PSNI officer who survived murder attempt awarded KPM

A Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officer who survived a murder attempt has been recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours list.

Jun 17, 2024
By Paul Jacques
Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell

Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell has been awarded the King’s Police Medal (KPM).

Acknowledging the “prestigious honour”, PSNI Chief Constable Jon Boutcher said Det Chief Insp Caldwell was “the subject of a cowardly and murderous attack last year”.

“The officers and staff of the PSNI continue to face such threats and this particular award is a recognition of John’s police service, and his bravery and that of his family,” he added.

“Despite the despicable attack that bravery and selfless courage has continued to shine through. I know that the support received from the public has been tremendous and, for this, we extend a heartfelt thanks.”

Det Chief Insp Caldwell has 28 years’ service and since moving to Serious Crime Branch in 2008 has been involved in the investigation of more than 90 murders.

“He has consistently provided an exceptional standard of policing to the community, working tirelessly on complex and often protracted cases,” the PSNI said. “He continues to serve the community despite a horrific attempt on his life in 2023.”

Det Chief Insp Caldwell was one of four officers to be recognised in the Birthday Honours.

KPMs were awarded to Detective Sergeant Niall McCready and one officer who for security reasons “unique to Northern Ireland” has not been named, while a British Empire Medal (BEM) was awarded to staff member Maud Richardson.

Det Sgt McCready has 39 years’ service working in a variety of roles.

“In his current role as a detective, he has worked diligently to achieve convictions in a number of high-profile, serious crime cases,” the PSNI said. “His commitment and professionalism has contributed not only to criminal justice outcomes but also increased confidence in policing within communities.”

Ms Richardson has 41 years’ service and is a “highly motivated” member of staff with a “wealth of knowledge and experience” which she is always willing to share with colleagues.

“In recent years she has provided invaluable support to the head of the Public Protection Branch in working to safeguard the most vulnerable in our society,” said the PSNI.

Mr Boutcher commented: “I am absolutely delighted that members of the PSNI have been awarded such prestigious honours.

“Our officers and staff go above and beyond every single day to provide the people of Northern Ireland with the exemplary policing service they deserve and I’m extremely proud of what they have achieved. Each recipient represents the outstanding work done by the PSNI officers and staff of whom I could not be more proud.

“I have witnessed first-hand the incredible work of Detective Sergeant Niall McCready who has worked tirelessly during major crime investigations to prioritise the needs of victims. Maud Richardson is the epitome of public service, her commitment to looking after vulnerable people and supporting the officers and staff of the PSNI is inspiring.

“As with previous honours lists this year a further PSNI officer received a KPM whom for security reasons unique to Northern Ireland has not been named. I want to recognise this officer’s considerable contribution to policing.

“I would also like to acknowledge the exceptional work of Detective Constable Clodagh Dunlop who has received an MBE for services to Stroke Survivors and to the Reform of Stroke Services. Her charitable work helps to demonstrate the outstanding contribution to society which our colleagues make.”

“I am absolutely delighted that members of the Police Service of Northern Ireland have been awarded such prestigious honours.”

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