British bases Police Chief Inspector Maria Atalioti is the first woman awarded an Overseas Territories Police Medal by King Charles III on the New Year Honours List.
She is also one of only two to receive the King’s award.
The prestigious award was given to the 25-year Cypriot police veteran for her outstanding work and dedication to her job.
The Akrotiri-based chief inspector is the most senior female officer in SBA Police history. According to senior police chiefs, she has been an exceptional role model to others through intellect, professionalism, and sheer determination to succeed.
As the leader in equality, fairness and diversity and an expert in crisis and hostage negotiation, she has also established strong relationships between the Bases and the Republic of Cyprus.
After hearing the news, Chief Inspector Atalioti said: “I feel very honoured and privileged to receive such a prestigious award, which is part of the great team effort by all in the Sovereign Areas Police, supported by our Chief Constable Chris Eyre.
“We will continue our commitment to equality, fairness and diversity, both within our Force and with our communities, ensuring a fully inclusive style of policing.
“In order to deliver the best possible quality of service to our communities, I will continue to ensure our personnel are motivated, treating them fairly with respect and dignity and create an environment where they feel valued and proud to be part of the SBA Police family”.
She also coordinated the last three Charity Cycle events organised by the SBA Police, which raised more than €135,000 and donated to children suffering from cancer.
In reflecting on her contribution to the police force, Chief Constable, Chris Eyre was full of praise and delighted to see her receive the accolade.
“Maria is a remarkable senior police officer who combines her immense energy with prodigious policing skills to deliver exceptional services to our communities.
“I have seen first-hand the work she has done over the last six years to transform SBA Police and her tireless charitable work, which makes such a difference to the lives of Cypriot children and families.
“I am proud to see His Majesty the King recognising her with the Overseas Territories Police Medal.”