Two police officers win national award for protecting vulnerable woman against honour-based abuse

DC Joanna Harrison (left) and Inspector Kate Warner (right) were called to an incident in Penrith last year where a woman had been assaulted by a man. Credit: Cumbria Police

Two Cumbria Police officers have been recognised for their diligence, care and commitment in protecting a vulnerable woman suspected of being a victim of honour-based abuse.

DC Joanna Harrison and Inspector Kate Warner received special recognition for working to end honour based abuse at the True Honour Awards 2024.

Honour-based abuse is a crime committed to protect or defend the "honour" of a family or community's reputation.

The two officers helped the woman after police were called to an incident in Penrith last year where she had been assaulted by a man.

She said her marriage had been arranged and she was frightened of what would happen if she returned home.

DC Harrison had only been in the job for 10 weeks when she was called out to the incident and said: “I was humbled by the whole experience and to be in the presence of the incredible survivors of honour-based abuse and female genital mutilation.

“It was inspiring to hear the incredible work that has been done, as well as the work that the IKWRO do. To receive this award is a true honour.”

Inspector Warner said: “It really was a surprise to be recognised so widely for something which I’d considered was myself and my colleagues just ‘doing the job’ at the time.

“But in reality, because of this specific incident and the risk associated with the victim, it was a case where it could have gone badly wrong.

“It’s a credit to DC Harrison and the other members of our team on the day that we were able to provide such a good response and service to the victim and we were able to help her in the way we did.”

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...