Queen's Police Medal

The Queen's Police Medal (QPM) is awarded to police officers in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth of Nations, for gallantry or distinguished service. It was created on 19 May 1954, when it replaced the King's Police and Fire Services Medal (KPFSM), which itself replaced the King's Police Medal (KPM) in 1940. The KPM was introduced by a Royal Warrant of 7 July 1909,[3] initially inspired by the need to recognise the gallantry of the police officers involved in the Tottenham Outrage.[4]

Queen's Police Medal
Politiemedailles van het Verenigd Koninkrijk Elizabeth II
Queen's Police Medals for Gallantry (left) and Distinguished Service (right)
Awarded by United Kingdom and Commonwealth of Nations
EligibilityMembers of the Police Force
Awarded for"acts of exceptional courage and skill at the cost of their lives, or [exhibiting] conspicuous devotion to duty"[1]
StatusCurrently awarded
Established7 July 1909 (as King's Police Medal)
Order of Wear
Next (higher)George Medal (QPM for Gallantry)
British Empire Medal (QPM for Service)[2]
Next (lower)Queen's Fire Service Medal, for Gallantry (QPM for Gallantry)
Queen's Fire Service Medal, for Distinguished Service (QPM for Service)[2]
RelatedFormerly awarded as King's Police Medal (1909–1940), King's Police and Fire Services Medal (1940–1954)
Queens Police Medal (Gallantry) UK
Queens Police Medal for Merit

QPM ribbons for Gallantry (left) and Distinguished Service (right)


King's Police Medal

Kings Police Medal for Gallantry 1911
King's Police Medal awarded by George V (1910 to 1936)

The original KPM, despite its name, could also be awarded to members of recognised fire brigades. It was originally intended that the medal should be awarded once a year, to no more than 120 recipients, with a maximum of: 40 from the United Kingdom and Crown dependencies; 30 from the dominions; and 50 from the Indian Empire. More could be awarded in exceptional circumstances. The ribbon was to be "an inch and three-eighths in width, [...] dark blue with a narrow silver stripe-on either side". Those who received further awards of the medal were to wear a silver bar on the ribbon in lieu of a further issue of the medal, or a rosette where the ribbon alone was worn.[3] Initially recipients were required to have shown:

(a) Conspicuous gallantry in saving life and property, or in preventing crime or arresting criminals; the risks incurred to be estimated with due regard to the obligations and duties of the officer concerned.

(b) A specially distinguished record in administrative or detective service.

(c) Success in organizing Police Forces or Fire Brigades or Departments, or in maintaining their organization under special difficulties.

(d) Special services in dealing with serious or widespread outbreaks of crime or public disorder, or of fire.

(e) Valuable political and secret services.

(f) Special services to Royalty and Heads of States.

(g) Prolonged service; but only when distinguished by very exceptional ability and merit.[3]

Provision was also made for the forfeiture of the award in the event that a recipient was later convicted of a criminal offence.[3]

Minor amendments to the warrant were made on 3 October 1916.[3] On 1 October 1930, changes were made to the forfeiture provisions, no longer specifying grounds for forfeiture, but also allowing the medal to be restored again.[5] In the 1932 New Year Honours list, a distinction was made signifying only some of the medals were being awarded for gallantry.[6] On 27 December 1933, the warrant was officially amended to introduce distinctions as to whether the medal was awarded for gallantry or for distinguished service, by adding an appropriate inscription to the reverse of the medal, and adding a central red stripe to the ribbon for gallantry awards. Both types of award adopted the current ribbon design, with a further silver strip in the middle of the ribbon. The award criteria were changed so recipients had:

either performed acts of exceptional courage and skill or exhibited conspicuous devotion to duty; and that such award shall be made only on a recommendation to Us by Our Principal Secretary of State for the Home Department.[7]

In 1936, amendments of 25 May gave greater provision for territories to opt to award their own equivalent medals.[8] Further minor amendments were made on 15 December.[9]

King's Police and Fire Services Medal

On 6 September 1940, the name was changed to the King's Police and Fire Services Medal to better reflect the eligibility of fire service personnel.[3][10] There was no longer any limit on the number to be awarded in one year.[3]

Queen's Police Medal

In a warrant of 19 May 1954 the current version of the medal, named the Queen's Police Medal was introduced;[11] at the same time a separate medal for the fire service was created, the Queen's Fire Service Medal.[1]

Between 30 December 2009 and 12 June 2011, the medal was awarded to 71 officers in England and Wales.[12]

The most common form of the current award is the Queen's Police Medal for Distinguished Service. The equivalent medal for gallantry, the Queen's Police Medal for Gallantry, which could be awarded posthumously, has not been awarded since 1977, since which time the Queen's Gallantry Medal has also been awarded posthumously. Acts of gallantry in the police service normally attract the George Cross, George Medal or Queen's Gallantry Medal.

