been awarded the MBE in the King’s New Years Honours, and that Laura and Andy have been awarded the King’s Police Medal – all of which are very much deserved.  Their commitment and dedication reflects the hard work that goes on every day across Merseyside Police and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

Donna was recognised for her work with the media during her 23-years with the force, maximising press reach and influence to fight crime and engage communities.

Donna Dawber
Donna Dawber

She was commended for her role in supporting investigations – including five fatal shootings in 2022 – working with the news and communications team to manage the force’s media response; showing the tireless work of officers to investigate the crimes; helping to reassure the public and supporting the families of the victims. One of the victims was nine-year-old Olivia Pratt Korbel and Donna and her team handled media liaison with Olivia’s family, coordinating press interviews which had a significant impact on the community and resulted in witnesses coming forward.  

Chief Constable Kennedy said:

“Donna and the wider news and communications team work tirelessly to support victims of crime and their families, often in tragic circumstances, to ensure they feel comfortable when dealing with the media during difficult and challenging times.

“This is down to her strong contacts with the press and she has spent more than two decades fostering these relationships, harnessing their influence to promote community reassurance, assist us in our investigations and ultimately lead to criminal justice.”

Donna, 57, from Prescot, said:

“I’ve worked for Merseyside Police for 23 years in the news and comms team and I’m really honoured to be put forward for this award for doing a job I am passionate about and I know can really make a difference.

“I have seen how gun crime destroys lives and have worked with officers following major incidents, supporting families at the worst times in their lives, and developing media strategies to support SIOs in finding justice for those who have loved ones taken away from them; to encourage witnesses to come forward and to deter people from using firearms on our streets.

“My news and PR and campaigns team work exceptionally hard dealing reactively to crime that takes place on our streets and also developing campaigns to change behaviours and this award reflects the hard work they do every day, which is supported by our internal communications officers and the creative, digital and social team.

“I would like to thank my family – my daughter, Lys, sister Christine and brother-in-law Ian – who have been there for me in good and bad times and have been a huge support.”

Laura Hart
Laura Hart

Special Chief Inspector Laura Hart, 37, from Walton, is the most senior female volunteer in Merseyside Police and throughout her public service she has made a determined impact on improving officer skills, knowledge and training, exploring opportunities for female Special Constable officers.  

Ch Insp Hart has worked with the Force’s Women’s Network to ensure female officers are mentored, has identified female officers to commence acting sergeant roles and participated in a national recruitment video inspiring other females to join, contributing to an increase in female officers over 12 months. 

She has developed new opportunities not seen anywhere else in the UK enabling Specials to work in fields such as investigations, hate crime and protecting vulnerable people. 

Chief Constable Kennedy said:

“Laura works not only as a Special but also as police staff within the Criminal Justice department.  

“Her greatest strength and passion are welfare and wellbeing.  

“She routinely supports those in her care through key life and policing milestones. Laura’s dedication and commitment to voluntary public service has seen her work on average 18 volunteer hours per week which is in addition to her position as police staff.  

“Her selfless contribution over 15 years has had a clear impact on the reputation of the force both locally and nationally.”

Laura said:

“I am speechless and so proud to be recognised with the King’s Police Medal. I joined the Specials as I really wanted to make a difference and it has become a huge part of my life. So much so, I continue to work as a Special Chief Inspector alongside my role as police staff.

“Female leadership, wellbeing and training are all really important to me and I’m proud to be involved in the development of several projects which will help to provide opportunities for others.”

Andy, 54, from Formby, was commended for his professionalism, commitment and expertise regarding firearm investigations, contributing to the Force’s lowest levels of recorded firearms discharges in two decades and Merseyside Police being recognised as national best practice by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS).  He led a number of successful firearms surrender operations, helping to reduce the threat of firearms in communities.

Andy Duignan
Andy Duignan

Chief Constable Kennedy said:

“Andy’s passion and commitment, along with his extensive knowledge and expertise, is a significant reason why the force enjoys such success in our fight against the criminal use of firearms and also in terms of the recognition we receive from partner agencies and organisations. 

“His work over many years has ensured our force is recognised as best practice regionally, nationally and internationally. He is recognised as a leader in his field and his personal contribution has had immeasurable impact on the fight against Serious and Organised Crime.”

Andy, who served with Merseyside Police for 30 years and is now liaison officer at NABIS, said:

“I’m totally overwhelmed and humbled by the nomination and the award. One firearm is one too many but we have worked hard across the board to reduce the number of firearms discharges.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Merseyside Police, especially the last 12 years in firearms investigation, and I was so lucky to work with so many fantastic people.”

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell (Left) and Chief Constable Serena Kennedy (Right).
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell (Left) and Chief Constable Serena Kennedy (Right).

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell added:

“I’d like to pass on my heartfelt congratulations to Donna, Laura and Andy who have been recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours list.

“They have all made an outstanding contribution to the world of policing and to our communities and it is great to see them get the recognition they deserve.

“I can’t think of a better way to the start the new year than celebrating those who have worked tirelessly on behalf of our communities and whose dedication is showcased by these well-deserved honours.”

The trio will receive their awards at ceremonies in 2024.

For more info on Merseyside Police click HERE. For the latest news in Liverpool click HERE.

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