Top cop and archaeologist given OBEs

Jon Stoddart
Jon Stoddart

TWO North Tynesiders feature in the Queen’s new year’s honours list for 2012.

Jon Stoddart, chief constable of Durham Constabulary, has been awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to the police.

Mr Stoddart, already a holder of the Queen’s Police Medal, joined Northumbria Police in 1982 and spent 16 years with the force.

The 52-year-old, of Whitley Bay, held both uniformed and CID posts, working as a detective sergeant in Newcastle, detective chief inspector in Sunderland, head of the force’s major crime team and an area commander in Tynemouth.

Mr Stoddart has also worked as assistant chief constable in Lincolnshire and is a member of the Association of Chief Police Officers’ crime committee.

He took up the post of deputy chief constable at Durham Constabulary in 2003, being promoted to chief constable in 2005.

“I’m surprised and delighted,” he said after learning of the honour.

Also being given an OBE is archaeologist Paul Bidwell, of North Shields.

Born in Southampton, the 62-year-old trained at Exeter University, moving to the north east more than 30 years ago.

Having been head of archaeology at Tyne and Wear Museums for over 20 years, he has particular expertise in Roman archaeology and pottery studies and was recently made a consultant on the management, display and investigation of the Hadrian’s Wall world heritage site.

Mr Bidwell said: “I was completely surprised – I had no idea I had been put in for it – but I was obviously delighted.”