QAVS logo jpeg

Police orchestra wins Queen's Award For Voluntary Service

  • Press release issued on behalf of the British Police Symphony Orchestra.

The British Police Symphony Orchestra has been awarded The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) 2018, often referred to as the equivalent of an MBE for volunteer groups.

This award was created by The Queen in 2002 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her coronation, to recognise excellence in voluntary activities carried out by groups in the community. The charity work undertaken by the orchestra was very much admired by the Independent Assessment Committee, chaired by Sir Martyn Lewis CBE.

The award of The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, 2018 represents a tremendous achievement for the BPSO and all involved feel immensely proud of the recognition that this award represents. Publication of the orchestra’s details can be viewed on line in a special edition of The London Gazette, published on 2 June 2018.

The British Police Symphony Orchestra (BPSO) was founded in October 1989, by former Police Constable Alex Roe, MBE, from West Midlands Police, since when it has become widely recognised as one of the best national non- professional orchestras in the country.

Uniting the police service and the magic of music to engage, excite and enlighten communities in the UK and beyond, the orchestra is unique. All members are either serving or retired police officers, police staff, or other members of the wider police family. All rehearse and travel in their own time and at their own expense from force areas throughout the United Kingdom.

In a typical year each member will play with the orchestra for an average of 133 hours. As an orchestra, this adds up to 7,865 hours of voluntary commitment each year and excludes travel time.

A registered charity itself, the BPSO has helped to raise well over £180,000 for other charities and good causes. With the exception of the annual Proms Night Spectacular in Symphony Hall Birmingham, the orchestra always appears in support of another organisation, either to help directly raise funds or awareness. In these cases, the orchestra seeks only to cover its costs and all surplus revenue and donations benefit the charities concerned.

In celebration of its 30th anniversary, the British Police Symphony Orchestra is to host a Charity Gala Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, on Saturday, 11 May 2019. Featuring massed musicians drawn from police forces across the United Kingdom all proceeds will be used to support the Care of Police Survivors, the National Foundation for Youth Music and the orchestra itself.

The QAVS crystal will presented to the orchestra by Lord Lieutenant Sir Algernon Heber-Percy on Saturday, 1 December 2018, in front of the audience, during the Proms’ Night Extravaganza at Symphony Hall, Birmingham. Whilst this very public style of presentation is unusual, it is highly appropriate that loyal supporters of the orchestra share in this collaborative success and recognition, for they too effectively provide additional voluntary support when purchasing concert tickets.

On Tuesday, 5 June 2018, two members of the orchestra, PC Danny Mizon (Metropolitan Police) and Steph Owen (Secretary to the BPSO) will represent the orchestra at a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. Both are delighted that the work of the orchestra has been recognised and are honoured to attend on behalf of all members, past and present.

Contact Information

James Baker

Press Officer

College of Policing

0203 8370435

Notes to editors

Notes to editors:

For further information please contact:

Steph Owen (07905236968)

Danny Mizon or Paul West (07768 642307)

You can find out more about the British Police Symphony Orchestra by visiting:

For further details about the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service please visit: