Policing pioneer wins international recognition

Detective Chief Superintendent Emily Higham (above), who is currently on secondment to the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit has been awarded the International Association of Women Police (IAWP) Leadership Award.

In April 2019, DCS Higham was awarded the British Association for Women in Policing (BAWP) Lifetime Achievement Award for her achievements in policing across her GMP career, including being the first female Detective Chief Inspector and Superintendent in the Serious and Organised Crime Unit and the first female Chief Superintendent within the Operational Communications Branch, before moving on to be the first female head of the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit.

Following her BAWP win, the category was submitted to the International Awards, which she has also gone on to win, beating off stiff competition from prestigious nominees across the globe.

One of DCS Higham’s proudest achievements to date was setting up GMP’s first Child Sexual Exploitation Team (PROTECT) in 2006, which paved the way for all other CSE teams within GMP, and at the time PROTECT was recognised as best practise for other national forces to follow. She also proudly led the implementation of the first Domestic Violence court in Greater Manchester, training magistrates, judges, crown prosecutors as well as representatives from the media on the challenges surrounding domestic violence and the needs of victims. This court was subsequently recognised as good practice and implemented across GMP, as well as wider areas. To complement this she brought in the Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference process within GMP, bringing together partners to safeguard victims and children within abusive relationships.

Throughout her career, DCS Higham has been instrumental in leading the way for future female leaders by being a ‘female first’ leader in some predominantly male environments. Through her continued vision for women in policing and ‘can-do’ attitude, she has run workshops and mentoring support for male and female officers and colleagues who are looking to progress their careers, and has continued to run these workshops and mentor people every year of her service.

DCS Higham is due to receive her award at an event during the IAWP’s 57th Annual Training Conference in Anchorage, Alaska, USA this September.