Nottinghamshire Police’s ongoing support of the armed forces community has been recognised with the highest possible award from the Ministry of Defence.
The force has achieved a Gold Award in the 2023 Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme – which encourages organisations to support armed forces personnel and veterans both in their employment and in the wider community.
Nottinghamshire Police is one of just 14 organisations in the East Midlands to have been awarded gold this year from dozens of applicants.
Nottinghamshire Police Chief Constable Kate Meynell said: "The Gold Award is a magnificent achievement and would not have been possible without the commitment and endeavours of officers and staff across the force.
“It demonstrates how members of the armed forces community within Nottinghamshire, whether employed by us or in the communities we serve, receive the best possible service we can offer.
“We were proud earlier this year to become the first force in the country to launch a direct employment pathway for those in their military resettlement period to join the police.
“Our work with the armed forces community will continue and we look forward to supporting them in any way we can.”
The award comes one year after the force resigned the Armed Forces Covenant, pledging to support both current and former members of the armed forces.
PCSO Steven Timperley, chair of the Nottinghamshire Police Armed Forces Network, said: “This has involved an enormous amount of hard work so I must admit I was extremely proud to discover we have achieved a Gold Award.
“There are many blue light services which have not yet achieved this award so it is a hugely significant milestone for the force.”
PCSO Timperley has collated huge amounts of evidence to support the application for the Gold Award – demonstrating how the force has supported the armed forces community, families and veterans.
He has also developed close links with councils, NHS organisations, businesses and other partners.
There are 120 veterans serving as colleagues with Nottinghamshire Police currently - and the force is taking positive steps to continue to attract more ex-services personnel to its ranks.
The force and the University of Derby recently launched the country's first scheme to provide a direct employment pathway for those in their military resettlement period to join the police service.
PCSO Timperley, who served with the Army in Iraq, Northern Ireland and elsewhere and is now a PCSO in Ashfield, said: “We know individuals who have served with the armed services possess valuable skills that can be transferred across to policing or serve as a foundation on which to build additional skills.
“We have been across the country recruiting personnel into the force, bringing with them discipline and a wide range of practical skills.”
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said: “The Gold Award is tremendous recognition for Nottinghamshire Police and our work with the armed forces.
“It is amazing to be the only force in the East Midlands to receive this award as that makes it even more special and one to cherish.
“This is personal for me as my husband was in the military for 26 years and through my work with military charities I have developed a passion for supporting those in the armed forces.
“I am incredibly proud of our trailblazing military employment pathway and the way it has given those in the armed forces a route into policing.
“Nottinghamshire Police is a veteran-friendly organisation which is signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant and already has 120 ex-service people working for the force, who joined through the traditional route. This only strengthens that bond with the armed forces."
To win a Gold Award, organisations must have supportive HR policies in place for veterans, Reserves, and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers, as well as spouses and partners of those serving in the Armed Forces.
Organisations must also advocate the benefits of supporting those within the Armed Forces community by encouraging others to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and engage in the Employer Recognition Scheme.