A former St Helens Superintendent has been awarded the Queen's Police Medal in the New Year's Honours
Nikki Holland served as Superintendent in the borough from 2009 to 2012 and is currently Director of Investigations at the National Crime Agency.
Nikki said: "Receiving the QPM is a tremendous honour. When I joined the police force 30 years ago I never dreamed I would go on to lead the fight against serious and organised crime across two forces, regions and nationally as a Director in the National Crime Agency.
"I would like to thank my mum; husband Dave and son Daniel for all the support they have given and continue to give me.
"As a fourth generation police officer in my family I feel incredibly proud and privileged to serve the public in the job I do and for being recognised in this way. This is an important honour, not just for me, but for my husband, son and two step daughters who continue to support me in my law enforcement career.
"I spent most of my time in the police as a detective in Liverpool South and Sefton and was the lead on numerous murder inquiries, firearm discharge investigations and other major incidents. I was promoted to Superintendent in St Helens in 2009 and three years later was promoted to Area Commander for Sefton.
"I was fortunate to work with some fantastic people during my police service and have always been a strong advocate for women in policing and believe that it is important to provide support and guidance for other women in the service who want to make a difference.
"I followed my dad into the service and was proud to follow in his footsteps. The police service gives you the ability to support vulnerable people and communities across Merseyside and the UK, whilst at the same time taking positive action in relation to those who are committing most harm in our communities through their involvement in serious and organised crime. I love every minute of my career in law enforcement and I am delighted to have been given the QPM for a job I thoroughly enjoy and love."
Chief Constable Andy Cooke, said: "I have known Nikki for nearly 30 years and I am delighted that she has been recognised in this New Year Honours list.
"Nikki has always been passionate about the police service and followed in her dad’s footsteps when she joined Merseyside Police as a constable in 1988, she is actually the fourth generation of her family to serve with the police. 28 years of Nikki’s service was with Merseyside Police and she worked her way up the ranks with extensive service in CID.
"Nikki is a very determined and independent person, who has always given her utmost throughout her career. Nikki is a very proud person and managed a full on career alongside bringing up her son, Daniel, single handed. Throughout her career Nikki has had the full support of her mum and son and has been a role model and inspiration to other women within policing.
"I am sure members of the public will also join me in thanking her for her commitment to serving the public of Merseyside."
Whilst at Merseyside Police she spent the majority of her service as a detective and was Senior Investigating Officer in Liverpool South and Sefton. She has led on numerous murder enquiries, firearms discharge investigations, other major incidents and the Force Diversity Programme in 2007.
Following her promotion to uniform Superintendent in St. Helens in 2009, Nikki led the reduction of crime and disorder across every aspect of policing and was a key member of the Safeguarding Children Board and other partnership forums. She successfully introduced the process of targeting Organised Crime Groups within the Merseyside force area.
In 2012 Nikki was promoted to Area Commander for Sefton. During this time she led local policing, response policing, investigations and intelligence for one of the busiest command units in Merseyside and was Gold Commander and Senior Firearms Commander in a number of high profile incidents involving serious and organised crime which affected some of Merseyside’s most vulnerable communities.
After a short spell in South Wales, Nikki returned back to Merseyside as ACC with responsibility for investigation, intelligence, serious and organised Crime and TITAN Regional Organised Crime Unit.
Her role in Merseyside involved proactive, covert and reactive investigation of firearms offences, murders and serious and organised crime. Nikki also had the strategic lead for protecting vulnerable people and was a key member of the Merseyside Vulnerability Forum.
Nikki’s role in TITAN was leading the North West’s fight against serious and organised crime. She also had operational staff and teams focused on cybercrime and Child Sexual Exploitation throughout the region.
In December 2016, she took over as Chair of the Women’s Chief Officer Network group and has driven the group to encourage women as an underrepresented group to seek promotion. She has coordinated mentoring for women by senior colleagues including Chief Constables and has spent a great deal of her own time mentoring and encouraging these women and has led by example.
In April 2017, Nikki was promoted to Director of Investigations in the National Crime Agency. She has responsibility for the management of NCA Investigations, in response to serious and organised crime. She also has responsibility in her portfolio for specialist investigations, border command, economic crime, serious crime review, CSAE, economic crime, specialist support including the armed operations unit, forensics and technical operations alongside all national investigations.