Over time, many Commonwealth countries have created their own police medals, replacing the issue of the QPM to police in those countries. For example, Australia created the Australian Police Medal in 1986. It did not supersede the QPM which continued to be awarded to Australians until 1989. On 5 October 1992, Australian Prime Minister, Paul Keating, announced that Australia would make no further recommendations for British honours.[13] The Australian Order of Wear states that "all imperial British awards made to Australian citizens after 5 October 1992 are foreign awards and should be worn accordingly".[14]

Post-nominal letters

Recipients may use the post-nominal letters QPM, QPFSM, QFSM, KPM or KPFSM, as appropriate, although the right to use these was only granted officially on 20 July 1969.[15]

Description of current medal

  • The circular "silver" medal is 36 mm in diameter.
  • On the obverse is a profile of The Queen.
  • The reverse depicts a figure holding a sword and shield. The words For Distinguished Police Service or For Gallantry are inscribed around the edge of the reverse side.
  • The ribbon's colours consist of three silver stripes and two wide blue stripes (order: silver, blue, silver, blue, silver). For the Gallantry award, a thin red stripe runs through each silver stripe.

See also


  1. ^ a b "No. 40196". The London Gazette. 4 June 1954. pp. 3335–3336.
  2. ^ a b "No. 56878". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 March 2003. p. 3352.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "No. 28269". The London Gazette. 9 July 1909. pp. 5281–5282.
  4. ^ "An outrage that appalled a nation". BBC. 23 January 2009. Retrieved 5 February 2009.
  5. ^ "No. 33651". The London Gazette. 10 October 1930. p. 6172.
  6. ^ "No. 33785". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 1931. pp. 13–14.
  7. ^ "No. 34009". The London Gazette. 29 December 1933. p. 8426.
  8. ^ "No. 34291". The London Gazette. 5 June 1936. pp. 3578–3579.
  9. ^ "No. 34355". The London Gazette. 29 December 1936. pp. 8415–8416.
  10. ^ It's an Honour—Australia honouring Australians—Imperial Awards—King's Police and Fire Services Medal , Commonwealth of Australia, 22 January 2009. Retrieved on 4 February 2009.
  11. ^ "No. 40196". The London Gazette. 4 June 1954. pp. 3333–3334.
  12. ^ "Queens Police Medal". gov.uk.
  13. ^ A matter of honour: the report of the review of Australian honours and awards, December 1995, pp. 21–22
  14. ^ "The Order of Wearing Australian Honours and Awards" (PDF). Special Gazette No. S192. Commonwealth of Australia. 28 September 2007.
  15. ^ "Orders and Medals". The Journal of the Orders & Medals Research Society of Great Britain. 8–9: 178. 1969. The use of post-nominal letters was consolidated for the first time in the list of 1955. This has remained unchanged to the present time but will require amendment now that the holders of the various British Police and Fire Service medals have been given official permission to use the letters KPM, KPFSM, QPFSM, QPM and QFSM, to put them in order of date of inception.

External links

1987 New Year Honours (Australia)

The New Year Honours 1987 were appointments by Queen Elizabeth II to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by citizens of those countries, and honorary ones to citizens of other countries. They were announced on 31 December 1988 to celebrate the year passed and mark the beginning of 1989 in Australia

Andy Hayman

Andrew Christopher "Andy" Hayman, CBE, QPM (born 1959) is a retired British police officer and author of The Terrorist Hunters. Hayman held the rank of Chief Constable of Norfolk Constabulary and Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations at London's Metropolitan Police, the highest-ranking officer responsible for counter-terrorism in the United Kingdom. Hayman was directly responsible for the investigation into the 7 July 2005 London bombings. He has also spoken for the Association of Chief Police Officers, first on drugs policy, and later on counter-terrorism.

Arthur Lewin Alexander

Arthur Lewin Alexander (6 March 1907 – 17 April 1971) was a British police officer and was the last non-Ghanaian Inspector General of Police of the Ghana Police Service from 1 May 1958 to 8 October 1959. After returning to England, he served as secretary of the Henley Royal Regatta from 1959 to his death.He was awarded the King's Police Medal for Meritorious Service in the 1951 Birthday Honours and was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 1959 New Year Honours.Alexander was born in Hutton, Essex to Lewin Venn Alexander, a shipping agent and underwriter, and Miriam Devereux Alexander. He died in Reading, Berkshire in 1971.

