Queen's Police Medal (QPM)

The Queen's Police Medal (QPM) is awarded to police in the United Kingdom for gallantry or a specially distinguished record in police specific services of conspicuous merit. The medal was established on 7th July 1909 as the King's Police Medal (KPM), inspired by the need to recognise the gallantry of the police officers. Renamed the King's Police and Fire Services Medal (KPFSM) in 1940, it was replaced on 19th May 1954 by the Queen's Police Medal (QPM) and awarded for Gallantry (with crimson stripes in the silver stripes) or for Distinguished Service. A separate Queen's Fire Service Medal was also instituted.

The original King’s Police Medal (KPM), was award to officers of Police or Fire Brigades in respect of one of the following qualifications:

(1) Conspicuous gallantry in saving life and property, or in preventing crime or arresting criminals; the risks incurred to be estimated with due regard to the obligations and duties of the officers concerned.

(2) A specially distinguished record in administrative or detective service.

(3) Success in organizing Police Forces or Fire Brigades or Departments, or in maintaining their organization under special difficulties.

(4) Special services in dealing with serious or widespread outbreaks of crime or public disorder, or of fire.

(5) Valuable political and secret services.

(6) Special services to Royalty and Heads of States.

(7) Prolonged service; but only when distinguished by very exceptional ability and merit.

The original Royal Warrant of 1909 was amended in 1916, 1930, 1933 and twice during 1936. British subjects and others serving in recognized Police Forces or properly organized Fire Brigades in the United Kingdom, in India or in the Colonies, protectorates and mandated territories, are now eligible, as are also those in any Dominion if its Government so desires. Awards are made on the recommendation of the Home Secretary.

Since 1933 there have been two distinct medals – “For Gallantry” and “For Distinguished Service,” with the appropriate wording on the reverse. The gallantry medal has a ribbon of dark blue with white edges and a central white stripe, with a thin red line down each stripe of white. The original ribbon was retained for the medal for distinguished service.


Materials:   The majority of the British medals and clasps are made of solid silver, though some were issue in bronze versions, mainly to Indian non-combatants.  The majority of the British campaign awards are circular, usually 36mm in diameter.

Ribbons:    Medals are worn suspended from their own specific ribbons. These were first made of silk but cotton was increasingly used as the nineteenth century developed.  Their own colours often have a symbolic significance: the equal stripes of the ‘1939 to 1945 Star,’ for example, are dark blue to represent the service of the Royal and Merchant Navies, red, to represent that of the Armies and light blue to represent that of Air Forces.

Ribbon width can vary slightly though it is generally 32mm wide.

Ribbon – Three silver stripes and two dark broad blue strips. Gallantry awards, have thin crimson stripes superimposed on the silver strips.

Queen's Police Medal ribbon for Distinguished Service
Queen's Police Medal ribbon for Distinguished Service
Queen's Police Medal ribbon for Gallantry
Queen's Police Medal ribbon for Gallantry

Suspender – Swivel ring

Type – Medal

Eligibility – Members of the Police Force

Awarded for – “acts of exceptional courage and skill at the cost of their lives, or exhibiting conspicuous devotion to duty”

Established – 7th July 1909 (as King's Police Medal) 19th May 1954 (in current form)

Naming – Name, rank and force of the recipient is inscribed on the rim of the medal.

Post Nominals - Recipients of this medal may use the post-nominal letters QPM, KPM or KPFSM, as appropriate, although the right to use these was only granted officially on 20th July 1969

Description – A circular silver medal, 36mm in diameter. The medal bears on the obverse the effigy of the reigning Sovereign with the usual legend. The reverse of the original medal shows the armed figure of a watch-man leaning on a sword and bearing a shield on which is inscribed “To guard my people.” In the background is a fortified city.

Formerly awarded as King's Police Medal (1909–40), King's Police and Fire Services Medal (1940–54)

This guide will help you through all the parts and descriptions of military medals

< gov.uk/medals-campaigns-descriptions-and-eligibility>
Some of the material on this page was also partially derived from
<en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ >
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