A Nottinghamshire Police Sergeant is one of just 17 officers to be recognised with the Queen’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service on this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Sergeant Ian Birkin is responsible for the City of Nottingham Missing from Home Team, locating missing people and providing support to vulnerable people who go missing.
As part of this work, Sergeant Birkin has introduced a process to identify and safeguard those who are most vulnerable, including those at risk of child sexual exploitation or becoming the victim of a crime.
Sergeant Birkin, who also received the Professional Award in the Nottinghamshire Police Awards 2016, said: “It’s a privilege to be recognised with the Queen’s Police Medal. My team works tirelessly to locate and protect missing people, using a range of techniques including the use of social media appeals. For me, the most important thing is protecting the most vulnerable in society, understanding the reasons for their actions and putting safeguarding measures in place to keep them safe in the future.”
Most recently, Sergeant Birkin recognised the risks to people suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia and implemented the national Hebert Protocol in Nottinghamshire, allowing families and carers to note down key information about their loved one at any time, meaning information can be passed to officers immediately in the event of someone going missing.
Chief Constable Craig Guildford, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “It’s fantastic to see one of our officers being recognised on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. The work Ian and the team do is of the utmost importance and certainly deserves to be applauded. The commitment, tenacity and innovation that Ian shows on a daily basis make him a real credit to the force.”
Sergeant Birkin has been in his current role for the past three years and, over that time, the force has seen a 40 per cent reduction in the number of total missing reports, with a 45 per cent reduction in the number of under-18s reported missing.
Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, Nick Hurd, said: “Police officers everywhere use their knowledge and skills to keep us all safe. It is a pleasure to see Sergeant Ian Birkin recognised for his passion and determination. I am particularly pleased that more than half of the Queen’s Police Medals continue to be awarded to rank and file police officers for their work cutting crime and keeping our communities safe.”