Australian Police Medal

The Australian Police Medal (APM) is awarded for distinguished service by a member of an Australian police force.

The APM was introduced in 1986, and replaced the Imperial Queen's Police Medal for Gallantry and Queen's Police Medal for Distinguished Service.

Awards are made by the Governor-General, on the nomination of the responsible minister in each state or territory, and at the federal level. The total number of awards for each police force each year must not exceed one APM for every 1,000, or part of 1,000, sworn members in the force. Recipients of the Australian Police Medal are entitled to use the post-nominal letters "APM".

Cressida Dick

Cressida Rose Dick (born 16 October 1960) is a British police officer who in 2017 was appointed Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) in London.

The MPS is the largest police force in the UK, with certain national responsibilities; the Commissioner, its head, is often thought of as being the highest-ranking police officer in the UK. She is the first woman to take charge of the service, being selected for the role in February 2017 and taking office on 10 April 2017.

Previously she was a senior officer in the MPS. Dick served as acting Deputy Commissioner in the interim between Deputy Commissioner Tim Godwin's retirement and his permanent successor, Craig Mackey, taking office at the end of January 2012.

Before 2005, Dick attracted little media attention, but became well known as having been the officer in command of the operation which led to the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes. She was cleared of personal blame in a 2007 criminal trial. In June 2009, she was promoted to the rank of assistant commissioner, the first woman to hold this rank substantively.

On 22 February 2017, the Home Office and the MPS jointly announced that she would be appointed as the next Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis by Queen Elizabeth II, on the formal recommendation of Home Secretary Amber Rudd. She is the first woman to hold this rank.

Helen King (police officer)

Helen Mary King, QPM (born 26 April 1965) is a British academic administrator and retired police officer. Since April 2017, she has been Principal of St Anne's College, Oxford. Her previous career was as a police officer, serving with the Cheshire Constabulary, the Merseyside Police, and the Metropolitan Police Service. She retired from the police in 2017, having reached the rank of Assistant Commissioner.

Hugh Orde

Sir Hugh Stephen Roden Orde, OBE, QPM (born 27 August 1958) is a British police officer who was the President of the Association of Chief Police Officers, representing the 44 police forces of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Between 2002 and 2009, he was the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

Janadhipathi Police Weeratha Padakkama

The Janadhipathi Police Weeratha Padakkama ("President's Police Gallantry Medal") is awarded to police officers in Sri Lanka for gallantry or brave performance of duty. It is awarded by the President of Sri Lanka on the recommendations of the Inspector General of Police (IGP). The medal replaced the Queen's Police Medal which was awarded until Ceylon became a Republic in 1972.

Jennifer Hilton, Baroness Hilton of Eggardon

Jennifer Hilton, Baroness Hilton of Eggardon QPM, (born 12 January 1936) is a British Labour Party politician and former police officer with the Metropolitan Police. She was awarded the Queen's Police Medal in the 1989 Birthday Honours.Hilton was appointed a life peer in the House of Lords having previously served as a Commander of the Metropolitan Police in London, UK. She was elevated to the peerage on 14 June 1991 as Baroness Hilton of Eggardon, of Eggardon in the County of Dorset. She is a trustee of the Police Rehabilitation Trust.

Jim Gamble

James Gamble, QPM, is a retired Northern Irish police officer from Bangor in County Down, Northern Ireland. He is the former chief executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), a police unit affiliated to the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) in the United Kingdom. He resigned in October 2010 after the Home Secretary Theresa May's decision to merge CEOP with SOCA and other bodies into a new National Crime Agency. Mr Gamble wanted CEOP to remain independent.Before joining the Royal Ulster Constabulary as a constable, he served in the Royal Military Police. Earlier in his career he was head of the Northern Ireland anti-terrorist intelligence unit in Belfast, then Deputy Director General (with the rank of deputy chief constable) of the National Crime Squad, which in April 2006, merged into the Serious Organised Crime Agency. He was also the head of the Belfast Region of the RUC Special Branch.Gamble led the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) fight against child sex abuse. He also presided over Operation Ore. He led the work to set up the National Crime Squad's specialist response cell – the Paedophile and Online Investigation Team (POLIT). He was awarded the Queen's Police Medal (QPM) in the 2008 New Year Honours.Gamble was among six candidates shortlisted to succeed Sir Hugh Orde as Police Service of Northern Ireland chief constable. The post was vacated by Orde in late 2009. Also in the running were Bernard Hogan-Howe, then chief constable of Merseyside; Jon Stoddart, chief constable of Durham; Paul West, chief constable of West Mercia; and Matt Baggott, chief constable of Leicestershire who was the successful candidate.Gamble is now the CEO and one of the founding partners of the Ineqe Group. He is a frequent media commentator on issues related to protective services, best practice, the internet and child protection.Most recently he has been appointed as the independent chair of the City and Hackney Safeguarding Children Board and took up the post on 1 April 2013. In September 2016 the City & Hackney Local Safeguarding Children Board became the first in the country to receive an 'outstanding' judgement, following an Ofsted inspection.

