Doncaster supercop’s honour for ridding streets of machine guns, drugs and criminal gangs

POLICE Awards   L>R Alan Billing, TDS Neil Beresford, Adrian Welsh, Adrian Welsh Glazing. Award Detective of the year 2014
POLICE Awards L>R Alan Billing, TDS Neil Beresford, Adrian Welsh, Adrian Welsh Glazing. Award Detective of the year 2014

A supercop who cracked more than 250 cases in a year and took machine guns off the streets of Doncaster has been honoured.

Temporary Detective Sergeant Neil Beresford went above and beyond the call of duty to clean Doncaster’s streets of criminality in the last 12 months and ensure dozens of serious offenders are now behind bars.

He smashed criminal gangs, drug dealing rings and brought to justice one offender who had a loaded automatic machine gun.

Temp Det Sgt Beresford was named detective of the year at the annual Doncaster District Police Awards held at the Keepmoat Stadium.

The 53-year-old said: “It is great to receive compliments and recognition from your peers. Obviously they know what it takes and how tough a job it is.

“The key is hard work, simple as that. Put the hours in, and you get the rewards. There are long days and weeks when you are working on big cases and it takes a great amount of dedication. Teamwork is key too. You have to have good people around you, and fortunately I have that.”

District commander Chief Superintendent Richard Tweed praised the hard-working cop and said: “It’s fantastic to celebrate the successes, hard work, bravery and achievements of colleagues, who often work in difficult and challenging situations, and I am extremely proud of all the officers and staff across the district.”

A citation by Doncaster Police’s command team said: “His personal contribution to tackling serious and organised criminality has seen dozens of individuals imprisoned for very considerable jail terms.

“The offences those people committed range from aggravated burglary, blackmail, possession of loaded automatic machine guns and additional ammunition, the supply of heroin, crack cocaine, amphetamine, cannabis, the identification and arrest of criminal gang members organising cannabis factories, the recovery of five kilos of heroin – the list goes on and on. More than 250 serious cases.”

One detective described the officer, who has worked in Doncaster for 23 years, as ‘the most conscientious, hardworking and devoted officer’ he has ever worked with.

He received more nominations from colleagues than all the other nominations for the other categories put together.

There were 13 awards given out in total.

PC Ian Sides won the police officer of the year award after making more arrests than any other officer in Doncaster and chasing an 18-year-old suspect for more than a mile through Rossington before apprehending him.

PC Jasmine Hall won the bravery award for arresting a man suspected of assaulting another during a brawl outside a town centre night spot in October last year. She cuffed the suspect despite hostile aggression from a group of drunken men.

Professional footballer turned police inspector Ray Mountford took home the lifetime achievement award after 30 years service. The former Manchester United and Rotherham United goalkeeper won praise for reducing crime in his district, covering Mexborough, Conisbrough and Denaby.

The investigation of the year award went to ‘Operation Aboves’, a probe into armed robberies at shops, post offices, jewellers and petrol stations in 2013. Nine people were jailed for a total of 36 years last July.

South Yorkshire Police’s assistant chief constable Jo Byrne, police and crime commissioner Dr Alan Billings and Doncaster mayor Ros Jones presented the awards.

Dr Billings said: “Police officers, police community support officers and staff work extremely hard and are committed to making our communities safer. These awards provide us with an opportunity to recognise their efforts.”

Mayor Ros Jones added: “I am delighted to see their hard work and bravery acknowledged.”