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Harrogate police officer honoured with BEM for services to road safety

Roads Policing Sgt Paul Cording from Harrogate has been honoured with a British Empire Medal (BEM) for his work towards road safety.

Harrogate police officer honoured with BEM for services to road safety A police officer from Harrogate has received a British Empire Medal (BEM) for his services to policing and charity in the 2023 King’s Birthday Honours. Roads Policing Sgt Paul Cording travelled to the Lord Lieutenant's residence in Camp Hill today (Tuesday) to receive the honour that recognises his campaigning to increase awareness of road safety and to raise funds for relevant charities. Sgt Cording works closely with Lauren Doherty at Road Safety Talks to help spread awareness and share the message with young children about being safe on the district's roads. He also took part in the Andy Cox Road Peace challenge in May - running, cycling and walking a total of 325km and raising more than £2,000 for RoadPeace in the process. Speaking on social media, Paul said:

“I was humbled to be in a room with so many inspirational people. "A proud day in the Cording household made all the better by having my best friend by my side."
[caption id="attachment_79938" align="aligncenter" width="720"] Sgt Paul Cording pictured alongside his wife Michelle.[/caption] Paul joined North Yorkshire Police in 2001 after nearly 10 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. [caption id="attachment_79939" align="aligncenter" width="768"] Paul and Michelle Cording with his British Empire Medal.[/caption] Road Safety Talks Paul has formed close ties with local charity, Road Safety Talks, led by Lauren Doherty BEM who Paul met when he attended a road traffic collision that led to Lauren becoming paralysed. Paul and Lauren 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. 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 said:
“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.”
Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.

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