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By Harriet Ernstsons Monday 31 December 2012 Updated: 03/01 08:53
A WEST Mercia police inspector has been recognised in the New Year's Honours List for his work safeguarding children.
Inspector Phil Shakesheff, who joined the force in 1980 aged 18 and is set to retire this year, said he was delighted to receive the Queen's Police Medal.
"The issue of missing people and in particular missing children has never been more in the public eye than it is now," he added.
"I have very much enjoyed working in this critical area of business and am pleased that I have been able to make a difference in keeping vulnerable missing people safe."
Insp Shakesheff, who is originally from Worcester, was the only police office to give evidence before the Prime Minister's Missing Task Force and at the All Party Parliamentary Group Enquiry in supporting families of missing persons.
His award citation said his evidence had directly led to several changes within national policy. He has also mentored other forces and led a Missing Person's Reduction Strategy which reduced the number of incidents and saved the force £1.2m.
Chief Constable David Shaw, who supported his nomination, added: "I am absolutely delighted that Phil has received this national honour. He is a truly outstanding police officer who is renowned nationally for his expertise in the field of missing persons. As a force, we are very proud of his achievements and this honour is richly deserved."
Also honoured for his contribution to the fight against crime was Graham Houghton who has been the link co-ordinator for the West Side Neighbourhood Watch for almost 30 years.
The 59-year-old has been awarded the British Empire Medal for his tireless work in protecting residents in St John's from the threat of burglars.
Mr Houghton said he was shocked and delighted to be honoured and paid tribute to the support of the police, Safer Worcester and other agencies who work together to tackle crime.
"I like helping people and I love doing what I'm doing," he said.
"If I can help save just one person from being burgled it's worth it."
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