Five officers from the National Crime Agency working in the fields of child protection, kidnap and intelligence have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

NCA CrestAn officer from the Anti-Kidnap and Extortion Unit has been awarded an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) for services to the field of kidnap and extortion and the protection of the UK.

Based overseas, the officer has trained and mentored colleagues from partner law enforcement agencies and as a direct result of his tutoring, over 7,000 kidnaps involving British and other nationals have been dealt with since 2018.

He has provided assistance to numerous British families whose loved ones have been taken hostage and has personally been involved in saving at least 30 lives over the last five years.

The officer is also a qualified Rugby Football Union (RFU) coach and has contributed greatly to the positive development of children and young adults through the mini, junior and youth rugby programmes. He has been involved in training players who have gone on to represent teams at international level.

Separately, an officer from the Intelligence Command has also been awarded an OBE for services to covert law enforcement. Recognised as an expert in his field, he has taken on many different and challenging covert roles both nationally and internationally.

He has trained over 670 students and has worked tirelessly to champion diversity in covert policing, encouraging many women and multi-faith officers to explore a career in covert policing.

In addition, Alan Hastings has been made Member of the British Empire (MBE) for services to law enforcement and protecting the public.

Alan is recognised for his role in the UK’s largest ongoing non-familial child sexual abuse investigation - Operation Stovewood.

His pioneering work with the victim contact team has resulted in an outstanding 173 victims positively engaging with the team. As a direct result of Alan’s leadership, his team have been involved in the jailing of 20 serious child abusers and the arrest of more than 160 offenders.

A further NCA officer, specialising in intelligence collection, has also been awarded a MBE, for his leadership of an innovative project that has resulted in the identification of previously-unknown criminals and networks operating in prisons. He has been able to identify and prevent a threat to life against a NCA officer, and identified a prisoner who was using an armed gang to recruit young people to sell drugs on his behalf on the streets of London.

Catherine Wharton has been made MBE for outstanding service to law enforcement in enabling the prevention and detection of crime. She is an influential ambassador in the field of child sexual abuse (CSA). Catherine has developed a strong reputation with international partners dedicated to the protection of children from online CSA.

NCA Director General Dame Lynne Owens said: “I am delighted to see that our officers commitment, expertise and professionalism is being recognised through the award of these honours. Individually and collectively they have pursued our tireless fight against serious and organised crime in all its forms.”

11 June 2021