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 Chief Constable honoured with CBE


On his last day before retirement, top cop Mike Barton was honoured by Her Majesty the Queen for services to policing.

The 62-year-old officer, who stepped down as Chief Constable of Durham on June 7 after a 39-year career in uniform, has been awarded a CBE in The Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

He said: “When I became a police officer 39 years ago, CBEs were for the glitterati, royals and people I had never met, so to be honoured like this is taking a bit of getting my head ...around.

“I would like to say a deep and sincere thank you to everybody who has worked with me over the years and made me look good and also to those who took the time and trouble to put my name forward to Her Majesty the Queen.

“This is a great honour for everyone at Durham Constabulary and is a recognition of all our creativity and hard work.”

Born into a Lancashire farming family, the lifelong Blackpool FC fan became a police constable in 1980 in the seaside town saying he wanted “to make a difference”.

He steadily worked his way through the ranks, earning a reputation along the way both as a tough detective and a forward-thinking innovator.

After three years as Divisional Commander in Preston, Mr Barton joined Durham Constabulary in 2008 as Assistant Chief Constable. He was promoted to Deputy Chief the following year and took on the top job in 2012.

Famed for his no-nonsense style, Mike went on to turn Durham into Britain’s best-performing police force, earning four successive Outstanding ratings in the annual Peel inspections.

While serving with Durham, he developed his distinctive approach to tackling crime: a radical mix of old-fashioned police work and new thinking around technology, problem-solving and Restorative Justice.

During his three years as Crime Operations lead for the National Police Chiefs’ Council, Mr Barton oversaw the restructure of the national Holmes computer network and was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in 2014.

Mr Barton, who plans to spend his retirement with his grandchildren and his greenhouse, said: “I’ve had a fantastic time in policing and I’m looking forward to a slightly slower pace with time to reflect and maybe with a book.”