A police officer who took on a pioneering role to help children in Nottingham has been honoured by the Queen.

PC Sam Flint started as the Children in Care police officer 12 years ago when a pilot was launched to help prevent young people in care from committing crime. The role hadn’t been tried before anywhere in the country and is provided in partnership between Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire Police.

In her time, PC Flint has introduced methods of working which have led to a reduction in young people in Nottinghamshire being criminalised.

Now, she has been recognised for her efforts with a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours, awarded for a ‘hands-on’ service to the local community.

PC Flint said: “I am absolutely delighted to be nominated for such a lovely thing. A whole team effort has made this post the most rewarding experience in my police career. Seeing the positive outcomes for young people we work with makes all the hard work worthwhile.”

PC Flint works alongside the Youth Offending Team to support children in care, children on the edge of care and those living in residential children’s homes and foster placements.

A large area of her work has been in Child Sexual Exploitation working closely with the NSPCC and other organisations to identify children at risk and suspicious locations – something which has been recognised by the Home Office.

“In my 23 years’ service it’s the hardest role but the most satisfying,” said PC Flint.

Councillor David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Early Intervention and Early Years at the City Council, said: “This is fantastic news and I’m delighted that Sam has been honoured for the work that she does.

“Sam plays a really important role giving children in care a friendly face they can trust and someone who they know will be there to support them during difficult times. She has worked hard to build good relationships with everyone.

“I am proud to work closely with Sam now and in the future. Her recognition in the New Year’s Honours is richly deserved and makes a big difference to the lives of Nottingham children.”

PC Flint not only visits young people in care regularly to check on their welfare and support them, her restorative approach also ensures young people are making amends, rehabilitated in the community and most importantly diverted from offending.

Inspector Paul Harris, Operational Lead, Nottinghamshire Integrated Offender Management, said: “Having joined with Sam ‘way back’ in 1994, but only recently been lucky enough to have her on my team, I’m absolutely overjoyed for her.  Within her field of expertise (Children in Care), she possesses a national reputation, and this is reflected in this royal recognition.  She is an incredibly significant asset to our organisation, yet Sam remains humble, dedicated, and utterly deserving of this award.  I’m incredibly proud to be her supervisor and friend.”