Pioneering police detective is awarded honorary degree at St Albans Cathedal

Former Detective Superintendent Paul Ealham, left, with University of Hertfordshire's Vice Chancello

Former Detective Superintendent Paul Ealham, left, with University of Hertfordshire's Vice Chancellor Quintin McKellar, at St Albans Cathedral - Credit: Pete Stevens -

A crime-fighter renowned for using the latest technology to help pursue some of the UK’s most wanted people has received an honorary degree at St Albans Cathedral.

The historic landmark has been hosting the University of Hertfordshire’s graduation ceremonies, which drew thousands of students, family and friends to the city centre from September 7-15.

Among the impressive list of honorary graduates was former Detective Superintendent Paul Ealham, who worked closely with the Hatfield-based university on automatic number plate recognition cameras (ANPR) during his police career in this county.

Police use the system in conjunction with CCTV to track stolen cars, monitor the whereabouts of suspected criminals and gather evidence to solve the most serious of crimes.

Paul also took on an entirely voluntary role of strategic champion for black and ethnic minority officers.

In 2013 the National Crime Agency – which some liken to the FBI – asked Paul to join them on secondment.

In his role he became a strategic link between the agency and local police forces, and was given a pivotal role in the fight against drugs.

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He received his honorary degree of Master of Laws at the Cathedral last week.

The 52 year old, who retired last year, said he was ‘very honoured’ to receive the accolade, adding, “A lot of it is covert work that we can’t publicise [so] it is nice to be recognised for the hard work we have done.

“There is always a great team at Herts Police and the university, that I am always grateful for. Although it is going to me, ultimately I think it is a team award.

“I may push the ideas forward, but it is always the people behind me doing the day-to-day work who get results.”