'With the young victims of abuse, I had to gain their confidence'
Being a good detective is about much more than just finding out who committed a crime, as this year's Investigator of the Year knows well.
Detective Constable Andrew Spence's mammoth task was to build up a case after a young brother and sister in north-west Leicestershire accused their stepfather and his brother of horrific sexual abuse.
Andrew's challenges included getting the youngsters to trust him enough to discuss painful memories – and then build a case to convince a court the children's stories were true.
The youngsters had been systematically raped, starved and beaten since they were children.
The case took four years from beginning to end and eventually went to trial, resulting in 18-year jail sentences for the abusers.
Det Con Spence, 31, said taking statements had been the first challenge.
He said: "I was dealing with the victims, the suspects and other witnesses.
"With the children, one of the first things I had to do was gain their confidence, which is never easy because it's normal for them either not to want to talk about it or to just bury it away completely.
"You have to build up trust and once you do you're listening to two children who are sordidly explaining the abuse they had suffered, and it's not nice.
"Then, at court, things never seem to be going your way. It was amazing when the verdict came back.
"The children's foster parents were in court and they were in tears and it was just a real sense of relief for everyone.
"You've worked on the case for years but these 12 people on the jury who have nothing to do with it are deciding the outcome, so it's always uncertain."
After the trial, Det Con Spence received a letter of thanks from the children's new foster parents, which read: "Andy's tireless efforts, consideration and personal care were without doubt the main reason this case got to court and then got such an excellent result.
"If any medals are given out, he deserves one as big as the Clock Tower."
The Tim Burton Trophy presented to Det Con Spence on Tuesday was not quite that big, but it meant just as much.
He said: "It's very humbling and very nice.
"It was humbling to be told I was even nominated for this award."