King’s Birthday Honour for North Yorkshire police officer

Sgt Paul Cording, right, with a colleague in the Dales.

North Yorkshire Police officer Sergeant Paul Cording has been awarded a British Empire Medal for his services to policing and charity in the 2023 King’s Birthday Honours.

Paul joined North Yorkshire Police in 2001 after nearly ten years’ service in the RAF.

His initial posting was to Harrogate where he worked in both response and neighbourhood policing. Paul was promoted to Sergeant in 2005 and a new chapter began five years later when he swapped walking the beat for roads policing.

Since joining roads policing in 2010, Paul has attended over 100 fatal road traffic collisions. He has witnessed first-hand the devastation, trauma and wider impact which each tragic incident causes to the families involved. This emotion ignited his passion for road safety and he became an advocate for safer roads.

Paul regularly attends schools in North Yorkshire to improve children’s awareness of their surroundings when near roads.

Paul has formed close ties with local charity, Road Safety Talks, led by Lauren Doherty BEM who became paralysed following a road traffic collision. They have formed a close working partnership to spread important road safety messages and Lauren received a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s last Birthday Honours.

The commitment that Paul shows to road safety has seen him take on regular charity challenges where he has raised thousands of pounds for local and national charities.

This year, Paul ran 325km in a week in honour of the 325 people killed or seriously injured on North Yorkshire’s roads in 2021. He also took part in ‘Red January’ to fundraise for the Road Safety Talks Charity by running 5km every day of the month.

Paul appeared on the BBC Breakfast sofa yesterday to talk about receiving the award at 08.30am.

Chief Constable Lisa Winward expressed her delight following the news that Paul is to receive the British Empire Medal.

Lisa said: “I am delighted that Paul has been recognised in this way. This award is thoroughly deserved and is a true recognition of his commitment to both policing and road safety.

“Paul continuously goes above and beyond on what is expected from him and this is one of the reasons that he is a highly respected and a well-liked officer within North Yorkshire Police.

“He has a personal passion for road safety and is committed both on and off duty to reducing the number of serious and fatal collisions on the county’s roads.

“As well as his passion for road safety, Paul is relentless in his commitment to fight crime. He is a credit to the force and is truly worthy of this honour and on behalf of all his colleagues in North Yorkshire Police, I can say that we are very proud of him.”

Rebecca Blunstone, Project Manager for Lauren’s charity Road Safety Talks added: “Paul continuously goes above and beyond what is expected of him in his police role and is also a huge asset to our local community. Lauren and I were extremely proud to support his BEM nomination which is thoroughly deserved.”

Paul said: “I’m truly honoured to be awarded a British Empire Medal for my services to policing and to charity.

“I would like to thank those who nominated me from the Chief Constable’s office along with those who offered supporting evidence to go with my nomination.

“It goes without saying that my biggest thank you goes to my family and in particular my wife Michelle.  She is the one that holds the fort when I am late off, or I am engrossed in my work because I have had ‘one of those shifts.’

“I joined the police like so many others to help others and make a difference which I try to do every day and whilst none of us do it for recognition, receiving a BEM is very humbling.”