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West Mercia Police has received the Ministry of Defence’s Gold Award for its commitment to helping current and former members of the Armed Forces.

The force has been awarded in the MOD’s Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS). The Gold Award represents the highest badge of honour available to organisations that employ and support those who serve, veterans and their families.

West Mercia Police originally signed the Community Covenant in 2012. In 2014 this was superseded by the Armed Forces Covenant (AFC) and so in 2018 the force re-signed.

In signing the AFC the force is demonstrating its commitment to treating service personnel and their families with fairness and respect, and recognising their dedication and sacrifice in serving our country.

The force employs quite a number veterans – anyone who has served in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces at any time including National Servicemen, Regulars and Reserves – as police officers and staff. It also has a Reservist Policy in place to support its employees.

West Mercia Police was awarded the Silver ERS Award by the MOD in 2017 and yesterday (Tuesday) received the Gold Award at a ceremony in London – one of only four forces nationwide to have received this accolade. Assistant Chief Constable Martin Evans and Detective Inspector Martin Brown attended the event on behalf of the force. DI Brown is also a Warrant Officer in the Army Intelligence Corps reserves.

Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: “This prestigious award celebrates the advocacy and support that the police give to the armed forces community. It was an honour to attend this event, and celebrate the outstanding work of West Mercia Police, working with the armed forces to recognise the significant contribution service personnel make.”

Speaking about the recognition, Assistant Chief Constable Martin Evans, said: “We are proud of the work we are doing to live up to the Armed Forces Covenant pledge and are delighted to be recognised by the Ministry of Defence in this way. It was an honour to receive the award on behalf of our force.

“Supporting and employing current Armed Forces personnel and veterans is a key part of our pledge to protect communities from harm.

“The skills and experience those with an Armed Forces background develop during their military service – such as problem-solving, leadership and working under pressure – are ideal for a number of roles within the force and we are proud to count them among our employees.

“This award is a wonderful achievement and I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in getting us to this stage.”

Issued: Wednesday 13th November 2019