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Officer recognised in King’s Birthday Honours’ List

Cath Larsen has been awarded a King's Police Medal in the King's Birthday Honours' List.

A retired Avon and Somerset police inspector recognised for her work on a national action plan which helped transform the way police investigate rape offences has been awarded the King’s Police Medal.

The Birthday Honours’ list was announced this evening (Friday 14 June) and named retired inspector Catherine Larsen as an award recipient.

Insp Larsen, who joined the force in 1989 as a Special Constable, has shown an incredible dedication to policing during her 30-year career, with one of significant achievements being the work she carried out in support of Chief Constable Sarah Crew on Operation Soteria Bluestone – a programme of work which has transformed the way rape and serious sexual offences are investigated by the police. Insp Larsen was awarded a Chief Constable’s Commendation and a Home Secretary’s Commendation for this work.

This is not the first time in Insp Larsen’s career she’s crossed paths with His Majesty King Charles III. In the early 1990s, a career highlight for Insp Larsen was being trodden on by the then HRH Prince Charles while he was on a visit in Wells. He stepped back onto her beautifully bulled parade shoe, resulting in a memory which has lasted a lifetime.

In another Royal connection, Insp Larsen was also selected to represent the British Association for Women in Policing, marching up The Mall during HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2002. She was presented with the Jubilee Medal on Horse Guards Parade.

For part of her career Insp Larsen turned to teaching, becoming a qualified trainer, teacher and assessor for future police officers. She trained countless officers across the Constabulary taking huge delight in seeing officers thrive in their chosen career fields. Her dedication to professional development saw her play a central role in the development of specialist training programmes.

Her leadership and innovation were further demonstrated during the Covid-19 pandemic, when she served as implementation lead for the Degree Holder Entry Programme.

Speaking about Insp Larsen, Chief Constable Sarah Crew said: “Quite simply Cath has been at the cutting edge of change throughout her career, always seizing the opportunities with honesty, integrity, and courage. She is a brilliant ambassador for the police service.

“Her invaluable service, professionalism and contribution to Avon and Somerset Police has been commendable, and we congratulate her on receiving the King’s Policing Medal in this year’s Birthday Honours list.”