Ex-cop from South Yorkshire dedicates book award to victims of Manchester attack

Richard Venables
Richard Venables
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A former police officer from South Yorkshire who assisted at some of the world's worst disasters has dedicated a book award to victims of the Manchester attack and their families.

Richard Venables was at the forefront of efforts to recover and identify bodies at tragedies from the 7/7 bombings to the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004.

His account of those harrowing experiences, entitled A Life in Death, was named non-fiction book of the year at the People's Book Prize - a competition voted for by readers.

The retired South Yorkshire Police detective inspector received the honour in the week the Manchester bombing left 22 people dead and many more injured.

Mr Venables dedicated the prize to all those who had lost loved ones in the atrocity and at other disasters.

"This book is in recognition of the work that dedicated teams carry out when mass fatalities occur and I am so thrilled to win the prize, which I dedicate to all those people who have lost loved ones in such tragic circumstances," said the 59-year-old grandfather, who lives near Rawmarsh in Rotherham.

"My thoughts also go out to those who have lost loved ones and those who have been injured in light of the recent events in Manchester.

"Thank you to everyone that voted and supported me. It's hugely appreciated."

Mr Venables was working as a young police officer on the day of the Hillsborough disaster, and he says he was spurred by the events that day to dedicate his career to helping families caught up in tragedies.

He joined the fraud squad at South Yorkshire Police in 1993 and was given responsibility for disaster management. He left the force in 2002 to train senior managers involved in identifying victims of tragedies.

His work earned him the Queen’s Police Medal for distinguished police service in 2006.