AN AWARD-winning bobby honoured for outstanding bravery has scooped another accolade for clearing crime from a Birmingham housing estate.
Khizra Dhindsa was named the best in the public sector at the prestigious national Asian Women of Achievements Awards.
Judges praised the officer for “spearheading the hugely successful” Matchbox Estate project, in Shard End, which slashed crime by 42 per cent.
Her work on the estate was featured in Crime Files last year.
She took over the team as a sergeant in November 2008 and found the neighbourhood, like many other parts of Birmingham, had experienced high levels of minor crimes from cars being attacked, graffiti and littering, to assaults in the street.
At the time, she said: “Some people might think some of the complaints are trivial and not worthy of police time.
“We’ve found that when residents are affected by anti-social behaviour on a day-to-day basis it affects their quality of life. And to us, that is as important as burglary and serious assault.”
To combat the destructive actions, Sgt Dhindsa, who joined the police in 2001, allocated each of the smaller areas within Shard End an officer to give every resident a point of contact.
And after an extensive community consultation with officers knocking on every door, the team discovered what the top priorities were for the sub-areas.
A prime concern was the behaviour of a minority of young people and she helped harness their potential by setting up a Youth4em project.
They also set up the Kickz Project, offering football training in conjunction with Birmingham City Football Club.
She added: “It’s about changing the perspective of youths in the community.
“A lot of young people need a focus and can be very community-minded. If we want to stop them playing in the street, we understand there needs to be an alternative for them in Shard End.”
The officer, recently promoted to detective inspector, is no stranger to awards.
She was named Community Leader of the Year at the Mosaic Talent Awards last year for her crime-fighting efforts and was also honoured at the West Midlands Association for Women in Policing awards for helping stop a teenager armed with a knife from taking his own life.
Khizra Dhindsa, 31, is a police sergeant who has won accolades for life-saving bravery and community leadership on a tough housing estate in Birmingham, which saw crime fall by 43 per cent. She is now the Association of Chief Police Officers' lead on women's engagement in preventing extremism
"We used had all sorts of novelties in a community project on the Matchbox Estate. I wasn't popular when I started. I was punched and spat on. But by the end of it, a lot of those same kids were cleaning off the graffiti, picking up litter, mowing lawns and serving tea at elderly residents' homes.
"I am Muslim and I went to college in Pakistan. While I have direct family links, my family are first-generation immigrants. I consider myself a Muslim and jihadist, very much so – jihad is about personal struggle. It isn't something to be frightened of. My jihad is to serve Britain to the ceiling of my ability, for the rest of my life."