Officers awarded Queen's Police Medal
Two Avon and Somerset police officers appear in the New Year Honours list.
Superintendent for Bristol Andy Bennett and Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Watson have both been awarded the Queen's Police Medal (QPM) for distinguished service and gallantry.
Supt Bennett is recognised for his work tackling hate crime and bringing policing and communities closer.
He said: "I am humbled to receive this award, particularly at a time when so many are working tirelessly to help others during the pandemic. I also want to recognise those members of the community who have been prepared to take a step forward, to talk to us and help to break down barriers so we can move towards our goal of truly representing the diverse citizens of Bristol."
Much of Supt Bennett’s 30 years in policing has been spent in neighbourhood roles, working with the community, including a period as the neighbourhood inspector for the area including Ashley and St Paul's.
Supt Bennett's current role includes responsibility for neighbourhood officers across Bristol and working with partners to keep the most vulnerable in the city safe. He's also Avon and Somerset's hate crime lead, and is dedicated to the constabulary's goal of making organisation more inclusive.
ACC Watson is recognised for leading the Avon and Somerset policing response to the Covid-19 health crisis.
She said: "I always wanted to make a difference and it is an honour to serve the communities of Avon and Somerset. To receive the QPM for following my vocation makes me feel extremely grateful and proud. There are many others whose dedication and support have been key to how we have coped with policing during this pandemic, not least our communities who have given up so much to follow the regulations and guidance. I want to take this opportunity to say thank you."
ACC Watson joined Avon and Somerset Police in 1987. Her career has included developing, in partnership with the Director of Public Prosecutions, a pilot programme to tackle domestic abuse. She has also worked to improve access to drug treatment for offenders as well as liaising to improve joint working and deliver swifter justice. She's the Avon and Somerset lead for gender. This role has seen her supporting a campaign to demystify the effects of the menopause in the workplace.
Her current responsibilities include overseeing the constabulary's investigations and operations and chairing the Local Resilience Forum which brings different agencies and organisations together to plan and prepare for civil contingencies and major incidents.