A Croydon-based British Transport Police (BTP) Inspector who helped protect rail staff during the summer riots of 2011 has been awarded the Queen's Police Medal (QPM) in the New Year's Honours. Jack Ioannou, 58, was awarded the medal in recognition of his distinguished service in his role within the BTP. Mr Ioannou has served in the BTP for the past 18 years, during which time he has helped dramatically reduce crime at local train stations. Stations in his area have shown substantial reductions in notifiable crime every year for the past five years, with crime now more than 30 per cent below 2007 levels. During the summer disturbance of 2011 Mr Ioannou led a small team who faced a group of more than 100 masked and hooded rioting youths. With only basic protective equipment, and faced with windows being smashed and missiles being thrown at them, the Inspector helped set up and maintain a cordon for several hours. The cordon helped keep safe both rail staff and members of the public. He was later commended for his bravery, leadership and decisive action. Mr Ioannou, who originates from Cyprus, also set up the Croydon Travel Watch initiative, and has become a member of the Croydon Community Police Consultative Group. Since 2005 he has been Officer-in-Charge at BTP Croydon on Addiscombe Road, where he oversees response and neighbourhood policing, and provides a policing service to 60 rail stations and the Croydon Tramlink network. In 2009 he helped establish the Railway Neighbourhood Officer Team, with police officers working alongside Railway Neighbourhood Officers to provide a dedicated transport neighbourhood policing presence. In October 2011 his Croydon team won the Team of the Year Award as part of the National Light Railway Awards. He is also a founding member of the BTP's Support Association for Minority Ethnic staff. Mr Ioannou, who joined the Parachute Regiment at the age of 16 and left the Army in 1994 as a Warrant Officer, was awarded the Queen's Police Medal by British Transport Police Chief Constable Andy Trotter. The Chief Constable said: "I was absolutely delighted for Jack. He is everything a police officer should be; caring and courageous, a first class leader with unstoppable energy and drive - a real credit to BTP and the police service as a whole. "Jack serves as a great example to younger officers." Mr Ioannou, who lives in Eastbourne, Sussex, said: "I am delighted and honoured to receive this award. It would not have been possible without the support of my colleagues and, of course, my family."
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