A West Midlands Police officer who runs a project diverting children away from violent crime and gang culture has spoken of his pride at receiving an MBE.

PC Rob Pedley was formally made a Member of the British Empire by royal appointment at Buckingham Palace last weekend when he was presented with his medal by Prince William.

Rob runs West Midlands Police’s Precious Lives project which, since launching in 2011, has now reached more than 100,000 teenagers across the region.

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Alongside Marcia Shakespeare and Alison Cope – mums who have experienced the trauma of lives lost to gun and knife crime – he tours the region’s schools on a campaign to ‘deglamourise’ gang culture and steer clear of crime.

He took a cheeky snap in the palace’s main courtyard but will soon have the official photo memory of the presentation made by the Duke of Cambridge.

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Rob said: “It was an amazing experience: there were around 60 people receiving honours and I felt very privileged to be among them.

“It was also Armistice Day and we collectively observed the two minutes silence in the palace’s main ballroom… it was very moving.

“I expected Prince William to say something like ’so what have you done then’ – but he asked about the Precious Lives scheme and seemed genuinely interested to hear about our work.

“Along with my family, I was photographed with lots of tourists as we entered the courtyard…  and when my children told the taxi driver their dad was collecting a medal he told us he didn’t want paying for the journey! It was a great day and a fantastic experience.”

But Rob was quick to thank others for the success of the Precious Lives project.

He added: “I feel privileged to be in a position where I can influence young people and help them make the right life choices. I’m just doing my job as a PC in line with our values of giving our communities 100 per cent and to police with confidence, pride and passion.

“I haven’t achieved the success of the Precious Lives project alone. I have had support at every step from WMP colleagues, plus Marcia and Alison, and my family in allowing me to rebuild my life to where it is today.”