Police chief recognised in New Year’s Honours

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A retired South Yorkshire Police officer has been recognised in the 2015 New Year’s Honours list for his contribution to policing.

Former Chief Superintendent Graham Cassidy, who retired in April this year, received the Queen’s Policing Medal for Distinguished Service.

Mr Cassidy’s career with SYP, which spanned 32 years, began in 1982 when he joined as a probationer in Doncaster.

He was promoted to sergeant in 1990 and worked in Rotherham before becoming an inspector in 1992 and moving to roads policing and emergency planning.

He was staff officer to Chief Constable Richard Wells between 1995 and 1997 before being promoted to Chief Inspector at Attercliffe in 1996.

He was promoted again to Superintendent in 1997 and was moved to the call handling department where he championed the idea to reduce from five call centres to one, which the force has today.

He then spent five years as Chief Superintendent in Sheffield covering Attercliffe and West Bar between 2000 and 2005.

Graham said: “When I arrived in Sheffield there was a big issue with street robberies. We worked with partners to put an initiative in place to tackle them and when I left it was regarded as one of the safest big cities in the country.

“We even received a letter of thanks from Tony Blair.

“I also covered Sheffield during the time David Blunkett was Home Secretary, which kept us on our toes.

“We were constantly under the spotlight during that time but I had a good working relationship with him and have a lot of respect for him.”

Graham returned to Doncaster in 2005 as district commander and spent two years there during which time he and his team helped to improve performance markedly.

He spent his final seven years’ service on secondment to the Police Superintendents’ Association as deputy national secretary and then national secretary.

His greatest achievement there was to fight against proposals to introduce compulsory redundancies for police officers.

This went to the Police Arbitration Tribunal who rejected the proposal.

Graham added: “I am thrilled to be receiving this honour.

“I am proud of my achievements during my time at South Yorkshire Police and with the Superintendents’ Association. However, they were all made possible by colleagues and partner agencies I worked with throughout my career.

“I am enjoying my retirement but keeping busy as the chair of the Doncaster branch of the National Association of Retired Police Officers.”

Graham also received the police long service and good conduct award in 2004.

Chief Constable David Crompton said: “I am extremely pleased to see Graham Cassidy receive the Queen’s Police Medal in the New Year’s Honours List.

“Graham was a fantastic public servant to the population of South Yorkshire for 32 years, with his long and distinguished career including spells in Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.

“I would like to congratulate Graham on his well-deserved award on behalf of all of my colleagues in South Yorkshire Police.”