A former headteacher has been recognised in the New Year Honours list for her work tackling violent crime and shaping community policing in Hackney.

Nicola Baboneau holds a variety of roles in community and advisory organisations across Hackney, including the Hackney Safer Neighbourhood Board and as a community assessor for the Metropolitan Police.

She received a British Empire Medal (BEM) for her services to the community, in partnership with the Met.

Nicola said: "I am proud to receive this unexpected recognition for my determination to make a difference - an affirmation of the contribution that community members make to increase trust and confidence in policing is hugely appreciated.

"By shining a light on this, I hope to inspire others to participate in the many opportunities the Met has to offer.

"I could not have achieved this on my own, without the support and friendship of policing, statutory, voluntary sector and community colleagues.

"Thank you everyone."

Following her time as headteacher at a Hackney school between 1985 and 1995, Nicola Baboneau moved to The Learning Trust in 2011, a not-for-profit education management company.

Nicola's role included promoting community cohesion, personal social health and citizenship education and raising educational achievement for marginalised young people.

Since April 2020, Nicola Baboneau has been a chair of the Hackney Independent Advisory Group, which helps police better serve Hackney's communities.

According to Nicola, the Advisory Group raises important issues, monitors and advises on matters that relate to the way the local police service operates.

As the lead on project development for the Hackney Safer Neighbourhood Board, she tackles violent crime, including against women and girls and hate crimes, through funding received for the Mayor's office.

Nicola also started working as a community assessor for the Met in 2015.

Having previously been involved mainly in choosing which officers progress up the rank structure, her position as a community assessor now focuses more on the selection process when people apply to join the Met.

Nicola added: "The Met Police has an absolute commitment to engagement remaining central to their work with communities.

"Key to improving the experience of those who come in contact with police is building connections in low trust communities through partnership working.

"I have delivered and supported many events and activities that positively engage with residents, faith communities, local groups, charities and statutory partners."

Nicola said she has a "commitment" to making the Met representative of the communities of London, leading her to promote entry pathways for those interested in a policing career.

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