Bedfordshire Police officers to be named in Queen's birthday honours for campaign to boost force's diversity

Their service to the community is being recognised with the British Empire Medal

By Clare Turner
Friday, 9th October 2020, 10:30 pm

Two Bedfordshire Police officers who drove forward work to improve diversity in the force’s recruitment have been recognised by the Queen.

Chief Inspector Mo Aziz and PC Ruth Honegan have both been awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s delayed birthday honours list.

The pair helped Bedfordshire Police recruit record numbers of police officers from diverse backgrounds.

PC Ruth Honegan (is pictured second right) and Chief Inspector Mo Aziz (is pictured third right)

Chief Constable Garry Forsyth said: “I am delighted that Mo and Ruth have been recognised for all their hard work and success.

“Their efforts were integral to ensuring people from black and Asian backgrounds felt like a career in policing could be for them.

“We have made great strides in this area in no small part thanks to Mo and Ruth.”

In 2016 just 5.7 per cent of Bedfordshire Police officers came from ethnic minority backgrounds, compared to around a quarter of residents living in the county.

Chief Inspector Aziz and PC Honegan helped launch a positive action recruitment campaign by the force to attract more candidates from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, as well as more women and those from other diverse backgrounds, such as Eastern European communities.

Chief Inspector Aziz said: “To get recognised by the Queen is a truly humbling moment and undoubtedly the highlight of my professional career.

“I am grateful to the many others who contributed to the enormous success we have achieved, as well as to everyone else who has carried forward that work to make Bedfordshire Police a truly inclusive and representative police force.”

PC Honegan added: “Receiving this honour is amazing to say the least. I am humbled and overwhelmed that my contribution to the organisation in increasing representation from diverse communities has been highlighted for such recognition."