Bravery and professionalism recognised at Force Awards
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Extraordinary stories of bravery, determination and empathy were shared as dozens of Chief Constable commendations were presented last night (Tuesday 21 November).
Proud families gathered at Force Headquarters to celebrate the achievements of officers and acknowledge their hard work and dedication.
The commendations, part of the annual Force Awards, recognised 30 officers who have gone above and beyond to help make Nottinghamshire a safer place to live, work and visit.
Six members of the public also received commendations for showing bravery and heroism in emergency situations. They included 17-year-old Harvey Clipstone, who displayed compassion far beyond his years when he came to the aid of a pensioner who had collapsed in the street.
Each commendation was a reflection of the Nottinghamshire Police Proud to Serve Pledge and commitment to excellence, which include:
To fight crime, protect vulnerable individuals, and ensure our communities feel safe and listened to;
To serve with pride, compassion and integrity;
To earn the trust and confidence of our communities, improve victim outcomes, and develop a workforce fit for the future;
To deliver an outstanding service we can all be proud of.
Paying tribute to the winners, Chief Constable Kate Meynell said:
“It was an immense privilege to recognise and celebrate the outstanding work of officers and members of the public.
“We have made a firm commitment to fighting crime, protecting vulnerable people and ensuring our communities feel safe and listened to, and last night’s winners should all be proud of their achievements and the difference they have made to members of our community.
“I’m incredibly proud and humbled to hear the amazing stories and incredible acts of bravery performed by so many colleagues and to know that those acts of bravery, kindness and commitment go on every day.
“The work highlighted in these awards demonstrates the commitment and diligence of our officers, staff and partners – and I’d like to personally thank each and every one of them for their actions and contribution.
“I’d also like to thank all those who have worked behind the scenes to make this ceremony possible, and I look forward to many more in the future.”
In previous years, the Force Awards have seen the main awards, Chief Constable commendations and Long Service / Good Conduct medals presented on the same day. However, going forward the Force Awards will held across a number of ceremonies throughout the year to afford more time for recognising each individual winner / recipient.
Last night’s commendation winners included:
PC Jacob Cole and PC Holly Gascoyne – for saving a man’s life who had been stabbed in the neck at a property in Bulwell. Both officers took control of a very distressing and difficult scene, with PC Cole using skills acquired from his previous role as a paramedic to administer advanced first aid – with help from PC Gascoyne – that ultimately saved the victim’s life.
Sergeant Lucy Wake and PC Natalie Baker – for saving the life of a distressed woman who was trying to jump off Trent Bridge into the River Trent. Both officers arrived to find a member of the public grabbing onto the woman’s arm as she was dangling above the water. The fast actions of both officers and the member of the public saved the woman’s life. The member of the public has also received a Chief Constable commendation.
PC Chris Duffy – for apprehending suspects moments after sustaining serious injuries in a savage attack. PC Duffy, a force dog handler, was making an arrest when another man approached and struck him over the head him with a weapon. The officer fell to the floor, where he was repeatedly kicked and punched. Incredibly, PC Duffy managed to fight off the attack before maintaining control of the man he’d initially been arresting. He activated his emergency button and shortly afterwards other officers arrived and helped him detain the male. A short time later, PC Duffy spotted the second man – his attacker – and due to the commentary he provided his colleague, this suspect was also detained and put before the courts.
PC Adam Cook, PC Scott Loughran and PC James Lloyd – for displaying immense bravery in apprehending a suspect who was threatening to kill himself. The officers located the male at an address and upon forcing entry they could smell gas. As PC Cook and PC Loughran approached the kitchen door it exploded outwards with a blast of heat and light. Fearing the address might explode, they rushed outside to warn PC Lloyd who was at the rear of the property. They then ran back to the front and saw the suspect standing within the doorway of the house. Despite the fact there had already been one gas explosion and the smell of gas was still extremely strong, they all put themselves in harm’s way by running to the male before dragging him away to safety.
PC Dan Snowdon and PC Jack Grace – for risking their own safety to save a woman who was on the wrong side of a bridge over the A38 in Kirkby-in-Ashfield. Both officers bravely positioned themselves on the wrong side of the bridge with little ledge to stand on in order to rescue the woman from an awkward and dangerous position.
PC Anya Brown – for entering a burning downstairs flat and saving the life of a vulnerable young man. The 20-year-old was bed bound due to ill health and was of a large build. Despite the challenge this presented, PC Brown – who was first on the scene – managed to help him exit the building and to safety. She then fetched a fire extinguisher from her patrol car and entered the property once more in an attempt to stop the fire spreading, suffering smoke inhalation in the process.
