Two South Wales Police officers have been recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours.
Cardiff-based Police Constable Richard Paines has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) while Chief Superintendent Belinda Davies receives the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM).
Richie Paines joined the force in 1992 aged 32 after previously owning a sports shop in Dinas Powys and managing a clothes shop in the Royal Arcade.
At the time he was one of only nine BME (Black Minority Ethnic) police officers in the force. He started off on the beat in Fairwater and Ely before becoming a community officer in Grangetown. The last 16 years of his service has been spent in the minority support unit and as a Community Engagement Officer.
He is highly regarded in the force as being a leader in encouraging the reporting of hate crime and promoting South Wales Police as a multi-cultural organisation.
“I feel honoured firstly to have been nominated and secondly to actually get it!” said Richie.
“They say good things come in threes and this is the icing on the cake after receiving the National Black Police Association engagement award ten years ago and more recently the Race Council Cymru award.”
“Communities like to be policed by consent and people like to see police officers who represent them and speak their language. This work, which is I am proud of, is very much ongoing in South Wales Police.”
Richie, who retired last month, was recently recognised by the Race Council Cymru for Services to Ethnic Groups in South Wales.
The award, presented by The First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones, recognised his 10-year dedication and contribution to Black History Month.
Belinda joined South Wales Police in October 1990. She first walked the beat in the Rhymney Valley prior to the Gwent amalgamation in 1996. Belinda has served in a variety of roles within South Wales Police as she has risen through the ranks; primarily in operational policing fields. She worked in Cardiff from 2011 in both operational and strategic partnership Superintendent Roles.
In 2013 Belinda became the first female BCU Commander for Cardiff before becoming Divisional Commander of her home patch in Rhondda Cynon Taff and Merthyr – a position she is honoured and privileged to hold. She is responsible for all aspects of policing in the valleys. She is passionate about her role and proud to serve the communities of South Wales where she works tirelessly with partners and colleagues. Belinda is both a qualified strategic firearms and public order commander.
C/Supt Davies said: “I am truly humbled and privileged to receive this recognition and it is a reflection of everyone who I have been so fortunate to work alongside during my career.
“The hard work and dedication of my colleagues within South Wales Police never ceases to amaze me and it’s their effort to keep our communities safe which continues to inspire me.”
“I am extremely grateful to my family whose support has allowed me to give everything to my role.”
Responding to the New Year’s Honours announcement, South Wales Police Deputy Chief Constable Richard Lewis, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the outstanding service of both these officers has been recognised in the New Year’s Honours. The honours reflect the diversity of the contribution police officers and staff make to the communities of South Wales every day.
“Belinda and Richie are both fantastic ambassadors for South Wales Police and I am extremely proud of them.”