Last month, I had the pleasure of attending my first formal event as a Goodwill Ambassador—a tour of Thames Valley Police’s Milton Keynes police station during which Dame Ann, along with Countess Howe (the Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire) and my fellow Ambassador Shanika Mahendran, met with many of the women and men who serve and protect our community.

Supporting and promoting the work of the Police is central to the duties of the Office of High Sheriff, and newly incumbent MK police commander, Superintendent Emma Baillie, arranged a thought-provoking introduction to some of her team’s key challenges and diverse operations. Speaking with Superintendent Baillie and her colleagues, their pride in the communities that they work across is clear. So, too, is Superintendent Baillie’s agenda to get on top of serious violence – we discussed the controversial Section 60 orders, which have been used by Thames Valley Police to temporarily enhances stop and search powers for police officers in defined zones where there is a risk of serious violence at a particular time. From the conversation, I felt these kinds of measures are not something the TVP consider lightly, or without an appreciation of the impact for the community. Indeed, at a time when public trust in the police is prevent in social discourse, we heard much about the innovative work TVP is doing in partnership with local organisations, to ensure a linked-up approach and high-quality services for some of Buckinghamshire’s most vulnerable groups and individuals.

Part of this is naturally linked to how and where the police are visible across the policing area. We were treated to a visit to meet some incredibly special members of the policing team—the horses of TVP’s mounted section, which is based at Milton Keynes police station but serves the whole policing area. Even with my limited equine experience, I knew that Loki, Atlas, Luna, and the other stables occupants were both very large and exceptionally well-trained horses. An incredible asset to the police force, the TVP mounted section are a powerful presence on the streets on MK and beyond, and generally well-loved by the public, so it was delightful to learn more about the lives and work of police horses.

Departing from an engaging and thoughtfully curated morning, I know Dame Ann was pleased to have had the opportunity, as High Sheriff, to formally thank Superintendent Baillie and her team for their excellent work. It was, for all, a fascinating window into the operations of TVP Milton Keynes, and the ways they are working to create a safer MK community.

Notes to Editors

Dame Ann Limb DBE DL biography

Dame Ann Limb is Chair of the City and Guilds of London Institute and from 2015-2021 was Chair of the Scouts, the UK’s largest youth engagement charity. She is the first woman, and openly gay, to hold these roles. She is also Chair of the UK Innovation Corridor, the country’s globally significant life sciences cluster stretching from London to Cambridge and Chair of The Lloyds Bank Foundation. Between 1976 and 2001 Ann enjoyed a successful career in Further Education as a College Principal in Milton Keynes and Cambridge and in the civil service, where she was responsible for the UK governments flagship digital learning initiative, learndirect. Dame Ann is Deputy Char of the Prince’s Foundation, a heritage-led regeneration charity. And Vice President of the social justice charity she founded in 1998, the Helena Kennedy Foundation. In the 2011 Birthday Honours, Ann was awarded the OBE, in 2015 ‘upgraded’ to CBE and in the Platinum Jubilee Honours 2022 elevated to the rank of Dame Commander of the British Empire, DBE. In 2019, Dame Ann was named #1 LBGTQ+ public sector role model in the OUTstanding List and one of the most 50 most influential women born in the North of England in the Northern Power Women Power List.

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Written by : High Sheriff

High Sheriffs Association

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