By Harriet Ernstsons Monday 31 December 2012 Updated: 31/12 12:08
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 in 2013, 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 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 the 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.
"This nomination received unprecedented and wholehearted support from a wide range of local, regional and national organisations and partners, who all wished to join with me in showing their appreciation for the outstanding work that he does.
"As a force, we are very proud of his achievements and this honour is richly deserved."
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