A RETIRED police chief from Rawdon has been named in the New Year Honours List.

Phoebe Revill-Johnson is to receive a British Empire Medal in recognition of her work for the Leeds branch of the National Association of Retired Police Officers (NARPO).

The 74-year-old joined the group after retiring as a West Yorkshire Police Chief Inspector in 1995, and has gone on to serve as a committee member, treasurer and secretary.

She said: "I got a letter telling me about the honour in mid-November - I had absolutely no inkling whatsoever beforehand that I would be getting it.

"The winners were under a strict embargo so I didn't tell anyone except my husband, Philip - he was a Detective Chief Superintendent in West Yorkshire and I was a Chief Inspector, so if we can't keep a secret I'm not sure who could!

"I did 32 years in the police and then when I finished I joined NARPO as a member and was very quickly on the committee.

"Then when the incumbent became seriously ill I took on the role of Secretary and Treasurer, which I've now been doing for 12 years."

British Empire Medals (BEMs) are awarded* in recognition of 'hands-on' service to the local community.

In Mrs Revill-Johnson's case that has involved helping the Leeds branch of NARPO, which is a non-profit organisation, represent the interests of more than 86,000 former police officers and their widows or widowers.

A statement describing her achievements, released alongside the names of those chosen for the New Year Honours List, says: "She became branch secretary in 2005 and uniquely, took on the voluntary role of branch Treasurer.

"She has focused on vulnerable and elderly members and developed a buddying system of welfare visits that have proved a tremendous success.

"She is the key driver for several social events and also arranges trips and excursions to places of interest to encourage many members to participate."

Mrs Revill-Johnson, who has lived in Rawdon most of her life but hails from Hull, also designed and commissioned a bespoke sympathy card for members and, in 2009, helped set up a custom-built West Yorkshire NARPO website.

She will be presented with her BEM by the Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire - the date is still to be confirmed - and also invited to a Royal Garden Party.

*The Honours system sees recipients decided and announced by the Cabinet Office twice a year - at New Year and on The Queen's official birthday, in June.