Two women working for Leicestershire Police have been honoured on a national and international stage after each winning two awards.
DC Anna Blockley and DC Emma Bee beat off competition from other officers across the country and the global to be receive awards by both the British Association of Women in Police (BAWP) and the International Association of Women in Policing (IAWP).
Both awards are run by the associations to recognise women who should be honoured for their contribution to policing and their local communities.
Taking the prestigious title of ‘Officer of the Year’ in the BAWP and IWAP awards – Anna was recognised for her “commitment and devotion to the crimes she investigates, ensuring the best service possible for the victims.”
DC Anna Blockley
Securing the national prize for the force for the second consecutive year, Anna joined policing in 2006 and for most of her time has worked as a detective. For the past five years she has been in the Child Abuse Investigation Unit as part of a team who focus on historic abuse cases.
She has dealt with many difficult and complex cases during her time in the team but despite the challenges, in the last two years alone she has been able to provide justice for 21 victims with 14 child abusers being sentenced to a total of 125 years.
Anna said: “To be named as officer of the year in both awards is incredible. I am completely blown away by both honours. I am one of those lucky people who truly loves what they do so to be recognised in this way for just doing a job I enjoy is an amazing privilege.”
For her dedication to an investigation spanning four years, fellow detective Emma Bee was named as the winner of the ‘Excellence in Performance’ category by IAWP and joint winner in the same category by the British association.
DC Emma Bee
Between April 2015 and April 2019, Emma worked tirelessly on a very complex case following a serious stabbing in which the victim sustained life threatening injuries.
Despite the sheer scale, Emma almost single-handedly investigated and case-managed the incident - resulting in a number of defendants being convicted, including two for attempted murder. One of the sentences was also increased following a successful hearing at the Court of Appeal.
Emma, who now works as part of the force’s murder investigation team, said: “I am thrilled to have won not one but two awards. It truly does make all of the hard work, and time away from my family worthwhile. I am very proud to be a policewoman and to have won both awards for excellence in performance is a great honour.”
As the only force in the world to win two IAWP awards, both detectives will now have the opportunity to attend the association’s training conference when it is held in Indonesia in September next year.
Deborah Friedle, IWAP President, said: "The IAWP is so pleased to recognise the outstanding work of our colleagues in law enforcement. These stories exemplify that with the right tools, training and opportunity, women excel in policing and keep our communities safe."
In addition to Anna and Emma’s achievement, a further three members of the policing family were also honoured as runners-up in the national awards.
Not only did a Leicestershire officer win the accolade for best officer, the two runners-up in the category are also from the force – one of which volunteers her time as a Special Constable.
PC Louise Kay, has been an officer for 17 years and spent most of that time on the frontline attending emergency incidents. She was praised for her “continued outstanding work ethic and motivation”.
Kimberley Pulley works fulltime as a personal assistant – providing care and support to the elderly and adults and children with disabilities but for the last six years she has also volunteered as a special constable - working alongside regular officers in the Melton area.
She was nominated for her “incredible dedication and depth of experience and professionalism”. When on shift Kimberley is said to be the first through the door and does not shy away from any incident she faces.
Staff member Sally Porch was also honoured – being named a runner-up for the ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award after more than 30 years’ service.
For the past 16 years Sally has been an integral part of the police family – preparing new recruits to pass the fitness test, helping officers and staff stay in shape and rehabilitating those injured on duty.
She was instrumental in launching the ‘Desk 2 5K’ initiative which aimed to get people with no prior running experience being able to run five kilometres in nine weeks.
But Sally doesn’t just have a passion for putting people through their paces, she was also instrumental in introducing meditation and yoga initiatives in force and works as a mental health first aider and a wellbeing champion.
Detective Chief Inspector Reme Gibson, Chair of Leicestershire Police’s Women’s Inclusive Network, said: “I am so proud of the efforts of not only Anna and Emma but all five women which has led to them being acknowledged by women’s policing associations.
“For the second year we have the honour to have one of our policewomen named as the national officer of the year, as well as another two being selected as runners-up in the same category. This is incredible in itself but for Anna to also take the international title too is truly outstanding.
“These five are shining examples of some of the amazing officers, staff and volunteers we have; who carry out their duties with extreme passion and enthusiasm.
“On behalf of the women’s network and the force as a whole I want to pass on my congratulations on all of their outstanding achievements.”