The Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset, Mark Shelford, has unveiled a national awards guide designed to encourage nominations to honour exceptional acts of bravery and courage by police officers and staff.
The Gallantry Awards is a national programme, backed by the Home Office and awarded by the King.
You can read the National Gallantry Awards Guide (PDF).
For nominators, please see the Gallantry Awards submission form (PDF), referred to in the guide.
There are four awards which can be bestowed, and which Commissioner Shelford is promoting to the police and other blue light services with a downloadable guide as a way of recognising acts that go above and beyond the call of duty.
The four awards in order of seniority are:
- George Cross (GC) – the highest civilian award bestowed by the British Government
- George Medal – typically awarded by civilians where military honours are not appropriate
- King’s Gallantry Medal (KGM) – for exemplary acts of bravery
- King’s Commendation for Bravery – open to both civilians and military personnel.
All Gallantry Awards recognise the bravery of people who have put themselves in danger sometimes in the course of a single event or over a sustained period of time, nominations are usually made within 12 months of an incident. The awards are judged on degree of risk, how aware the nominee was of the danger and persistence demonstrated by the nominee.
Anyone can make a gallantry nomination although the majority come through official channels where official evidence and witness statements can be reviewed.
The awards guide will now be rolled out nationally to all police forces and Police and Crime Commissioners throughout the UK.
Commenting on the launch of the guide, Mark Shelford said:
“The idea for this guide dawned on me whilst attending the National Police Federation Annual Police Bravery Awards evening and hearing stories of such incredible bravery.
“My aim with the guide is to communicate the national Gallantry Awards programme more widely throughout police forces nationwide. I want to increase the numbers of Gallantry Awards for police officers and staff to get national recognition for so many incredible acts of bravery.”