Leading Bedford crime agency officer and female engineer among those making New Year Honours List

A prominent female engineering educator and a leading child sexual abuse crime agency officer are among those making the New Year Honours List.

Monday, 30th December 2019, 12:30 pm
Updated Monday, 30th December 2019, 12:30 pm

Dawn Fitt - a training co-ordinator at the Bedford College Brunel Engineering Apprenticeships Centre - was one of the names to be awarded an OBE.

Working at the college centre, off Barker's Lane, she has been encouraging girls to consider careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) for more than a decade.

“I did an apprenticeship and wanted to put something back by encouraging others to follow that path. As president of the Women’s Engineering Society I wanted to show how important the apprenticeship route is to encouraging people into the industry.”

Dawn Fitt

And of being awarded an OBE, Dawn said: “It was such a shock, I am still getting over it.

“I have pushed to see female apprentices in engineering enjoy the same access to networking and industry contacts as those enjoyed at university and on HE courses. There is no easy way for apprentices to access and be inspired by trailblazers in the industry.”

A top National Crime Agency officer from Bedford has also been awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours List.

Charles Yates, 55, was honoured for services to law enforcement and the prevention of child sexual abuse and exploitation (CSAE).

Charles Yates

Charles, who has worked in law enforcement for 32 years, is the NCA’s CSAE threat lead and plays a key role in the UK’s fight against child sexual abuse.

He said of the recognition: “I was surprised and humbled to receive the letter about the award - this is something that happens to other people.

“I have been fortunate to work with some great teams and individuals over my career.”

The amount of child sexual abuse material online has grown hugely over the last decade.

From an early stage, Charles recognised the scale and gravity of this emerging threat, and the importance of boosting the way intelligence is shared across law enforcement at home and abroad.

He secured funding for a new national hub to tackle CSAE, which works closely with national policing, including eight new specialist teams targeting the worst offenders.

NCA director general Lynne Owens said: “Children are better protected as a result of his work.”

Other recipients include:

* Rosemary Frances Mayglothling received an OBE for services to Rowing and Gender Equality in Sport

* Peter John Scott was awarded the MBE for voluntary service to the National Trust at Wightwick Manor, Wolverhampton

* Dr Anne Margaret Stuart Grant was given the MBE for services to charity in Bedfordshire

* Beverley Ann Chidley received the BEM for services to Brownies and Girlguiding

* Susan (Sue) Moira Zubrot was given the BEM for services to the community in Bedfordshire