Four inspiring women shortlisted for national policing awards
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Four inspirational women from Leicestershire Police have been shortlisted for prestigious national and international policing awards.
The outstanding achievements of police officers and staff from forces across the UK will be recognised at an awards ceremony hosted by the British Association for Women in Policing (BAWP) on Monday 13 June 2022.
Leicestershire’s Chief Constable Rob Nixon said; “To reach the final stage of the judging, set against very strong competition, is a significant achievement and I am incredibly proud that we have four short listed nominees. These women are a shining example of the talent we have in our organisation and are role models that others can look up to and be inspired by. National awards like this provide a great opportunity to say a huge thank you to colleagues who consistently go above and beyond, and I hope they have a great evening celebrating their success.”
Three police officers and a member of police staff have been put shortlisted in recognition of their outstanding work.
Leadership and Lifetime Achievement – T/Superintendent Manjit Atwal
During the 26 years of her exemplary career so far, T/Supt. Atwal has been an outstanding role model to her colleagues, not only excelling in her current role, but also finding the time to be an active part in the Sikh Police Association, the Women’s Inclusive Network and is also a nationally trained Hostage and Crisis Negotiator. She is an exemplary advocate for those under-represented in policing and provides coaching and mentoring to a number of officers through promotion or personal development programmes.
In her 26 years’ service, T/Supt. Atwal has had no less than 19 roles. Her career to date has traversed a plethora of policing disciplines, including front line uniformed policing, youth offending, operational planning, staff officer to the chief officers, the local and regional intelligence arena and counter terrorism, neighbourhood policing and her current role seconded to the College of Policing as the project lead on the National Police Chiefs Council taskforce for Violence Against Women and Girls.
Temporary Superintendent Atwal was awarded the QPM in 2020 for being a “truly inspiring woman in policing” and was named Civil Servant of the Year at the 2022 British Sikh Awards.
Lifetime Achievement – Dominique Allen
Dom was a police constable for 31 years joining Leicestershire Police in 1976 but rather than putting her feet up Dom returned to the force as a police staff member and for the last 13 years has been in charge of the force’s Benevolent Fund.
The Benevolent Fund is a fund that officers and staff can pay a small amount into each month and that then pays out in certain circumstances – on the birth of a first child and when members are off on long-term sick leave. It also is available for grants and loans if members fall into hardship.
Dom in incredibly passionate about The Benevolent Fund, ensuring its membership is up to date, looks after correspondence and deals with all applications for grants and loans – some of which are, of course, means tested.
Dom is also the person behind the Charities Fund and Police Care – organising help and support for current and retired officers, as well as widows and widowers.
Her hard work and dedication were recognised in 2021 when she was awarded the British Empire Medal for her 46 years’ service.
Excellence in Performance (BAWP) and Prevention and Detection of Violence Against Women (International Association of Women Police (IAWP) – DC Sarah Le Boutillier
DC Le Boutillier is a rising star, after 12 years working in the retail sector she became a police officer in 2019 and after just nine months became a detective in CID working in the field of child sexual exploitation. It’s unusual to be a student officer in CID and says she just loves her job.
DC Le Boutillier was part of a team working on ‘Operation Serial’ which involved over 100 multi-agency officers and staff investigating slavery/trafficking offences. DC Le Boutillier volunteered to assist with overseeing the property recovery and, despite having no previous experience, she managed the process of receiving hundreds of exhibits. She was the least experienced officer present but her work was exceptional and ensured the operation was successfully supported.
With only one year’s service, she took ownership of a complicated road rage investigation but thanks to her meticulous work, taking statements, obtaining medical evidence and gathering supporting evidence she was able to charge the suspect with grievous bodily harm.
DC Le Boutillier has worked on many complicate cases including a case of a vulnerable 14-year-old child who became pregnant as a result of being groomed. Initially the young person wanted to protect the suspect but thanks to Sarah’s patience and diligent the young person finally disclosed what had really happened.
These are just a few examples of some of the very complex cases Sarah has successfully investigated.
Bravery – PC Abigail Barker
PC Barker saved the life of a vulnerable young woman who was armed with a knife and intent on taking her own life. After a comprehensive search for the 17-year-old, PC Barker found her in dense woodland in a remote part of Leicestershire. She was distressed, injured and about to take her own life.
When PC Barker intervened to prevent her from harming herself she had no choice but to physically restrain her not knowing if she still had the knife. Thankfully she was able to safely restrain the young woman until other officers arrived to help her. The young woman was taken to the hospital and is well on her way to making a good recovery and getting the relevant support she needs.
Without PC Barker’s quick intervention, the vulnerable female would have caused herself significant injury or ended her life.