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Merseyside Police officers and staff receive Royal Honours at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle

1 month ago

Merseyside Police officers and staff receive Royal Honours at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle
Chief Constable Serena Kennedy KPM

The honours were presented to officers and staff by the Princess Royal

This week, officers and staff from Merseyside Police, including Chief Constable Serena Kennedy, received Royal honours at Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace, celebrating their exceptional contributions to policing.

On Wednesday, 17 April, Andy Duignan was presented with the King’s Police Medal at Windsor Castle, recognised for his outstanding professionalism and expertise in firearm investigations.

Andy played a pivotal role in reducing firearms discharges to their lowest levels in two decades, helping Merseyside Police to be recognised as national best practice  from the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS).

The same day, Special Chief Inspector Laura Hart was honoured with the King’s Police Medal at Windsor Castle.

Andy Duignan

As the most senior female volunteer in Merseyside Police, Laura has been instrumental in enhancing officer skills and promoting opportunities for female Special Constable officers.

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. 

Meanwhile, News and Campaigns Manager Donna Dawber received an MBE for Services to Policing at Buckingham Palace on Friday 19 April.

Laura Hart
Laura Hart

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.

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.  

Donna Dawber
Donna Dawber

The KPM given to Chief Constable Serena Kennedy at Windsor Castle today (Tuesday 23 April) was awarded for her long-term commitment to policing throughout her career, which started at Greater Manchester Police in 1993.

It also recognises the regional work that Serena undertook for Merseyside Police as both Deputy Chief Constable and Chief Constable leading the co-ordinated local response during the Covid pandemic, which included various partners from Public Health England, each of the five local authorities, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and North West Ambulance Service.

Serena was also recognised for driving improvements in wellbeing for officers and staff across the force, which is seen as best practice nationally. This work has included the introduction of one of the first clinical psychologists into the Occupational Health department to support officer wellbeing, particularly following tragic and traumatic events.

The citation acknowledges some of the challenges faced by the Chief Constable including the bombing at Liverpool Women’s Hospital and the fatal stabbing of 12-year-old Ava White, both in November 2021, and her leadership and public reassurance following those tragic events. 

Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan KFSM and Chief Constable Serena Kennedy KPM
Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan KFSM and Chief Constable Serena Kennedy KPM

Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said:

“It was a wonderful experience to visit Windsor Castle and accept the King’s Police Medal, and I was delighted to share the moment with my family whose support over many years has been tremendous.

“At the forefront of my mind when I received the medal was the hard work put in by officers, staff and volunteers across Merseyside every day. Their dedication to keeping the public here safe ensures that Merseyside Police is one of the best performing forces in the country.

“It is their hard work that has been recognised, and I am very proud to lead such a professional, dedicated, and passionate workforce.

“It’s wonderful to have seen Andy, Laura and Donna all honoured this week – their commitment over many years has been unwavering and I’m so pleased they and their families have been able to enjoy richly deserved trips to Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.

“It was also a great pleasure to share the day with my friend and colleague Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan, who received the King’s Fire Service Medal at the same ceremony. We work extremely closely with Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service at incidents and in the planning of events, and his award is a testament to both his inspirational leadership and the commitment of firefighters and staff right across Merseyside.”

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Chief Executive Sue McTaggart said: “On behalf of everyone at the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, I’d like to extend my warmest congratulations to the Chief Constable and Donna, Laura, and Andy on these well-deserved honours.

“They have all made an outstanding contribution to policing and have served our communities with commitment and dedication. It’s fantastic to see their service being recognised in this very special way.”

For more info on Merseyside Police click here.

For the latest news in Liverpool click here.

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