A dog handler has become her force's longest serving female officer after marking 44 years on the frontline this month.

PC Nikki Gibbins, 60, has seen action during some of the most turbulent times in recent decades, including the IRA's mainland terror campaign, the Brixton Riots in south London and the Miners' Strike of 1984.

Since joining the Met Police aged 18 in 1978, Nikki has worked in a firearms unit, as a law trainer, in public order and now as a dog handler for British Transport Police.

Nikki was one of the first qualified female car drivers in the police and one of the first female firearms officers.

In recent years along with her trusted companion police dog Oscar, she has responded to several major incidents and terror attacks.

PD Oscar was awarded the PDSA’s Order of Merit in recognition of their vital contribution at the Westminster terror attack in March 2017 in which 49 people were injured and six were killed.

This May Nikki, who is based in London, took on a second operational dog, PD Polly, to help try and tackle County Lines drug dealing on the railway network.

Her first involvement with the police was when she joined the Met Police cadets in 1977 before qualifying as a serving police officer a year later.

Marking her 44th year of service, Nikki said: "It's been an honour to protect and serve the public for so many years and to work alongside my brilliant colleagues - like minded people who come to work to make a positive difference to others.

"I have been lucky to experience so much in my career and there has never been a better time to be a woman in policing. I'm busier than ever now working two operational dogs, PD's Oscar and Polly, and I certainly have no intention of slowing down anytime soon."