PC Lucy Pear – for going above and beyond to ensure a school bullying matter was efficiently dealt with. PC Pear attended the school following a report of racially-aggravated bullying, which was causing a huge amount of distress to the young victim and her family. PC Pear made contact with the parents of the children involved, gained consent to speak with them in school and then made arrangements to go in and teach the children about bullying and the affects it has on victims. Such was her commitment to ensuring behaviours changed, the Response officer switched her shifts to avoid the matter being delayed. Her intervention had a positive impact – so much so, the children involved wrote cards and apology notes to the victim.
PC Dan Thrale and PC Abbie Binch – for acting swiftly and professionally to save a man found hanging from a tree. A member of the public called 999 after spotting the man on a wall with a ligature around his neck, with the other end tied to the tree. He spoke to the male and did an excellent job in convincing him to come down from the wall, before carrying onto work – knowing officers were on the way. When the officers arrived, the man was hanging from the tree. Helped by two other members of the public, PC Thrale and PC Binch cut the man down and commenced CPR until paramedics arrived. Thanks to the actions of both officers and the three members of the public, who have also received a Chief Constable commendation, the man’s life was saved.
Sergeant Claire Harradine – for her superb display of professionalism and heroism in saving the life of a toddler, who was spotted drowning in a pool while on holiday in Turkey. Harrowing CCTV captures the toddler coming down a water slide before entering the pool and not coming back up, with no-one noticing for four long minutes. It was only when Sgt Harradine returned from the pool bar and heard a young girl say, “look, that baby’s doing a handstand in the water” that the gravity of the situation was realised. Sergeant Harradine entered the pool and brought the toddler’s limp body out of the water and began CPR. As others went into panic mode, Sgt Harradine took control of the situation and her heroic intervention saved the toddler’s life.
PC Anthony Brice, PC Louise McClue and PC Luke Bayliss – for their exceptional teamwork and outstanding bravery when called to a bridge over the A1, where a distressed female was threatening to jump. The female was on the wrong side of the barrier, intoxicated and expressing a strong desire to end her life. PC Brice skilfully established a relationship with the woman, engaging her in conversation and keeping her talking. When it became clear that physical intervention was necessary to prevent the female – who was suffering a diabetic hypoglycaemic episode – from falling off the bridge, all three officers fearlessly and selflessly put themselves in harm's way to pull the woman to safety and prevent a tragic outcome.
PC Claire Kenna, PC Nicholas Newcombe and PC Jess Wand – for working collaboratively to locate a vulnerable 16-year-old girl who was missing in the Broxtowe area. PC Newcombe, from the Missing From Home team, provided information that helped PC Wand locate the girl on a bridge over the A52 – but she could not be easily accessed, having climbed over the fence that runs along the bridge. PC Wand was soon joined by PC Kenna and after several hours of building a rapport with the girl, they successfully talked her down from the bridge.
PC Ethan Spinks, PC Lewis Bullmore, PC Samantha Gledhill and PC Joe Parlatt – for successfully locating a man who had expressed an intention to end his life. After making enquiries, PC Spinks found the man unresponsive in a caravan near Moorgreen reservoir. It was a remote location but PC Spinks successfully managed to guide his colleagues to the location while tending to the medical emergency unfolding in front of him. EMAS staff arrived and began frantic attempts to save the man’s life, as by then he had gone into cardiac arrest. Moments later, the officers assisted in getting the man out of the tiny caravan by placing him on a spine board and carefully passing him through a window and into an ambulance. Their incredible efforts saved his life.
Ch Insp Mark Dickson, Insp Rob Lawton, Sgt Richard Craig and Ch Supt Donna Lawton – for remaining calm, professional and courageous in extremely dangerous circumstances whereby a man was threatening to set fire to himself on a boat. The environment was difficult with numerous members of the public gathered in beer gardens directly opposite, with some jeering and even encouraging the man to end his life. The officers continued with their negotiation tactics – all of which was done under immense pressure and whilst in danger of serious injury themselves – in order to protect the public and prevent the male from taking his life. The team negotiated with the male for five hours and in doing so achieved a safe outcome for all concerned.
PC Benjamin Price – for the role he played in handling a difficult incident whereby a man was found unresponsive on a slip road at junction 25 of the M1. A lorry driver placed his vehicle in a position to protect the person in the road, before calling 999 and commencing first aid. On arrival at the scene, PC Price took over CPR from the lorry driver and continued with this until EMAS arrived on scene. Not for the first time, he proved himself to be an extremely competent and efficient officer who works well under pressure and in difficult or traumatic situations. Sadly, the extent of the man’s injuries meant nothing could be done to save his life and he died later that day, but PC Price and the lorry driver – who has also received a Chief Constable commendation – deserve recognition for doing everything they possibly could in very traumatic circumstances.