Policeman and community stalwart honoured

Gary Francis
Gary Francis
Have your say

HARD work, dedication and commitment have seen honours bestowed on two worthy men.

Former Portsmouth policeman Ian Readhead, from Langley, has been made an OBE for services to policing and public protection.

He is the director of information at the Association of Chief Police Officers, now called the National Police Chiefs Council, and he is CEO at ACRO Criminal Records Office in Whiteley.

Mr Readhead, 60, started his career as a police cadet when he was 16 and retired from Hampshire Constabulary in 2008. Then he took up the role at ACRO.

Since then he has worked to create a system that checks criminal records of British nationals when they are arrested overseas and checks the criminal records of 
foreigners arrested in this country.

The system tracks all convicted UK paedophiles, wherever they are in the world.

But humble Mr Readhead, a father of four and grandfather of three, said that his honour would not have been possible without the support of his wife Maggie and without the hard work of his team at ACRO.

He said: ‘This was only possible because I have some outstanding people who work for me and all this work was only possible due to their professionalism. This honour really is for them.’

Kindhearted Gary Francis, from Lee-on-the-Solent was awarded a British Empire Medal for services to the community in Gosport.

In six years he raised more than £50,000 for Gosport-based charities. His dedication saw him named Citizen of the Year in 2013.