A former chief superintendent with the British Transport Police (BTP) has been awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for distinguished service at the end of a 36-year career that almost failed at the first hurdle.
David Wildbore, 53, born and bred in south London, tried to join the Metropolitan Police from school. He was refused entry because of injuries sustained in a motorbike accident. However, determined to follow in his father’s footsteps as a police officer, he trained hard and re-applied a year later and eventually passed out from Hendon Police College as a PC in 1978, aged 19.
For much of his career Dave Wildbore served in the Met originally as a constable in Battersea. Later he drove an area patrol car in the early 1980s. As a sergeant, he joined the Metropolitan Police Territorial Support Group and was involved in the policing of the 1990 poll tax riots in central London and the violent protests at the BNP HQ in Welling.
Eventually he was made operations inspector at Greenwich and was responsible for policing at Charlton Athletic when the club reached the then Premiership in 1998.
Dave Wildbore joined BTP in 2007 as chief superintendent and took a leading role in BTP’s planning and policing of the London Olympics.
Says Dave Wildbore, ‘To a police officer, receiving the Queen’s Police Medal is the ultimate accolade. I joined the Met straight out of school, following in my dad’s footsteps – he was a neighbourhood bobby in London. Being a police officer and serving the public was a personal honour, and to be recognised in this way couldn’t mean more to me.’