Truly inspiring woman in policing’: UK cop Manjit Atwal gets royal honour

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Chief inspector Manjit Atwal, who joined the Leicestershire police force in 1996 and rose to various roles in the east Midlands, has been named for the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) after being nominated for being a “truly inspiring woman in policing”.

Described as a “role model”, Atwal is currently chief inspector in the city of Leicester that has a large Indian-origin population. She is also chair of the Sikh Police Association.

The QPM will be handed over to Atwal in the coming months.

During her 24-year career, the police force said she has worked in 18 areas of policing – including neighbourhood policing, youth offending, operational planning, intelligence gathering, and counterterrorism. She is also a trained hostage and crisis negotiator.

Until July 2019, Atwal spent more than two years as the Commander of the City Neighbourhood Policing Area before taking up roles working with partners to help tackle and prevent serious violent crime.

Atwal’s force said she has been highlighted as an “exemplary advocate for those under-represented in policing”, providing coaching to a number of officers through promotion and personal development programmes.

After being named in the royal honours list, she said, “It is such an honour and I feel truly grateful to have even been nominated, especially when I think of all the amazing people who deserve recognition for the incredible work they do.”

Atwal added, “It sounds like a cliché, but policing was something I’d always wanted to do from a young age growing up in Derbyshire. I’d seen a female Asian officer working in the city centre and I thought: ‘I’d like to do that’.”

Simon Cole, chief constable of the police force, said, “Manjit has led the way on so many policing issues and has been instrumental in working with local communities, especially through our Sikh Police Association. She really is a role model for so many colleagues across the force.”

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