John Wallinger

Sir John Arnold Wallinger (25 October 1869 – 7 January 1931) was a British Indian intelligence officer who led the prototype Indian Political Intelligence Office from 1909 to 1916. He was also the literary prototype of the spymaster of a number of Somerset Maugham's short stories. Wallinger is credited with leading the Indian intelligence missions outside India, notably against the Indian Anarchist movement in England, and later against the Berlin Committee and the Hindu–German Conspiracy during World War I. Among his more famous agents was Somerset Maugham, whom he recruited in London and sent as a secret agent to Switzerland.

Leo Dion

Chief Sir Leo Dion GCL KBE CMG QPM (born 1950) is a Papua New Guinean politician. He was the Deputy Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea from 2012 to 2017.He worked as a police officer before entering politics, and was awarded the Queen's Police Medal.Dion was first elected to the National Parliament in a by-election in 2000, for the East New Britain provincial seat. His election to the provincial seat also made him Governor of the East New Britain province, of which he was previously deputy governor. He has been re-elected continuously to the seat and governorship since then, most recently in 2012.Formerly a member of the National Alliance Party, he joined the Triumph Heritage Empowerment Party ("THE Party") prior to the 2012 general election. Following that election, Prime Minister Peter O'Neill appointed him Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Inter-Government Relations. In June 2014, Dion joined O'Neill's People's National Congress Party.Dion lost his seat to former MP Nakikus Konga at the 2017 election.

Matt Baggott

Sir Matthew David Baggott, (born 1959) is a retired senior British police officer. He was Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland from 2009 to 2014.

Neil Comrie

Murray Neil Comrie AO, APM (born 10 March 1947 in Ballarat, Victoria), known as Neil Comrie, is a former Australian police officer. He was Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police from 1993 to 2001.

Paul Condon, Baron Condon

Paul Leslie Condon, Baron Condon, (born 10 March 1947) is a retired British police officer. He was the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police from 1993 to 2000.

Peter Clarke (police officer)

Peter John Michael Clarke, CVO, OBE, QPM (born 27 July 1955) is a retired senior police officer with London's Metropolitan Police most notably having served as a Deputy Assistant Commissioner with the Specialist Operations directorate, commanding the Counter Terrorism Command.

Peter St Clair-Erskine, 7th Earl of Rosslyn

Peter St Clair-Erskine, 7th Earl of Rosslyn, (born 31 March 1958), known professionally as Peter Loughborough, is a British peer and former Metropolitan Police Commander. The Earl's lands include the world-famous Rosslyn Chapel.

Steve House (police officer)

Sir Stephen House (born 1957) is a senior Scottish police officer who is currently Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

Sue Akers

Susan Penelope Akers CBE QPM is a retired Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the British Metropolitan Police Service.

She joined the force in 1976 and was promoted by the Metropolitan Police Authority from the rank of Chief Superintendent to Commander in 2004. The posts she held also included Head of Organized Crime & Criminal Networks in the Specialist Crime Directorate.

She led Operation Weeting, a British police investigation into allegations of phone hacking in the News International phone hacking scandal, from January 2011. In July 2011, as the result of documents submitted to Operation Weeting, she took on the leadership of a related investigation, Operation Elveden. She led Operation Tuleta, a 2011–12 investigation into illegal access of private computers. Akers led police inquiries into the potential involvement of intelligence services in relation to detainees held abroad.Akers retired at the end of 2012.She was awarded the Queen's Police Medal in 2007 and was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to policing.Akers' role as a private investigator in the case of alleged rape of a schoolgirl in 2016 has been questioned. Employed by the family of the child, it was reported in The Daily Telegraph that Akers was "said to have had a number of meetings with serving officers about the case and tried to tell officers how to conduct the case. William Clegg QC, defending, also said she had asked to have access to court papers. The officer leading the investigation [...] agreed that it was 'unique' for a former Deputy Assistant Commissioner to be involved in that way."

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