Gongs galore for East Sussex folk in New Year’s Honours list

British Transport Police Chief Constable Andy Trotter today said he was 'absolutely delighted' at the award of the Queen's Police Medal (QPM) to Croydon-based Inspector Jack Ioannou in the New Year's Honours.

British Transport Police Chief Constable Andy Trotter today said he was 'absolutely delighted' at the award of the Queen's Police Medal (QPM) to Croydon-based Inspector Jack Ioannou in the New Year's Honours.

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A number of local people have been recognised in the New Year’s Honours List.

They include figures from the voluntary sector, music and entertainment and political scene.

East Sussex County Council leader Peter Jones was given a CBE for services to local government in the south east, Robert Crawley, who lives in Pevensey and is the head of health and wellbeing with the Metropolitan Police, Professor Sandra Thomas, the head of foresight at the Government Office for Science who lives in Polegate.

Eastbourne Music and Arts Festival director Spencer Freeman received an MBE for his work with the festival over a number of years, Shirley Price from Hailsham also received an MBE for charitable services in East Sussex along with Guy Woodford from Eastbourne for services to charity and to the community in Willingdon.

Police Inspector Jack Ioannou, who lives in Eastbourne, but is based in Croydon was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in the New Year’s Honours.

Fifty-eight-year-old Jack lives locally but originates from Cyprus – hence his actual first name, Sophocles. He spent his formative years in North Yorkshire and at 16 joined the Parachute Regiment as a boy solider.

On leaving the Army in 1994 as a Warrant Officer, Jack joined British Transport Police where he has served for the past 18 years.

“I am delighted and honoured to receive this award,” said Jack. “It would not have been possible without the support of my colleagues and, of course, my family.”

Since 2005, Jack has been Officer-in-Charge at BTP Croydon, where he oversees response, neighbourhood policing and CID and provides a policing service to 60 rail stations and the Croydon Tramlink network.

Jack has been particularly active in promoting community engagement and is a keen member of the Croydon Community Police Consultative Group as well as chairing the Croydon Travel Watch initiative, which he set up.

In 2009, he worked closely with Southern Railway to establish the Railway Neighbourhood Officer Team, with police officers working alongside Railway Neighbourhood Officers to provide a dedicated transport neighbourhood policing presence.

It is in large part due to his energy and influence that stations in his area have shown substantial reductions in notifiable crime every year for the past five years, with crime now over 30 per cent below 2007 levels.

In summer 2011, Croydon was in the front line of public disorder, as was Jack. He was later commended for his bravery, leadership, prompt and decisive action after leading a small team who faced a group of over 100 masked and hooded rioting youths.

With only basic protective equipment, and faced with windows being smashed and missiles being thrown at them, Jack took command setting up and maintaining a cordon for several hours, providing safety to both rail staff and members of the public as well as minimising damage to property.

In October 2011, Jack’s Croydon team won the Team of the Year Award as part of the National Light Railway Awards. He is also a founding member of the BTP’s Support Association for Minority Ethnic staff.