Police chiefs honoured in New Year Honours

HONOURS: Durham Police Chief Constable Jon Stoddart (left) and Temporary Chief Constable of Cleveland Police Jacqui Cheer
HONOURS: Durham Police Chief Constable Jon Stoddart (left) and Temporary Chief Constable of Cleveland Police Jacqui Cheer

TWO polilce chiefs are celebrating today after being included in the New Year Honours List.

Chief Constable Jon Stoddart, of Durham Police, will collect an OBE for his services to the police - while Temporary Chief Constable of Cleveland Police, Jacqui Cheer will receive the Queen’s Police Medal.

Meanwhile, Denise Rowland, former head of department at New College Durham, who lives in Peterlee, is set to receive an MBE for her services to further education.

Mr Stoddart, who has been Chief Constable since 2005, spoke of his “surprise” and “delight” at being included.

The 52-year-old dad-of-one joined the police in 1982 and has also worked for the force in Durham and Lancashire.

Mr Stoddart, who lives in Whitley Bay, is a member of the Association of Chief Police Officers’ Crime Committee and recently led the independent review of Operation Weeting, the Metropolitan Police investigation into the illegal phone hacking scandal.

He said: “I’m surprised and delighted, and feel this honour is a reflection of the esteem with which Durham Constabulary is held at the highest level.

“This is more about the force than me, which is exactly how it should be.”

Temporary Chief Constable Jacqui Cheer took over the reigns at Cleveland Police after the arrests of Sean Price and his assistant Derek Bonnard earlier this year.

They were questioned as part of Operation Sacristy, an investigation into the alleged corruption in Cleveland Police Authority.

Mrs Cheer, who led the operation into the Suffolk Strangler, which resulted in the conviction of Steve Wright who murdered five young women in Ipswich, was appointed Chief Constable of Suffolk Police in 2007.

Mrs Cheer described her current role as the “biggest challenge” she has faced in the service.

She said: “I am very surprised and delighted to receive this award, especially at this time when my family are adjusting to me being away from home so often.

“This award has been achieved with their support throughout my career and the support of great people that I have worked with in the last 27 years.”

Denise Rowland, 65, said she was “stunned” to be included on the list to receive an MBE.

The mum-of-two, who lives with husband James, 65, a teacher, had not even told her family about the award until the list was released.

She said: “I felt almost numb at first when I found out.”

As well as being head of the school of early years and the health and social care department at New College Durham, in Durham City, Mrs Rowland was formerly the national chief executive for care courses and has worked in Norway, Germany and Denmark.

She added: “I have always had a huge passion for the importance of post-16 education and in the quality of what young people can achieve.”

Meanwhile, veteran funnyman Ronnie Corbett is to receive a CBE for his services to entertainment and charity.

British golfers Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke both have another reason to celebrate after winning their first major championships this year, McIlroy will be awarded an MBE and Clarke an OBE.

Television host Lorraine Kelly will receive an OBE for services to charity and the Armed Forces and former Aston Villa chairman Doug Ellis is knighted for his charitable services.