BTP officers and staff honoured for their service by Her Majesty The Queen
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Three British Transport Police (BTP) officers and staff are to be recognised by Her Majesty The Queen as part of her Birthday Honours.
The three colleagues who have been honoured for services to policing are:
• Detective Chief Inspector Kate Forsyth, based in London, is awarded a QPM.
• Force Resources Manager Elizabeth McWhirter, based in Birmingham, is awarded an MBE.
• Detective Superintendent Gary Richardson, based in London, is awarded an OBE.
Kate Forsyth from Kent, whose last day of service with BTP after 30 years coincided with the Birthday Honours announcement, was recognised for her extraordinary leadership skills. She was praised in particular for her personal leadership following the terrorist attack at London Bridge in which she demonstrated dedication and professionalism on the night and in the days that followed. She was also commended for her unwavering support to victims of crime which was mirrored by her determination to obtain justice for victims.
Elizabeth McWhirter, who is originally from Darwen and settled in Staffordshire, has served at BTP for 15 years and has been recognised for services to policing and public safety. She played a significant role in the planning of BTP’s response throughout the Covid-19 pandemic to safeguard critical rail services. She is highly regarded within the Force and recognised as an individual who is totally committed to supporting her frontline colleagues deliver a highly visible and professional police service to the travelling public and rail staff.
Gary Richardson, who joined BTP in 2011 after 30 years’ service with the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), was recognised for his role in leading investigations into over 100 murders during his time with BTP and the MPS. His experience, determination, good judgement and compassion ensured investigations progressed swiftly with high detection rates. He was described as an exceptional police officer, who provides a substantial reassuring presence to victims.
Chief Constable Paul Crowther CBE, said: “I’m very proud to see the hard work of BTP officers and staff recognised by Her Majesty as part of her Birthday Honours. Each colleague has showcased the very best in British policing, serving the public to the very highest standard and this recognition is well deserved.
“Kate, Liz and Gary have displayed leadership, selflessness and an unwavering commitment to ensuring that the millions of people travelling on Britain’s railway can do so safely. Each of them should be extremely proud of their achievement and I am delighted that they have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.”
Detective Chief Inspector Kate Forsyth, said: “When I was first advised of the nomination I was totally shocked, and it took time for the magnitude of the honour to sink in. I feel extremely privileged to be recognised in this way. It tops off a fulfilling, rewarding and enjoyable 30 years police service. It is also a reflection of those I have worked with over the years.”
Force Resources Manager Elizabeth McWhirter, said: “It is an absolute honour and privilege for me to accept this award and whilst it in an individual award I am always extremely grateful for the leadership, support and friendship I receive from all of my professional and extremely hard-working colleagues within BTP.
“An extra special thank you to whomever nominated me for this award and I am very much looking forward to finally sharing this secret with my family and friends.”
Detective Superintendent Gary Richardson, said: “I’m truly honoured to receive such a prestigious award, but it is not so much a reflection on me as it is the collective hard work and effort of everyone in the Major Serious and Organised Crime team. It’s a privilege to work alongside them, and I am incredibly proud of all we have achieved together.”