TWENTY five years of unstinting care and compassion has earned a Hereford Police constable the Queen's Police Medal.

Beat manager for Hereford Rural, Sally Fisher, was nominated for the medal by the force for her outstanding welfare work and support of colleagues.

"I received a letter informing me that I was to receive the Queen's Police Medal and I felt surprised, delighted, honoured and shocked all at the same time. I never expected anything like this, it was a bolt out of the blue," she said.

The 45-year-old joined the Hereford force in 1977. Her 25 years include beat officer postings at South Wye and Peterchurch.

Nominating her for the award, announced in the New Year's Honours, Chief Superintendent Guy Rutter said: "PC Fisher has made a significant impact on the lives of many families and individuals though her welfare work, including supporting a serving police officer who died of cancer, and his family - support that continues to this day. She made herself available to the family at all times, often driving many miles in her own vehicle.

"Sally was one of the force's first peer counsellors, helping colleagues through difficult times in their lives. In addition to this, she has provided valuable support to the community in her role as beat manager and represents women police constables in the force at regional and national meetings through the Police Federation."

PC Fisher, who was brought up in Church Stretton and originates from Essex, will be presented with her medal at a special ceremony.