Trainee detective wins international policing award
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A Leicestershire police officer, with only three years’ service, will take up a prestigious place at the International Women in Policing (IAWP) conference in Canada for her outstanding work.
DC Sarah Le Boutillier has won the IAWP 2022 Detection and Prevention of Violence Against Women Award and will be presented with her trophy during a five-day conference in Niagara Falls in Canada starting on Monday 12 September.
The International Association of Women Police (IAWP) is a global organisation for women police officers and women in other criminal justice roles. Its mission is to strengthen, unite and raise the capacity of women police around the world.
Sarah was told she had won the award at the British Association for Women in Policing (BAWP) conference this week where she was also highly commended in the BAWP Excellence in Performance category.
DC Le Boutillier is a rising star. After 12 years working in the retail sector, and at the age of 32, she decided to become a police officer. She joined Leicestershire Police in 2019 and after just nine months, joined CID as a trainee detective working in the field of child sexual exploitation. She has passed her National Investigators Exam.
In such a short time, Sarah has already made an impression working tirelessly and diligently on a number of complex cases to bring to justice those who seek to hurt and exploit vulnerable women, girls and young people.
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. She volunteered to assist with overseeing the property recovery and, despite having no previous experience, 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 establish that the person claiming to be the victim was in fact the offender and her work led to the suspect being charged with grievous bodily harm. This investigation showed very clearly her tenacity and ability as an investigator.
On the CSE team Sarah is still a student officer, but frequently assists/mentors qualified detectives and supervisors in key areas (such as internal police computer systems and the redaction of evidence in preparation for court) due to her knowledge and authority.
Sarah was investigating a man in Leicestershire for sexual offences against children when the suspect moved to another force area and was reported to be living with a woman and her children. With very scant details, Sarah recognised the considerable risk he posed and stayed late to make enquiries to identify a possible address. Sarah located the man and tasked officers from another force to arrest him. Sarah’s diligence and investigation led to the children being safeguarded and man being convicted of rape and issued a Sexual harm Prevention Order (SHPO).
IAWP President Deborah Friedl, "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 safer.”
DC Le Boutillier said; “It was quite a shock when I was told I had won this international award, the first thing I said was ‘are you sure?’ It’s a bit overwhelming really especially going to Canada to collect my award but I am really grateful.
“I haven’t been a police officer for very long but I love my job. I feel at home and when you feel at home you want to do well. I know this is the job for me.”
Sarah was not the only officer from Leicestershire Police to have their work recognised;