A FORMER Hampshire Constabulary Superintendent, who served the county for almost three decades, will receive the King's Police Medal in 2024’s New Year's Honours List for services to policing.

Andover-born Annabel Berry, more commonly known as Bel, retired from policing in August after joining the constabulary in 1995 as a Police Constable in Petersfield.

Over her 28-year career Bel has coached, mentored and inspired hundreds of female officers and staff to reach their full potential in their chosen careers alongside her extremely busy and demanding daily work schedule.

Bel climbed the ranks in a range of roles within the force and across the county, going from response and patrol work in Petersfield to neighbourhood policing in Liphook. Bel later became a sergeant in Winchester, subsequently spending time as an inspector in Rushmoor, Portsmouth and at Strategic Headquarters before her promotion to Hart and Rushmoor’s Chief Inspector and District Commander.

The 50-year-old’s varied career saw her become a Superintendent in 2016, as well as spending 10 years as a public order commander, and more recently a Gold Commander and head of operations for not only Hampshire and Isle of Wight but Thames Valley Police too, overseeing departments including the Marine Unit and the Dog Section.

Bel’s passion for inclusivity and for empowering under-represented communities drew her to the position of lead trainer of the College of Policing’s Aspire Leadership Development Programme in 2020. The programme has been specially developed to help officers and staff from under-represented groups to progress to more senior positions within the police service and realise their full potential.

Her nomination for the KPM notes her ‘exceptional passion and commitment to developing others, with hundreds of women in UK policing and beyond who can testify that Annabel has inspired them to achieve things which they never thought possible.’

Reflecting on the honour and her work in policing, Bel said: “It has been such a lovely surprise and I didn’t expect it in my wildest dreams. I always wanted to join the police - it’s easy to do something that you love and I love seeing people flourish and succeed.

“I have delivered the Aspire course to hundreds of people from under-represented backgrounds and am proud that I have been able to help people champion themselves and build their confidence.

“I have enormous gratitude to Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary and the College of Policing for giving me the opportunity to work nationally doing something I am so passionate about and that I have found so incredibly fulfilling.

“I cannot thank my wife Tina enough for her un-dwindling support, patience and love throughout my career.”

Chief Constable Scott Chilton said: “On behalf of the whole force I would like to congratulate Annabel on her well-deserved KPM. She has been an exceptional ambassador for women in policing by coaching, mentoring and inspiring hundreds of female officers and staff, and her work nationally in driving change in this area has resulted in so many people reaching their full potential. I am delighted she has been recognised with such a prestigious honour.”

Andy Marsh, chief executive of the College of Policing, said: “It’s fantastic to hear that Bel’s work has been recognised with a KPM. This is well deserved, and I want to wish her congratulations on this achievement.

“Bel’s expertise and knowledge has been invaluable to the College of Policing, especially her work delivering the Aspire leadership development programme, which equips leaders who identify as being from a group currently underrepresented in the service with knowledge, tools, confidence, and skills to help them progress and develop within their career paths. Bel has been inspirational and had a significant impact on the careers of many senior leaders.”