Sara Thornton, the UK’s Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, has been recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours list


Sara has been appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for services to policing, after having served for 33 years as a police officer until March 2019.

Sara was the first Chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council from 2015 to 2019. She took up the role of Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner on 1 May 2019.


Dame Sara Thornton, Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner said:

“I am absolutely delighted and humbled to receive a DBE for services to policing. It was a privilege to serve the public as a police officer for over 30 years, often challenging but always rewarding. 

I have worked with officers and staff from all forces in my national role and never failed to be impressed by their commitment, courage and good humour. They protect the public and keep communities safe and it was an honour to lead them.”


Martin Hewitt, Chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council said:

“On behalf of all chiefs, I extend my warm congratulations to the NPCC's first chair, Sara Thornton - who has received a DBE for her services to policing. She has dedicated her career to public service and provided strong leadership during a time of change for our profession.”


Cressida Dick, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police said:

“I am absolutely delighted to hear that Sara has been honoured in this way. She brought great commitment, dedication, compassion, clarity of thought and leadership throughout a very distinguished police career in the Met, Thames Valley and in her national role leading and coordinating Chief Constables. It's wonderful news.”


Dame Sara Thornton joined the Metropolitan Police Service in 1986 and in 2000 transferred to Thames Valley Police on promotion to Assistant Chief Constable.  Following four years as Deputy Chief Constable she was appointed Chief Constable in 2007. 

She contributed significantly to national policing during this time and was the national lead on intelligence, Vice-Chair of ACPO Terrorism and Allied Matters, Director of the Police National Assessment Centre and ACPO Vice-President.

Sara was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in 2006 and made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2011.