Military Wiki
Queen's Police Medal
Queens Police Medal (Gallantry) UK.png Queens Police Medal for Merit.png
QPM ribbons for Gallantry (left) and Distinguished Service (right)
Awarded by United Kingdom and Commonwealth of Nations
Type Medal
Eligibility Members of the Police Force
Awarded for "acts of exceptional courage and skill at the cost of their lives, or [exhibiting] conspicuous devotion to duty"[1]
Status Currently awarded
Post-nominals QPM
Established 19 May 1954 (7 July 1909 as King's Police Medal)
Order of Wear
Next (higher) George Medal (QPM for Gallantry)
British Empire Medal (QPM for Service)[2]
Next (lower) Queen's Fire Service Medal, for Gallantry (QPM for Gallantry)
Queen's Fire Service Medal, for Distinguished Service (QPM for Service)[2]
Related Formerly awarded as King's Police Medal (1909–1940), King's Police and Fire Services Medal (1940–1954)

The Queen's Police Medal (QPM) is awarded to police officers in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth of Nations, for gallantry or distinguished service. Recipients may use the post-nominal letters "QPM", although the right to use these was only granted officially on 20 July 1969. It was created on 19 May 1954, when it replaced the King's Police and Fire Services Medal (KPFSM), which itself replaced the King's Police Medal (KPM) in 1940. The KPM was introduced by a Royal Warrant of 7 July 1909,[3] initially inspired by the need to recognise the gallantry of the police officers involved in the Tottenham Outrage.[4]


King's Police Medal

King's Police Medal for Gallantry awarded 1911

The original KPM, despite its name, could also be awarded to members of recognised fire brigades. It was originally intended that the medal should be awarded once a year, to no more than 120 recipients, with a maximum of: 40 from the United Kingdom and Crown dependencies; 30 from the dominions; and 50 from the Indian Empire. More could be awarded in exceptional circumstances. The ribbon was to be "an inch and three-eighths in width, [...] dark blue with a narrow silver stripe-on either side" those who received further awards of the medal were to wear a silver bar on the ribbon in lieu of a further issue of the medal, or a rosette where the ribbon alone was worn.[3] Initially recipients were required to have shown:

(a) Conspicuous gallantry in saving life and property, or in preventing crime or arresting criminals; the risks incurred to be estimated with due regard to the obligations and duties of the officer concerned.

(b) A specially distinguished record in administrative or detective service.

(c) Success in organizing Police Forces or Fire Brigades or Departments, or in maintaining their organization under special difficulties.

(d) Special services in dealing with serious or widespread outbreaks of crime or public disorder, or of fire.

(e) Valuable political and secret services.

(f) Special services to Royalty and Heads of States.

(g) Prolonged service; but only when distinguished by very exceptional ability and merit.[3]

Provision was also made for the forfeiture of the award in the event that a recipient was later convicted of a criminal offence.[3]

Minor amendments to the warrant were made on 3 October 1916.[3] On 1 October 1930 changes were made to the forfeiture provisions, no longer specifying grounds for forfeiture, but also allowing the medal to be restored again.[5] On 27 December 1933 further amendements to the warrant introduced distinctions as to whether the medal was awarded for gallantry or for distinguished service, by adding an appropriate inscription to the reverse of the medal, and adding a central red stripe to the ribbon for gallantry awards, both types of award adopted the current ribbon design, with a further silver strip in the middle of the ribbon. The award criteria was changed so recipients had:

either performed acts of exceptional courage and skill or exhibited conspicuous

devotion to duty; and that such award shall be made only on a recommendation to Us by Our Principal Secretary of State for the Home Department.[6]

In 1936, amendments of 25 May gave greater provision for territories to opt to award their own equivalent medals.[7] Further minor amendments were made on 15 December.[8]

King's Police and Fire Services Medal

On 6 September 1940 the name was changed to the King's Police and Fire Services Medal to better reflect the eligibility of fire service personnel.[3][9] There was no longer any limit on the number to be awarded in one year.[3]

Queen's Police Medal

In a warrant of 19 May 1954 the current version of the medal, named the Queen's Police Medal was introduced, at the same time a separate medal for the fire service was created, the Queen's Fire Service Medal.[1]

The most common form of the current award is the Queen's Police Medal for Distinguished Service. The equivalent medal for gallantry, the Queen's Police Medal for Gallantry, which could be awarded posthumously, has not been awarded since 1977, since which time the Queen's Gallantry Medal has also been awarded posthumously. Acts of gallantry in the police service normally attract the George Cross, George Medal or Queen's Gallantry Medal.

Over time, many Commonwealth countries have created their own police medals, replacing the issue of the QPM to police in those countries. For example, in Australia, the equivalent decoration is now the Australian Police Medal which superseded the QPM in 1986, though the last award to an Australian was in 1989.[10][11]

Description of current medal

  • The circular "silver" medal is 36 mm in diameter.
  • On the obverse is a profile of The Queen.
  • The reverse depicts a figure holding a sword and shield. The words For Distinguished Police Service or For Gallantry are inscribed around the edge of the reverse side.
  • The ribbon's colours consist of three silver stripes and two wide blue stripes (order: silver, blue, silver, blue, silver). For the Gallantry award, a thin red stripe runs through each silver stripe.

See also


External links

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