Lincolnshire police chiefs among those named in New Year honours list
Former Chief Constable Bill Skelly and serving Assistant Chief Constable Kerrin Wilson have been recognised in the New Year’s Honours list and will receive the Queen’s Police Medal.
Mr Skelly is described as ”a visionary and inspirational leader, driven by a strong sense of justice” and someone who “made a real difference to the communities that he served”.
Mr Skelly was born on the east coast of Scotland and it is to his native Scotland that he has returned on his retirement, with his wife Jane, and where his two adult daughters currently live.
He is commended for investing in the wellbeing of officers and staff at Lincolnshire Police which helps them to deliver the best possible service to county residents.
It is recognised that Mr Skelly developed creative and innovative concepts during his time as Lincolnshire’s Chief Constable which included introducing drones to the force which were used to tackle rural crime, help find missing people and, ultimately, keep people safe from harm.
He also introduced new technology to allow police officers to be out-and-about in their communities for longer including an investment in mobile data terminals. This meant that officers no longer needed to return to a police station to record data and instead have all the technology they need at their fingertips. This saw communities benefit from hundreds of extra hours of policing.
At the time of nomination for this honour, ACC Kerrin Wilson was the only female Chief Officer in the UK from an ethnic minority group. She is recognised for “inspiring others to greatness” and “placing diversity at the heart of her work”.
Commenting on his last day with the force just before Christmas, Mr Skelly said: “As I look back and reflect on my 31 years, I consider all of the fulfilment and all of the good things that I’ve experienced as a police officer. Everyone who is associated with policing knows the sacrifices that we make as individuals and as family to ensure that we can do our duty and keep the public safe.
“I’m particularly grateful for all the support and help that I’ve been given by my family during my service. I’m really aware that there are times I should have been with those I loved and for me, the good that I was doing, the value that I was adding, had to add up and outweigh those sacrifices that those around me were making. I hope you, my peers and colleagues, can say as I can that it did and that the good has outweighed those difficult choices that I had to make over those years.”
Assistant Chief Constable Wilson said: “It truly is an honour to receive the Queen’s Police Medal and I’m delighted that my work has been recognised in this way.”
“This proves that efforts across the country to embrace diversity and ensure equal opportunities for all are being noticed, and it’s important we continue on this path and continue to grow both within policing, and as a society.”
ACC Wilson is described as having been “instrumental in developing women and people from minority backgrounds in policing, helping them to realise their potential and reach senior ranks”. for working tirelessly to improve gender parity within policing.
Having previously developed networks affiliated to the National Black Police Association (NBPA) at forces in Durham, North Yorkshire and Cleveland, ACC Wilson founded Supporting Minorities in Lincolnshire through Engagement (SMILE) at Lincolnshire Police which is also linked to the national body. This network supports officers and staff from minority groups, celebrates diversity and drives positive change.
Kerrin is commended for co-founding GLOW (Greater Lincolnshire Outstanding Women). This is the voice of strong female leaders from across the public and private sectors of Lincolnshire who have come together as network to celebrate other great women in the county and inspire the next generation of young women and girls to achieve their dreams. Using the motto Be Mighty; Aim High; Dream Big.
ACC Wilson is described as having not only worked tirelessly within policing in the UK to support progress on the diversity agenda for both ethnic minorities and gender equality but also across policing in the USA. Presenting and sharing the learning from the UK with law enforcement colleagues in Pennsylvania and Texas.
As one of only a few women to be trained as an International Hostage Negotiator ACC Wilson has worked on kidnaps in Syria, the Amenas oil rig siege in Algeria and reviewed the work of negotiators following the Lindt Café terrorist siege in Australia.