South Yorkshire police officer receives national award

Zuleika Payne
Zuleika Payne
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A South Yorkshire police officer who helps build relationships with new communities has won a national award for her work.

Zuleika Payne, who works as a specialist community engagement officer in hard-to-reach communities, won the national Women in Policing Award at this year’s Police Federation conference.

The officer, who has 24 years' service, was chosen from six finalists from across the country.

Between 2003 and 2010, Zuleika organised and hosted two conferences on forced marriage, resulting in a 40-50 per cent increase in reported offences in South Yorkshire.

She led an initiative in Rotherham aimed at preventing vulnerable people, including the young, from getting lured into extremism or terrorist groups.

PC Payne also works with South Yorkshire Police's vulnerable persons unit and is responsible for building links with new and emerging communities.

She became a Police Federation representative in 2005 and is the 'equality lead' in South Yorkshire.

PC Payne said: “I am absolutely delighted to be the recipient of this award. I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to those involved in the decision making process and also my police colleagues.

"I am immensely proud that South Yorkshire Police have been recognised for the service we provide to the community day in day out. This is becoming increasingly difficult as we are losing a vast swathes of officers."

Judging panel member Hayley Ayley said: “It was an honour to be part of the judging panel and be able to judge the high standard of deserving female officers who have all, through true adversity or with clear passion and drive, developed and promoted women in policing.

"Zuleika has achieved so much both through the Federation and publicly to help communities and show the true dedication of women in policing. We are truly inspired by her and her achievements"