By Lucy Ashton
Four Police Scotland officers have been recognised for their outstanding public service in the New Year Honours List 2022.
Judi Heaton, who recently retired as an Assistant Chief Constable, Chief Superintendent Louise Blakelock, Head of Road Policing and Chief Inspector Marlene Baillie, area commander for Oban, Lorn and the Isles, Mid Argyll and Kintyre and the Islands, will each receive the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) – the highest honour awarded for policing service.
Graeme Anderson, from Monifieth in Angus – who was the Lead Events Planning Officer for Police Scotland’s Tayside Division – is to be presented with an MBE for services to event planning and law and order in Dundee.
Police Scotland’s Chief Constable Iain Livingstone QPM, pictured right, said: “Policing is a demanding and rewarding vocation and I am grateful for the professionalism and public service demonstrated by officers, staff and special constables every day, in every area of Scotland.
“I give my warmest congratulations and thanks to those who have been recognised by Her Majesty the Queen today.”
Chief Superintendent Blakelock said: “I am extremely humbled and honoured to have received this recognition for doing a job that I love.”
Chief Inspector Baillie added: “I am honoured and extremely grateful to the person who nominated me, my teams who deserve special recognition for the amazing work that they do and my family for their continued support.”
Graeme Anderson said: “It’s a huge honour for me to receive an MBE and I’d like to thank all those people I’ve worked with over the years who helped to make events in Tayside safe and successful.
“Special thanks goes to my wife Lynn, who without doubt deserves the award far more than I do.”
Assistant Chief Constable Judi Heaton MSc., right, has been a police officer for over 30 years. She served with Humberside Police and Cheshire Constabulary before joining Police Scotland as an Assistant Chief Constable, with a portfolio which oversees the provision of investigation into Major Crime (homicide and large enquiries), Public Protection (child abuse, domestic abuse, human trafficking and management of offenders) as well as local crime investigation, forensics and biometrics across Scotland.
She has been fervent in upholding Human Rights and protection of the vulnerable throughout her service at all ranks, not least as Assistant Chief Constable, when she also proactively used her influence to help protect children from online harm by engaging at political and UK levels. She also held the NPCC portfolio for HOLMES (the major investigation IT system) for law enforcement in the UK.
As a senior detective in three forces, she led many serious, complex and intractable investigations and was selected to work on and lead many high profile cases. She also improved investigative standards, crime detection rates and the satisfaction of the victims of crime, as well as creating effective and motivated teams.
She has been an early proponent of coaching, assisting countless individuals and groups as well as introducing and embedding the concept in Humberside Police.
This stems from an insatiable keenness to help others from all walks of life to be themselves and be their confident best. She is best known for routinely creating environments to foster innovation, protecting the natural environment and in particular valuing diversity and diverse thinking.
She has been involved in police women’s networks in all three forces and has also joined forces with different minority networks and businesses to promote national networking and development events. This care for others also led to the creation of a coaching programme for people leaving prison, which resulted in reduced re-offending and provided better life chances.
She has been a major incident and critical incident Gold Commander and managed many and varied incidents including counter terrorism, major crimes and incidents such as the tragic train derailment near Stonehaven in 2020. She has also been a specialist firearms commander and has commanded high risk incidents to successful conclusion.
Judi is regarded as a role model to others throughout her service owing to her resilience and restraint in the face of significant adversity, and by showing that kindness, individualism and leadership can successfully co-exist. She retired in December 2021.
Chief Superintendent Louise Blakelock, pictured top of page, served as a police cadet before joining Grampian Police in 1993 and became a member of the Road Policing Unit in 1997. She was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2003 and always maintained a keen interest in road policing and road safety matters.
In 2008 she was promoted to inspector working in community policing roles in Moray and Aberdeenshire and in 2014 was promoted to Chief Inspector at the newly formed National Road Policing Unit. In 2017 she was promoted to the rank of Superintendent within Road Policing, leading a review of the department’s structure, guiding staff through the successful implementation of the new operating model and delivering improvements in service delivery for communities.
In January 2020 she was promoted to Chief Superintendent and appointed Head of Road Policing. She maintains strong collaborative relationships with both local and national partners, including Local Authorities, Transport Scotland and Road Safety Scotland which is key to supporting Road Policing’s core role of reducing road casualties and improving road safety.
Louise strives to ensure that the welfare and wellbeing of her staff is at the heart of the department. She is an active supporter of the Scottish Women’s Development Forum, the Scottish LGBTI Police Association and the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents.
Chief Inspector Marlene Baillie has 27 years police service, having joined Strathclyde Police as a constable at Cumbernauld in North Lanarkshire in 1994. She worked in a variety of urban locations before taking starting her service in Argyll and Bute, by taking up a post in Oban in 2000.
She was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2002 and then to inspector at Dunoon in 2006, before taking up her current post as area commander for Oban, Lorn and the Isles, Mid Argyll, and Kintyre and Islands in 2009.
Policing such a large rural area can present significant challenges however, in her unique role Chief Inspector Baillie works closely with partners to keep the communities she serves safe. A keen walker and runner, her enthusiasm for well-being is evident and as the Divisional Wellbeing Champion she actively promotes this to her fellow officers.
Graeme Anderson, right, from Monifieth formerly the Lead Events Planning Officer for Police Scotland’s Tayside Division – retired in December 2020 after serving 30 years as a constable in Dundee and now works for Dundee United as Head of Stadium Operations.