PC Les Eke QPM

Congratulations to PC Les Eke of Thames Valley Police who has been awarded a Queen's Police Medal in the New Year's Honours.

Les started working for Thames Valley Police in 1984 and was based in Reading before moving to Woodley as a neighbourhood police officer.

He became schools officer for Wokingham in 1996 – a role he has held ever since and is a familiar face with young people at schools and educational establishments in the local area.

Through PC Eke’s work he has identified good practice which was incorporated into the national 'Safer Schools Partnership' role. He has spearheaded effective communication between the police and young people by helping to design a number of courses for the Duke of Edinburgh to provide them with an understanding of policing principles. The courses have now been running for nearly 18 years at no cost to the students as he volunteers his own time to the project.

During 2010 PC Eke was instrumental in the Autism Spectrum Alert Card scheme in Berkshire. The alert card scheme provides people with autism with a way of informing law enforcement agencies and other organisations in circumstances when communication can be difficult.

He is currently in the process of designing and implementing additional initiatives to work with young people in order to support those in a vulnerable situation and is working on a partnership response to help pupils with cyber bullying.

He said: “I’m absolutely chuffed to receive the Queen’s Police Medal. I know how much of an achievement this is to receive and I think there are far more worthy people.

“I would like to thank Sgt Mark Smith, my supervisor until two months ago, who has always supported me. My role includes dealing with minor crimes involving young people and helping young people to recognise mistakes they may have made to prevent future offending.

“My role is like a neighbourhood police officer however my ‘neighbourhood’ is schools. Outside of work I am a youth worker and I’m also involved in the Duke of Edinburgh Award so it has been nice to have a job which also allows me to incorporate my hobby of working with young people.”