Police Federation

Devon and Cornwall detective wins national award for child protection

9 October 2019

After more than 23 years as a detective constable in Child Protection, DC Kate Hillman of Devon and Cornwall Police has won the overall Regional Recognition Award from the Police Federation’s National Detectives’ Forum (PFNDF) at a two-day seminar at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole on Wednesday 9 October, where the work of detectives across the country was recognised by their peers.

Working with children is a demanding role but Kate has applied vigorous and detailed investigative work to every one of her cases. Her recent work with Operation Felspar – a complicated child sexual abuse case – involved her in a lengthy period of travelling and interviewing that resulted in the perpetrator receiving a 12-year sentence, along with his name added to the sex offenders’ register.

Other notable cases DC Kate Hillman worked on included an investigation into a Plymouth scout leader, who eventually received six years for offences against children, and Operation Bogan, a distressing investigation into an assault on a child for which the offender was sentenced to seven years.

DC Hillman began her police career as a 20-year-old and was recognised in her award for the handling of investigations often running alongside others she was working on. During her career, DC Hillman has also worked as a Child Family Liaison Officer, becoming involved in upsetting and challenging cases, including murders and very dangerous offenders. She still finds time to guide new starters whilst maintaining her extremely busy workload.

DC Hillman was one of the major investigators in Operation Bogan, where a three-month old child received extensive brain injuries, with both parents on trial and the mother accusing the father of being responsible. The father was acquitted, while the mother was found guilty of assaulting her son, causing fractured ribs and brain damage for which she received a sentence of seven years.

Glyn Pattinson, PFNDF chair, said DC Hillman was a credit to her force in so many ways.

“DC Hillman has never stepped away from difficult cases involving vulnerable children and her dedication and compassionate work has produced admirable results. She is a real credit to Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, and an inspiration to anyone working in this sensitive field.

”Regional awards were also presented to DCI Chris Mossop, Greater Manchester Police; DC Craig Mason, West Yorkshire Police; DC Kelly Mahon, West Midlands Police; DC Richard Morgan, Suffolk Constabulary; DC Karl Brett and DC Melanie Riddell, Kent Police; DS Paul Byron, North Wales Police; and DC Mark Baker, City of London Police.

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