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Retired Ashton police officer receives long service award
Thursday 27th April 2017 @ 10:50 by Tom Greggan
Ashton News

A former police officer from Ashton has received a long-service award after 52 years in policing.

69-year-old John Baron MBE was presented with his award by Chief Constable Ian Hopkins at a ceremony in Hough End yesterday.

He began his policing career as a cadet aged just 16 and became a fully-fledged officer two years later, achieving the rank of Detective Constable. After 32 years and the amalgamation of Cheshire and Manchester Police, John handed in his warrant card in 1997.

He then took a civilian support staff role within the Serious Organised Crime Division at GMP. In his support role, John worked on the Home Office Large Major Enquiry System (HOLMES), leading on the various systems for investigating homicide and major incidents.

John was the HOLMES lead on several high profile cases during his time with the Serious Organised Crime Division, including the Strangeways riots in 1990, the Morecombe cockling disaster in 2004 and the London to Glasgow train crash in 2007. He spent twenty years in the role before retiring last month.

John Baron MBE (left) receives his long service award from Chief Constable Ian Hopkins.

During the Queen’s Birthday Honours last year John was awarded an MBE for his services to both the Greater Manchester community and the police.

Speaking about his career in policing, John said: “The changeover from a police officer to a support role was actually very easy for me, as I was dealing with the same officers who I’d worked with before. My 30 plus years as an officer also meant that I could call upon my experience not only to help the officers but also my fellow support colleagues.

“Over the years I’ve been very fortunate to have a received a number of awards while at GMP, most notably my MBE. As the process is anonymous, I would like to thank all those people who nominated me. I’ve been very lucky to have worked in two very different roles at Greater Manchester Police, both of which I have thoroughly enjoyed doing.”

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins paid tribute to John, saying: “John’s dedication to serving GMP and the communities of Greater Manchester can’t be praised enough.

“His experience as both a serving officer and in a support capacity has proved invaluable over the years to us all at Greater Manchester Police. John will be greatly missed by all of his colleagues.”