An award-winning coach and mentor has praised the Staffordshire Police recruits she works with and described them as “incredible people”.

Sophie Boden, who has just been honoured by the Staffordshire Association for Women in Policing (SAWP) for her work with young officers, said it was a privilege to guide them through the first stages of their careers.

Sophie’s SAWP award for coaching and mentoring was presented in recognition of the tireless support she provides to student officers as they complete their portfolios and also with the cadet unit which she helps to run.

She has also been highly commended by the British Association for Women in Policing (BAWP) for coaching and mentoring.

Sophie joined Staffordshire Police almost five years ago and is currently serving as an acting sergeant in child protection. She works with the student officers and cadets outside her normal policing role.

She said: “The cadets is actually a police volunteer role so I do that outside of work and supporting the student officers through their probation is also something I do outside my core role with the Force.”

Speaking after receiving her award alongside fellow Staffordshire police officers, PCSOs, staff and volunteers,  she said: “I think everyone is probably the same when they get nominated for awards for something they enjoy doing, I found it quite humbling.

“I do this because I like doing it but it was still quite nice to see that work recognised with an award.”

Sophie said she was excited to be involved with the work of the new recruits and believes they are the future of policing in Staffordshire.

She said: “Our Chief Constable has set out his vision and values for the future and his policing plan and a large part of what he wants to do is modernise our workforce to better represent the communities we police.

“We need to update some of our ideas and values in policing so that we are offering a better service and I think these new recruits that are coming through are just fantastic because they have their finger on the button with cultural diversity issues, they are very switched-on and they are able to engage with and relate to people as human beings as well as police officers.

“I think they are incredible people and they deserve the time that we give to them because they are going to be a massive asset to the Force in the years to come.”

The awards, which recognise brilliant community work, outstanding performance, bravery and women who inspire and lead others, were presented by Chief Constable Chris Noble at County Buildings in Stafford last Wednesday (4 May).

The Chief Constable said: “We presented the Staffordshire Association for Women in Policing (SAWP) awards to those officers and staff who have been recognised through this formal support network as achieving standards of excellence across a range of categories both community focused and in support of colleagues within the force.

“It is an honour as the Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police to present these awards, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the award recipients for the valuable contribution they have made in keeping Staffordshire safe.”

Staffordshire Police Federation chair Phil Jones said: “Sophie is a hard-working, dedicated police officer and her work with young officers and cadets is truly inspirational.

“This award rightly recognises the vital work she does with our new recruits and we are extremely proud of her achievements.”