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Retired BTP officer awarded QPM in Queens Birthday Honours

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Jim Rentell

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A British Transport Police officer who served with the force for more than 40 years said it was “wonderful” to have been awarded the QPM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
 
Jim Rentell, who joined BTP as a cadet in July 1973, found out about the award only a week ago, and said his first thought was “what the hell have I done?”.
 
He said: “But when it sank in, I was shocked. The letter advised me to keep it a secret, which was extremely difficult. I attended a retirement function last Monday and was dying to tell my former colleagues, but had to keep quiet.”
 
After serving as a cadet, Jim joined BTP as a constable at New Street – a job he said he loved.
 
From there, he was posted to Birmingham International Airport and, in 1982, joined the Mobile Support Unit. They were a public order that were often used to police travelling football supporters – and it was football which would come to dominate Jim’s working life.
 
In 1987, he was part of Operation Red Card, a West Midlands-led operation to infiltrate and stop a Birmingham City hooligan group. The operation led to 67 arrests.
 
Other jobs included being seconded to West Midlands Police for Euro ‘96, the National Football Unit for France ’98, and in 2001, Jim became the Football Intelligence Officer for Wales and Western, and later the Midlands division.
 
He was well known within the football and policing community over the years, as well as getting to attend some of the biggest championships of the last few decades. His last was the Champions League Final in Cardiff last year.
 
Jim said: “I am very honoured that BTP thought so highly of me over my 44 years of service and put my name forward for this honour.
 
“I think what I’d really like to say is thank you for the support of my family – especially my wife Mary, who I have been married to for nearly 40 years – and my two sons Patrick and Andrew, and their other halves. 
 
“They’ve had to put up with my love for BTP and I know they will be very proud of me getting the QPM. Which is just wonderful.”
 
He added: “My love for football outside the BTP was and is now being a long suffering supporter of my local team Aston Villa...who failed miserably a couple of weeks ago in the Championship play off final!”
 
Chief Constable Paul Crowther, said: “Jim was a well-known and respected officer around the force, and I’m delighted he is being honoured with a QPM.
 
“His dedication over 44 years of service was exemplary and included some of the biggest operations the force has ever taken part in – most recently the Champions League Final last year.
 
“I know he has been sorely missed since his retirement. This award is just recognition of his contribution to policing the railway and keeping the public safe and I want to once again thank Jim for everything he did for BTP.”

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