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Home Breaking The Queen’s Birthday Honours have recognised eight serving and former Met officers and staff for their achievements and long service in policing

The Queen’s Birthday Honours have recognised eight serving and former Met officers and staff for their achievements and long service in policing


The recipients are as follows:

Paula Cooper, a police officer, was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM)

Susan Hill, Manager of the Specialist Operations Training Unit – British Empire Medal (BEM)

Varsha Mistry, Manager of Forensic Practitioners – British Empire Medal (BEM)

Tim Gray, former Detective Superintendent, was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM)

Constable James McAllister was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM)

Michael Wallace, a police officer, has been awarded the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM)

Vicky Washington, former Detective Superintendent and recipient of the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM)

Detective Sergeant Marc O’Shea is a member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO)

Sir Stephen House, Acting Commissioner, stated: “I am delighted that Her Majesty The Queen has recognised so many Metropolitan police officers and police staff in the Birthday Honours. They should be very proud of their dedicated service, wonderful accomplishments, and positive impact on keeping London and its communities safe in so many different ways.”

PC Since 2015, Paula Cooper has enthusiastically supported and developed over 3,700 volunteer police cadets (VPC) across London, earning her the British Empire Medal (BEM). She has ensured that the VPC has access to a diverse range of experiences and opportunities, and her drive and determination have resulted in 43 percent of the VPC being from under-represented communities and 49 percent being female, resulting in a truly diverse organisation. Her personal hours, work, and commitment have allowed the VPC to thrive.

“I am truly honoured to receive this award,” she said. I didn’t believe it at first, and I’m grateful to have a job that I’m passionate about and that makes a difference in the lives of young people. Cadets is a fantastic programme that allows young people to gain an insight and understanding of policing while also gaining valuable life experience.”

Varsha Mistry joined the Met in 1983 and has spent her career driving diversity, inclusion, and engagement within her community and the MPS through her influential role with the Metropolitan Police Hindu Association (MPHA). She was the first Indian woman to be designated as an MPS Fingerprint Expert, and she has examined crime scenes for serious crime, murder, and counter-terrorism.

Varsha has played a key role in leading inclusion and diversity in police recruitment, developing crime prevention initiatives, improving community engagement, launching fundraising projects, and organising over 200 local, national, and international events. Her enhancing a sense of belonging, drawing on gems of Hindu wisdom in striving for gender parity, building confidence and encouraging progression, while inspiring others through presentations and networking, benefits the community, officers, and staff. She inspires confidence and serves as a visible positive role model. The MPHA and MPS have grown together, striving for a more inclusive and cohesive relationship with difficult-to-reach communities, none of which would have been possible without Varsha’s hard work and dedication.

“I’m incredibly humbled by the proposers of this most kind nomination,” she said. This recognition comes as a completely unexpected and overwhelming surprise. It’s been rewarding to use Sanatan (Hindu) Dharma’s universal values to serve the Met Police and our communities while bringing them closer together.

Tim Gray, former Met detective superintendent and head of the Covert Governance unit, was in charge of advising those seeking covert activity authorization under the Investigatory Powers Act. He had a disproportionate impact on the professionalisation of this specialised and sensitive area, significantly improving standards, processes, training, and understanding among operational teams across the MPS. He built and trained a team of Operational Security Advisors who provide operational advice, risk management, and review, setting the standard at both the MPS and national levels. The MPS received no recommendations for improvement during the most recent inspection of covert authorities by the Investigatory Powers Commissioners Office – a first and incredible achievement, especially given the volume and scale of this activity in the Met. Tim was also instrumental in developing and designing the foundation training process for undercover officers across the country, which was adopted by the College of Policing. The material he developed is also the foundation for all national undercover foundation training used by UK law enforcement agencies.

He stated: “I’m overjoyed and honoured to receive the Queen’s Police Medal. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have had such an interesting and rewarding police career, working with some incredible people and leading a number of outstanding teams.”

PC James McAllister has been recognised for his exceptional contribution to public order policing in London since 2006. He has led command training for senior officers (from Inspector to Deputy Assistant Commissioner) and has earned a reputation as one of the most effective public order practitioners in the country. He was instrumental in developing the concept of Police Liaison Teams (PLTs) in protest management, and he created this role profile, which has been adopted nationally by the College of Policing. PC McAllister has consistently been operationally deployed to significant roles in the most difficult policing operations, including numerous state occasions such as the 2011 Royal Wedding and the 2012 Olympics, as well as multiple right-wing protests.

