Northumbria Police chief constable Winton Keenen named in New Year Honours

The man at the top of Northumbria Police has been honoured by the Queen for his work to transform the force.

Friday, 31st December 2021, 10:40 pm

Chief Constable Winton Keenen has been awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for distinguished service in the New Years honours list announced today.

He said he was ‘deeply humbled and extremely proud’ at the award: “I consider this honour to be something that represents the commitment and hard work of all those dedicated members of Northumbria Police, who must share this recognition for the way they go about ensuring we provide the very best service possible to the communities we are so privileged to be a part of here in the North East,” he said,

“On a personal note, I am deeply humbled and extremely proud to receive the award.

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Chief Constable of Northumbria Police Winton Keenan

“When I started my policing career, some 36 years ago, like those around me, I wanted to make a difference to people’s lives and I believe, as a Force, that is what we seek to do every single day – I am extremely proud to work alongside exceptional officers, staff and volunteers.

“I would like to take the opportunity to thank those like-mined people I have had the pleasure to work alongside and all of those colleagues across our partner agencies who contribute so positively to our region.

“I also wish to express my sincere and grateful thanks to our wide, rich and diverse communities – as it is them who truly make this region what it is and it is they, in reality, who have made my career so worthwhile.”

The official announcement confirming the award, states Chief Constable Keenen “has deliberately and successfully led Northumbria Police to achieving the very highest levels of public-confidence and citizen safety; as well as becoming the most representative, inclusive and most wellbeing focussed the Force has ever been”.

Mr Keenen joined Northumbria Police in 1985 and apart from a period on deployment to Iraq as the first Contingent Commander of UK Civilian Police Officers at the end of the Gulf War, has remained with the force since.

He has held a number of roles, including specialist investigations where he investigated more than 20 homicides and tackled serious and organised crime.

The nomination says: "He has deliberately and successfully led Northumbria Police to achieving the very highest levels of public-confidence and citizen safety; as well as becoming the most representative, inclusive and most well-being focused the force has ever been,” it says.

"He has created strong relationships with external partners that have benefited the way in which not only Northumbria Police functions but also the local area and people. He is well-known across the North East for his drive and determination to deliver policing services that retain community engagement as their main focus.”

When Mr Keenen assumed the role of Chief Constable, he vowed to create a more open, transparent and inclusive force.

"Under his leadership the force has delivered on these commitments and Northumbria Police is ranked by the Crime Survey for England and Wales as first out of all the 43 UK forces for the confidence its communities have in it,” says the nomination.

It adds that improving relations with the community has paid off during the Covid pandemic: “The last 12 months have been testament to the effectiveness of these relationships that were established during ‘good times’ and proven invaluable during a time of crisis."

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