10 minutes to crack a Doncaster crimewave

Supercop Craig Davis needed just 10 minutes to collar a Doncaster villain suspected of being behind a mini crime wave in the borough.

Thursday, 1st March 2018, 12:53 pm
Updated Thursday, 1st March 2018, 1:00 pm
Awards sponsor Mark Huby, of Total Finance Options, presents the Police Constable of the Year Award to Pc Craig Davis

He was asked if he could find the suspect - and quickly had him in custody despite the villain's attempt to ram his patrol car and escape.

Now Craig has been named officer of the year in the Doncaster Police Awards, held this week, picking up one of nine awards dished out by South Yorkshire Police at a ceremony at the Mansion House.

The winners at the Doncaster Police Awards at Mansion House

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Proud Supt Neil Thomas said: "These awards recognise the professionalism and hard work that all of the winners have achieved this year serving the people of Doncaster.

"I'm very proud of all the recipients. These officers represent their colleagues who work tirelessly day in day out to protect the people of Doncaster."

Police Officer of the Year: PC Craig Davis


The winners at the Doncaster Police Awards at Mansion House

Craig Joined South Yorkshire Police in 2011 and he has always worked in Doncaster District, starting at Town SNT and moving to Adwick Response.

Craig has been nominated as his supervisors and colleagues state that he is dedicated to South Yorkshire Police and the public he serves, and consistently displays his dedication by going above and beyond what is expected of him.

What is unique about Craig is that he does all this quietly and with the minimum of recognition.

By way of example, Craig is the top performing officer on his shift regarding incident attendance and maintains his knowledge of local issues, crime trends and active individuals by proactively seeking suspects out and arresting them.

Typical of this was in October of 2017 when a certain male was hurting the west side of Doncaster with numerous thefts, drive offs, assaults and threats to residents in the Woodlands and Highfield area.

Craig was challenged to live up to his reputation and find this male.

Within 10 minutes of this, he located a vehicle in Highfields. This was purely as a result of local knowledge and intelligence that he had acquired through daily duties.

The suspect was known to be using this vehicle to live and sleep in and commit crime in.

As Craig approached the car the suspect attempted to ram the Police car and made good his escape but not before Craig had seized the car.

A few weeks later and having been arrested, bailed and started another crime wave, Craig was determined to locate the male again but this time he was not beaten and got his man who is now in Prison

Remarkably, within hours of this arrest, Craig was in pursuit of another prolific offender and after a foot chase arrested a male wanted for several offences in the area.

Detective of the Year: Det Cons Scott Barley

Citation: DC Scott Barley received Detective of the year for his work within the Child Abuse Investigation Unit. Scott began to shine in 2016 when he was instrumental in investigating serious offences against children.

At the culmination of the trial the sentence given out was felt to be too lenient. Scott was pivotal in challenging the sentence which resulted in the appeal being heard and agreed by the Attorney General.

Scott attended the Court of Appeal where the sentence was increased to a total of 24 years imprisonment. Not resting on his laurels, in 2017 officers arrested a male for offences against three young males. Through his partnership approach and working with colleagues he was able to identify serious offences and Scott’s subsequent investigation resulted in the suspect being charged and Remanded in Custody.

Lifetime Achievement: Sgt Richard Vernon

Citation: Richard retires this year and is recognised for his work within Neighbourhood Policing where he was highly respected in Edlington where he was key to maintaining a grip on crime and anti social behaviour in the village.

He was first on the scene of the terrible assaults carried out by two brothers on wasteland outside the village in 2009 administering first aid to the victims. He has since moved onto working in the town centre where again he has worked tirelessly with his team and partners to tackle last year’s tent city issue and then implement the Public Safety Protection Order which has seen a significant improvement in the look and feel of our town. He has also worked with licensees to make our night time economy a safer place

Partnership Award: Operation Responder

Citation: The partnership award was won by Yorkshire Ambulance Service and the Special Constabulary. Operation Responder is a joint operation run by Doncaster’s Special Constabulary and the Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

This operation has been in place for the last six years.

During those six years staff from Yorkshire Ambulance Service and the specials crew an ambulance vehicle every Friday and Saturday night, including bank holidays and key dates in the Doncaster events calendar.

Their role is to attend and deal with any incidents in town that may require medical intervention or the services of an ambulance. The specials provide protection for the ambulance staff and an immediate intervention in crime related incidents.

Over the six years the crews have given 6,202 hours of support to Doncaster district and attended over 600 incidents.

In 2017, Operation Responder has proved to be a key resource which is truly embedded within the night time economy. The crews have significantly reduced the demand on the ambulance service, Doncaster’s Accident and Emergency Department and the specials in turn have provided the added capacity to free up response colleagues to deal with other matters.

PCSO of the Year: PCSO Alex Kirk

Citation: PCSO of the Year was won by PCSO Alex Kirk, from the Central Neighbourhood Team.

Alex has been described as going above and beyond the expectations of her role on an almost daily basis.

Her knowledge of Doncaster town centre and the nominals within in is second to none. She finds wanted people on a daily basis, often multiple times a day and the number of ID’s she sends in for CCTV circulations often matches the collective number submitted by the rest of her team.

She has a fantastic rapport with many of the regular town centre nominals meaning that they often give her intelligence and will speak to her about concerns that they wouldn’t share with others.

Alex is regularly the first person to shout up for any incidents reported in the town centre often resolving it before response teams have even attended freeing them up to deal with other matters.

She also has a great working relationship with the town centre staff and security. They know they can trust her to deal with any crimes and incidents they report in a prompt and effective manner.

Special of the Year: SC Stephen Dawson

Citation: Throughout 2017, Steve has been a key member of the Special Constabulary Management team within Doncaster.

He works tirelessly across the district to ensure that many events and operations are planned and then carried out and a mark of his dedication is that on occasions he has done so having taken annual leave from his employment to do this.

We must not forget that Specials are volunteers and Steve has undertaken over 800 hours of policing in 2017, putting in 65 hours in on most months, with 123 hours in September alongside his full time paid employment.

Student officer of the year: PC Haddon Smith

Citation: Haddon has made an immediate impression on his supervisors and his colleagues, not only for his sheer commitment and positivity to the role but also for his extensive knowledge he already possessed and the team ethos he has shown. Haddon has been described as working incredibly hard over the past 12 months and he continues to impress. Despite at times having a high workload, he still volunteers first to attend incidents and assist other colleagues. Examples of Haddon’s work include

A report of a knifepoint robbery of a car where Haddon safely and effectively managed the scene preserving vital evidence whilst identifying the complainants and witnesses.

Haddon circulated the description of the offender/vehicle, which quickly led to the apprehension of the offender

Support Staff member of The Year: Adrian Crawley

Citation: Adrian Crawley won support staff member of the year. He is a former South Yorkshire Police officer having served his 30 years before retirement.

In 2009 Adrian re-joined South Yorkshire Police as a support staff member joining the intelligence unit in 2011.

Over the past 12 months, his supervisor has described him as the backbone of the intelligence department here at Doncaster and also a key part of district business.

Team of the year: Gypsy Liaison Team

Citation: The team are recognised for their tenacity, resilience and professionalism over the past year for building a well deserved reputation for being able to engage with a hard to reach section of the community and the recovery of in excess of £400,000 of stolen property in the last year.