A SENIOR policeman who covers the Thame area has been given the Royal seal of approval in the New Year’s Honours List.
Deputy chief constable Francis Habgood was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for distinguished service.
The prestigious honour recognises Francis’ 25 years as a police officer and the contribution he has made to the communities of Thames Valley.
Dept chief cons Habgood, 47, joined Thames Valley Police in January 2004 as part of the specialist operations team.
Among his career highlights are leading a number of large operations, including the Thames Valley element of Operation Crevice, a counter terrorist operation involving a plot to use a fertiliser bomb, and leading Operation Haul – an investigation and operation to tackle manor house burglaries, metal thefts and cash point thefts.
He said: “I am very fortunate to have a job that I both love and that gives me great satisfaction. I was therefore surprised and honoured to have been recognised for my contribution.”
Habgood previously served for 17 years with West Yorkshire Police, which he joined in 1987. He worked in a number of operational roles in the Leeds area and was appointed divisional commander for the North West area of Leeds in January 2001.
“When I started as a constable on the beat in Leeds the most important thing for me was to try to make the community safer and, when people did require my services, to ensure that I had a positive impact on their lives.
“That is still important to me as a chief officer but I know that I have a greater responsibility and opportunity to influence the service that I, and those I work with, provide. I have been lucky to work with some great people during my service who share a passion for providing that service.”
He has a wide variety of sporting and leisure interests outside work and completed a personal challenge by conquering the 5,895-metre climb up Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania earlier this year.
“It was the most demanding thing I have done in my life - a fantastic experience. Would I recommend it? Absolutely.”
Dept chief cons Habgood will be given his award at Buckingham Palace later this year.