BEM recipient: ‘Award is also for family and colleagues’

17 June 2017

The Head of the NCA’s Information Department has praised “exceptional family, friends colleagues and management” – and said he wanted them to share in the award of his British Empire Medal.

Gavin Lambert said he was “enormously proud and humbled” to receive the accolade in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, adding that he had not expected to have such high-level recognition.

He also dedicated his award to the workers and volunteers at Different Strokes – a good cause he chairs – who helped him on the road to recovery after having a stroke himself seven years ago. Gavin received the BEM for his charity work as well as services to law enforcement.

A lifelong public servant with extensive operational experience, Gavin has played a key role in recruiting a new generation of NCA officers who are now fighting serious and organised crime.

His previous roles have seen him involved in pioneering work to tackle organised immigration crime.

He was keen to pay tribute to his many friends and colleagues, adding: “Receiving this medal is humbling for me – but I am proud and I’m honoured that there are people who think I deserve it.

“There have been so many people with me on my law enforcement journey over nearly 40 years – both inside and outside of work – and I want to share my medal with them.

“I’d also like to share it with my family. Without their support with my work life and charity life, I could not have done what I have done.”

Gavin, who started his career in HM Customs & Excise nearly 40 years ago, went on to pay tribute to all at Different Strokes, which is dedicated to assisting younger stroke survivors and their families, for their “invaluable help and support”.

He said: “The charity was fantastic to me and I am really privileged to be the chair.

“The commitment and dedication of the people who work and volunteer for this good cause are as much an exemplar of those I have worked with during my law enforcement career.

“Peer support is critical if you have a stroke, and in this way the charity was able to give me what my friends, colleagues and family could not – even though they were wonderful in their own way.

“Different strokes made me realise I was not isolated or alone and empowered me to take my life back.”

NCA Director General Lynne Owens said: "Gavin has dedicated his life to the service of others and I am delighted this has been recognised with the British Empire Medal.

"His selfless work with stroke survivors has made a real difference. Gavin is as compassionate as he is professional and should be very proud."

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