A DERBYSHIRE policeman who was made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours earlier this year has now travelled to Buckingham Palace to collect his medal.
Sgt Stephen Osbaldeston, who was recognised for his services to policing and for setting up a boxing scheme for troubled youngsters including running sessions in Ripley, has been presented with the top honour by the Queen.
Sgt Osbaldeston, 56, set up Ozbox, the free boxing-based training scheme for youngsters aged 12 to 19, in 2005.
The classes, now held across the county, are run by off-duty police officers and are designed to reduce nuisance and criminal behaviour by giving youngsters something to do.
Sgt Osbaldeston, has 27 years’ service with Derbyshire Constabulary and continues to work full-time on Ozbox in a bid to help to turn around the lives of disaffected youngsters.
His wife Joanne is also a serving police officer as is one of his three children.
He was one of four officers from the county recognised in this year’s Birthday’s Honours List, said a spokesman for the force.
Sgt Osbaldeston said: “It was a great honour to meet the Queen and receive my medal.
“It is nice to be recognised for all the hard work that has gone into Ozbox and through substantial funding it is now going from strength to strength.”
Steve, 56, said: “I was told five weeks ago, but you’re sworn to secrecy. The hardest part was keeping it a secret, but my family are over the moon and obviously I’m delighted.”
Complaints about anti-social behaviour fell off sharply in Ripley in the first six months of the Oxford Street Ozbox club opening.
He now lives in Oakerthorpe but was brought up in Alfreton and credits a local gym with the inspiration for Ozbox.
He joined the police in 1985 and has been a detective for 19 years.
Joanne is based in Ilkeston and they have three children, Jade, Ben and Fern, also a police officer.
Ozbox has six mobile gyms and has helped set up six permanent gyms.