A former police officer from south London has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for their achievements and long service in policing.

Vicky Washington, former Detective Superintendent for the Metropolitan Police has worked her way up the ranks in policing over the course of 30 years, and after winning international awards, building relationships with minority groups, and winning the Queen’s Policing Medal, she has now retired from the Met.

The mum-of-four will soon be heading to Windsor Castle, where she will obtain her prestigious award.

Vicky has devoted her policing career to south London, working as detective inspector across south west London boroughs, running projects in Brixton where she diverted young people away from crime, writing security briefings at the 2012 Olympics, and worked in the Territorial Support Group across south east London.

Surrey Comet: Vicky WashingtonVicky Washington

The Superintendent has faced many duties as a Metropolitan Police officer, from roles in counter terrorism to working closely with domestic abuse survivors.

She also was particularly involved in running the police response to Female Genital Mutilation at British airports, where she would educate holiday go-errs about the crime.

She explained: “I’ve done a whole plethora of things in policing.

“Last year, I was awarded the international award for women in policing for particularly around my work with around violence against women and girls.

“I had a real focus around domestic violence and when I first joined the police, domestic violence was seen as an area then that we shouldn't get too because it was it was a private matter.

“Then I saw how attitudes gradually change and that we were seeing we had to be more involved.

“The fact that every week two women are murdered as a result of domestic violence is shocking, and I think we can do so much more.

“We've come a long way, but we need to work closely with organisations and communities as a whole.

“The police need the public to be the eyes and ears of society – people who can come forward and report crime, antisocial behaviour, or any crime concerns whatsoever.”

READ MORE: Erith chef through to semi-finals of national cooking competition

Although the job can be incredibly rewarding and features a lot of variety, Vicky says joining the police force is “not easy”.

She explained: “Police officers won't be deployed if they can't see a problem – but I am aware that it’s not easy to come forward.

“I have had a very varied career that can be sometimes scary - dealing with conflict, knifes and antisocial behaviour.

“Even the working hours can be stressful, especially on your mind and body.

“But every day there is a new challenge and having the willing to serve your community can be incredibly rewarding.

“It is an amazing job – a role fit for everyone, and I’ve had the opportunity to work in many roles, work part time and raise a family, all still while working as a Met Police officer.

Vicky says she is “extremely passionate” about advocating young people, particularly young women, and girls, to joining the Met.

Surrey Comet:

“Women are key in policing” Vicky added, as she claims that young girls need “a strong voice” to look up to, specifically in the police force.

Vicky said: “We're dealing with all aspects in society, and we are far more powerful if we have that inspiring voice, from both men and women.

“I think the last 10 years I've seen amazing changes with Dame Cressida Dick, she was incredibly positive force in policing, incredibly engaging, supportive leader, and she brought about a lot of really good cultural change.

“I felt she was really fantastic leader, very well respected and brought about incredible change, but the Met is a massive organisation, and it takes a lot to change more than 30,000 officers.”

Vicky says she is “incredibly shocked, emotional and delighted” to be awarded the Queen’s Police Medal and is looking forward to obtaining the award from Prince Charles or the Queen herself.

She told the News Shopper: “I’m really humbled that I’ve won it.

“I’m aware that there are so many brilliant people in policing, who really wants to improve lives and really care.

“I’ve worked with some amazing people, from communities to private sectors, and it’s just so lovely to be recognised for the work I’ve done.”

Have you got a story for us? You can contact us here.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to keep up with all the latest news.

Sign up to our newsletters to get updates sent straight to your inbox.