Julie Spence

Julie Spence

Areas of Interest

Armed Forces and Emergency Services

Honorary Award

Honorary Doctor of Laws, 2008

Biography

Julie Spence is Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire Police. While being at the frontline of the community, helping to improve the county's experience of policing, she is also a leading light within a number of key organisations in the UK and around the world. She sits on the Association of Chief Police Officers' Cabinet and is President of the British Association for Women in Policing.

Before joining Cambridgeshire in 2004, Julie was at Thames Valley Police, where she led an operation to protect Heathrow airport, and handled the policing operation for the Queen Mother's funeral. Within her professional career, she has also worked with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) on royalty and VIP protection and counter terrorism tactics. She was awarded the OBE in 2006, shortly after being appointed Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire, and in the same year she received a Business in the Community Champion Award for her 'outstanding commitment and achievement in her role as gender champion'. She keenly recognises the need to develop a skilled and motivated workforce of police and allied staff in order to deliver an efficient and effective service, bringing benefits to both her staff and the community.

Julie has broken down every 'glass barrier' that exists to women to get where she is today and she has helped and inspired many of her colleagues do the same. Throughout her service in various Chief Officer ranks, she has always been one of very few women in such roles. She has made sure that a greater number of women have entered the police service, and ensured that women within the various forces are encouraged to succeed in all roles regardless of sexual orientation or ethnicity.

In 2008, Julie Spence OBE was awarded the Honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.



Citation

"It is my pleasure to read the Citation for Julie Spence OBE for the award of Honorary Doctor of Laws.

Julie Spence OBE is an unstoppable 'force' within the Cambridge community. As Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire Police you could argue that she would be. But Julie has broken down every 'glass barrier' that exists to women to get where she is today and she has helped and inspired many of her colleagues do the same. While being at the frontline of the community, helping to improve the county's experience of policing, she is also a leading light within a number of key organisations in the UK, and around the world. She sits on the Association of Chief Police Officers' Cabinet and is President of the British Association for Women in Policing.

Julie Spence was awarded an OBE in 2006 for championing women police. The honour came shortly after she had become acting Chief Constable and then Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire. Her citation, then, referred to her successful handling of 'complex and contentious organisational issues' in her previous forces; Thames Valley and Avon and Somerset. At Thames Valley Police, where she worked before joining Cambridgeshire in 2004, she led an operation to protect Heathrow airport, in partnership with the Metropolitan and Surrey forces and handled the policing operation for the Queen Mother's funeral. Within her professional career, she has also worked with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) on royalty and VIP protection and counter terrorism tactics.

She is something of a national media spokesperson for the police, often being asked to speak on difficult or sensitive subjects. Her recent top level comments have revolved around pay awards; crime and the ever increasing task of paperwork; and the pressures caused by rapid population growth due in part to an unprecedented influx of migrant workers.

But it is for her work on behalf of other women that she is most applauded. She received a Business in the Community Champion Award in 2006 for her 'outstanding commitment and achievement in her role as gender champion'. She keenly recognises the need to develop a skilled and motivated workforce of police and allied staff in order to deliver an efficient and effective service, and this brings benefits to both her staff and the community.

Throughout her service in various Chief Officer ranks, she has always been one of very few women in such roles. Not put off by the male 'culture' that predominated within the forces she represented, she took on a personal role to bring about change for the better for women. She has made sure that a greater number of women have entered the police service, and ensured that women within the various forces are encouraged to succeed in all roles regardless of sexual orientation or ethnicity. She has also helped to engender a better understanding of the competing demands in achieving a work-life balance.

Julie has worked consistently to highlight the value of women in the service, bringing about lasting change through empowerment. She has done this by introducing coaching and mentoring to shatter the stereotypes and myths associated with the deployment and progression of women. And it is for this reason that we honour her today.

Julie Spence OBE, I hereby invite the Vice Chancellor to confer upon you the award of Honorary Doctor of Laws."