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Top north-east officer says support for “local bobby” earned him Queen’s Police Medal

Chief Superintendent Mark McLaren
Chief Superintendent Mark McLaren

One of the north-east’s top police officers who insists he is still a “local bobby” at heart has been given the Queen’s Police Medal.

Chief Superintendent Mark McLaren, local police commander for Aberdeenshire and Moray, said he was “dead chuffed” to be included on the New Year’s Honours list.

The father-of-two paid tribute to his colleagues on the force – including officers, special constables and staff – as well the various agencies and communities he has worked alongside over the last 31 years.

He said: “For me, this is about recognition of the local bobby. I’m north-east through and through. I was born and raised here and have been in the police for 31 years in the north-east and know the area really well.

“Not only is this a great honour for me personally, I think it reflects the support for the local bobby, whether in Turriff or Forres.”

Ch Supt McLaren also thanked his family for their support, and for their understanding when his job meant he missed special occasions.

The officer, who is originally from Aberchirder, joined the former Grampian Police Cadets at the age of 16.

He served in both Peterhead and Aberdeen, and carried out a variety of roles, including family liaison in the aftermath of the Piper Alpha disaster in 1988, before transferring to the traffic department in 1990.

After several secondments he was promoted to inspector, and later lead exercises planning responses to terrorist attacks.

The qualified diver and firearms commander was promoted to the role he holds today in 2009, and is responsible for royalty policing, military security and critical national infrastructure associated with the oil and gas industry.

He also played a key role in developing the local policing teams in place across the north-east.

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