A LONG serving policeman has been awarded the Queen's Police Medal in the birthday honours list.

Deputy Chief Constable Derek Benson, of Essex Police, was given the prestigious honour for his years of distinguished service.

He joined the force in 2006 moving to Essex from the Met.

He said: "It’s an honour to receive this award.

"I have been lucky enough to work with so many fantastic colleagues both here in Essex and in the Met.

"It has been a privilege to work for two such great forces.

"To receive the QPM for doing the job I love is just the icing on the cake.”

Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh added: "He truly is dedicated to serving the people of Essex and it’s great to see his hard work recognised.

"He spends a great deal of his spare time raising funds for charities close to our officers hearts, recently completing the New York Marathon for one of his causes.

"I am sure his family are equally delighted”

The Queen's Police Medal is awarded for gallantry or distinguished service.

Mr Benson has been a police officer for 29 years.

During his time with Essex Police Mr Benson has been in charge of departments including major crime, operations and counter terrorism.

He is also the strategic lead for the force on collaboration with Kent Police and with the eastern region forces

Married to Lynne he has three children, aged 22, 21 and 17.

In his spare time he enjoys walking his dog, playing five-a-side football and running.