“I am humbled and extremely honoured to receive this recognition,” he said. This isn’t just my honour; it’s a testament to all of the wonderful people I get to work with. This highlights the critical work that a large number of people do in the background to support the MPS Public Order Public Cadre, who deliver plans on a regular basis to keep London safe, maintain the peace, and protect people’s rights, often in difficult and sensitive circumstances. It’s fantastic to be recognised for something I enjoy doing.”

PC Michael Wallace, a youth/community engagement worker in south London, has been recognised for his outstanding community service. Michael co-founded the award-winning national KickOff@3 football engagement initiative in 2017 to change negative narratives about young people and provide them with sporting and other opportunities that allow them to interact with police in a safe environment through sport, music, and poetry. He is the MPS Black Police Association’s Youth Lead, serving as a role model and inspiration to all police officers and staff by providing support and mentoring. Michael is also a positive voice for colleagues promoting inclusion and diversity in the police service, not only in London but nationally through KickOff@3.

“I am truly humbled to be recognised by Her Majesty in her Honours Awards, alongside other inspiring names,” he said. It gives me great pride not only as a serving Metropolitan Police Officer, but also as a community volunteer who devotes countless hours to helping young people and charities across the country.”

Vicky Washington, a former detective superintendent and the 2021 recipient of the British Association of Women Police Lifetime Achievement award, has been an outspoken advocate for the prevention of violence against women and girls for three decades. She joined in 1991 and was assigned to the Territorial Support Group (TSG), where she received surveillance training before earning an MSc in Policing Studies in 1998. She finished this work while pregnant with her first child, and she had four children between 1998 and 2003. This academic and personal experience would go on to define her legacy in safety. In 2011, as the lead for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), she pioneered work with multiple airline partners to prevent girls from being taken out of the UK. The Home Office and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office commended Operation Limelight, and its legacy is now embedded in the MOPAC annual plan.

Her leadership as International Liaison Communications Manager at the 2012 Olympics increased stakeholder engagement to 100%, and as Domestic Abuse (DA) lead, she implemented improvements in multiple categories, from victim care to reporting levels and training. She identified the potential for radicalisation in supplementary schools as the continuous improvement lead for Child Abuse Investigations, improving awareness of legislation and child protection across a range of public institutions. In 2018, she was appointed Deputy National Co-ordinator for Prevent, where she drew on a lifetime of experience to ensure holistic support for the vulnerable and their families. Furthermore, her extensive mentoring work, particularly for those from under-represented groups, has resulted in long-term partnerships and positively influenced tens of thousands of girls and young women.

“I’m delighted and honoured to receive the QPM, especially during her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee year,” she said. I am humbled to be recognised in this manner and will continue to think of all my colleagues who do such a difficult job day in and day out.”

DS Marc O’Shea has spent the last fifteen years positively and gradually shaping the relationship between the Metropolitan Police Service and the Royal Household (RH) in providing Residential Protection at Windsor Castle for Her Majesty The Queen and members of the Royal Family. He has been a driving force and instrumental in the advancement and leadership of the Windsor Operations and Events team, as well as the implementation of more robust and rigorous security measures for all events and the use of the MPS Specials Constabulary at events. Marc has put in a tremendous amount of personal effort to cultivate excellent relationships with all key partner departments as well as numerous other key stakeholders – he is simply a subject matter expert on all matters of Residential Protection at Windsor Castle. He has played a key role in the delivery of some of the most significant high-profile public events there, including multiple Royal family weddings, American presidential visits, and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the past two years have presented an unprecedented challenge to all, and Marc developed alternative operational protocols for continued service delivery in the face of resource shortages. Although he could easily have advanced up the promotion ladder, he made a conscious decision to stay in a role he enjoys and consistently exceeds his role’s expectations, exuding a “can do” attitude. He is an absolute credit to RaSP, the MPS, and Windsor Castle as a whole.

“It has been a real privilege to work with the Royal Household, and I am delighted and proud to be recognised in Her Majesty the Queen’s birthday honours list,” he said. I had some incredible experiences while stationed at RaSP and made memories that will last a lifetime.”

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