Manjit Atwal, who joined the Leicestershire police in 1996 and rose to various roles in the east Midlands, has been named for the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) after being nominated for being a “truly inspiring woman in policing”.
Described as a “role model”, Atwal, who joined the force with a drive to do something for herself, is currently chief inspector in the city of Leicester with a large population of Indian origin. She is also chair of the Sikh Police Association.
During her 24-year career, the police said she has worked in 18 different areas of policing – including neighbourhood policing, youth offending, operational planning, intelligence gathering and counter terrorism. She is also a trained hostage and crisis negotiator.
Until July 2019 she had spent more than two years as the Commander of the City Neighbourhood Policing Area before taking up roles working with partners to help tackle and prevent serious violent crime. The QPM will be handed over later in the coming months.
Atwal’s force said she has been highlighted as an “exemplary advocate for those under-represented in policing,” providing coaching and mentoring to a number of officers through promotion and personal development programmes.
She said after she was named in the royal honours list: “It is such an honour and I feel truly grateful to have even been nominated, especially when I think of all the amazing people who deserve recognition for the incredible work they do”.
“It sounds like a cliché but policing was something I’d always wanted to do from a young age growing up in Derbyshire. I’d seen a female Asian officer working in the city centre and I thought ‘I’d like to do that’.”
Chief constable of the force Simon Cole added: “Manjit has led the way on so many policing issues and has been instrumental in working with local communities, especially through our Sikh Police Association. She really is a role model to so many colleagues across the force”.