A police officer and a volunteer working for Greater Manchester Police (GMP) have both received an MBE in the New Year Honours list.
Better known as 'Mr Gorton', Inspector Damian O'Reilly was awarded Community Police Officer of the Year at the national Jane’s Police Review Gala Awards in November 2010. His pride, passion and infectious commitment to the Gorton and Levenshulme area has seen partnerships forged and local residents come together, improving the quality of life for all. As a result of his work, the area is now classed as an Exemplar Site by the National Policing Improvement Agency.
Inspector O’Reilly said: “I am absolutely delighted to receive this honour. Over the last 12 years I have been privileged to work with some fantastic officers, my own great team, and the good people of Gorton and Levenshulme to reduce crime and build a stronger community.”
Sir Peter Fahy said: “Damian has made a huge contribution as the neighbourhood Inspector in Gorton and is a real community leader who has encouraged many others to get involved in many different ways.
“He gave huge amounts of his own time to youth and church groups and to community events such as parades.
“He is also very much a hardnosed copper who takes a hard line against offenders and has made Gorton a much safer area.
“He is an individual of great passion and care and a highly skilled police officer and a very fine leader.”
Police volunteer Janet Gould will have given 20 years’ service to GMP in 2013, during which time she has acted as a link between the community and the police.
The introduction of Neighbourhood Policing and the Police Support Volunteer Programme gave her the opportunity to work more closely with local officers, but her community work goes beyond GMP - she served as chairman of the Broadbottom Village Community Association from 2000-2010, and now chairs the village’s environment group meetings as well as organising her local Remembrance Day service and parade.
Janet said: “I enjoy being part of the policing family and am proud to serve GMP. I am also very grateful to those who nominated me for this award, as it is heartening to receive recognition for the work you do.”
Sir Peter Fahy said: “Janet is a great example of a local resident who has taken a stand against crime in her area and has done many things to bring people together in voluntary effort.
“She has given huge amounts of time to the community of Hattersley and to Tameside and really cares about victims of crime and anti-social behaviour. Local officers very much value the support provided by Janet over many years and it is good to see a local hero such as Janet getting a national honour."