Former officer recognised on New Year’s Honours list

Barry McEwan, left, helps to launch an offensive against underage drinkers during his time at Kirkintilloch
Barry McEwan, left, helps to launch an offensive against underage drinkers during his time at Kirkintilloch

A retired police officer from Mossend is to receive the highest award the force has to offer.

Barry McEwan retired in August, following a distinguished 30-year career, and was stunned to find his name on the New Year’s Honours list for the Queen’s Police Med al.

Barry rose to the rank of chief superintendent, as the former Uddingston Grammar pupil came a long way from his first day on the beat in Baillieston in 1987.

After 10 years in the East End of Glasgow , which also saw him do community work and become a plain clothes officer in CID, he was promoted to sergeant and moved to Castlemilk.

After a brief period on the south side he returned to Lanarkshire as he specialised in intelligence work out of Hamilton.

From there he became a temporary inspector in Larkhall in 2003 and was then promoted to full inspector as he returned to the east end of Glasgow a year later.

Further promotion saw him become a temporary chief inspector in Kirkintilloch for six months, before being given full promotion as a chief inspector at Strathclyde Police headquarters in Pitt Street.

During this time he would also act as a detective chief inspector, returning to CID, and deputy chief superintendent.

His reputation in intelligence work came to the fore in 2011 when he was asked him to take over as division commander for Argyll and Bute and West Dunbartonshire following a major incident.

He would end his career as Divisional Commander for the Licensing and Violence Reduction Unit, becoming instrumental in shaping the new Safer Communities Division.

Barry was the driving force to ensure the Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse Scotland (Clare’s Law) was launched on time; led the transition to integrate, improve and modernise firearms licensing services and developed how Police Scotland responds to missing persons.

Barry said: “I am probably most proud of leading the launch of Clare’s Law, but for me the real privilege was being able to work with and eventually lead so many people working hard to make a difference, without them I wouldn’t have had a career.

“I enjoyed the job right up to the end, but decided after 30-years dedicated to the police it was time I gave some more time to my family, especially my wife Margo, who stood by me through it all.

“When you are growing up in an estate in Uddingston you never expect to one day see your name on the New Year’s Honours list, so for it to have actually happened is incredible.”

Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone paid tribute to Barry.

He said: “The Queen’s Police Medal is one of the highest honours awarded to officers, and we are very proud as an organisation that Barry has received this commendation.

“Everyone at Police Scotland would like to thank Barry for the sterling work he undertook during his long and distinguished career and congratulate him on this accolade which is a fitting end to his police service, following his retirement.”