Tales of bravery, life-saving and determined police work were celebrated at an award ceremony at the Merchants’ Hall in Bristol on Monday 20 March.
Members of the public from Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire were given accolades as well as police officers and staff. The event was attended by Chief Constable Andy Marsh, Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens, the High Sheriff of Bristol Mrs Helen Wilde and Mrs Angela Yeoman OBE. Waley Cohen awards for meritorious acts in support of law and order
• Matthew Carr
, who chased after and detained a suspected thief in Bath on Saturday 5 November 2016. The man was spotted leaving a staff-only area of the Artizan hair salon and pushed past a female member of staff to run off. Mr Carr chased him along George Street and into Gay Street. During a scuffle both men fell into the road and Mr Carr pushed the suspect out of the way of an oncoming car. He was injured himself by the vehicle but despite broken ribs managed to detain the suspect until police arrived. His citation described him as acting with ‘courage and bravery’
• In the early hours of Friday 23 December 2016 John Scully
, a street marshall in Chipping Sodbury, was working with a colleague when they saw someone being assaulted. They believed the man was striking his victim with a handgun. Without a moment’s hesitation and putting their own safety at risk, the pair stepped in. Mr Scully’s colleague knocked the gun out of the man’s hand and John secured it until police officers arrived. The gun was later found to be an imitation firearm, however Mr Scully and his colleague could not have known this and their brave and courageous actions were exemplary
• Olivia Wright
was in Brunswick Square, St Paul’s, Bristol on the evening of Tuesday 4 October 2016 when she saw a man assaulting his partner, hitting her and throwing her to the ground. The offender was aggressive to other members of the public, who did not want to get involved. However Miss Wright identified the man and he was arrested. Her detailed testimony led to the man admitting the offence in court. He awaits sentencing. Olivia’s willingness to support the police, and her personal courage, ensured this man was brought to justice.
Royal Humane Society Awards for acts of bravery while saving human life:
• Abigail Bamber
, an off-duty nurse, who gave life-saving treatment to a stab victim after seeing him on a Bristol street. Ms Bamber was travelling in a car on the evening of Monday 16 May 2016 when she saw a man, covered in blood, stagger in to the road. She asked the driver to stop and went to check on the man. Although a crowd had gathered no one was helping him. She could hear him struggling for breath. Abigail told a member of the public to call for an ambulance and immediately started to carry out resuscitation, continuing until paramedics arrived 10 minutes later. The victim had been stabbed in the heart and without Ms Bamber’s immediate intervention it is likely that he would have died
• PCSO Sean Ford
was patrolling in Hartcliffe on Saturday 9 April 2016 in a marked police vehicle when he was flagged down by two women who said a man in a car needed medical attention. PCSO Ford used his radio to call for an ambulance as he approached the vehicle. The man was unconscious in the driver’s seat and Sean found he was not breathing and had no pulse. He pulled the man from the vehicle, cleared his airway and started CPR. PCSO Ford carried on until the ambulance arrived and continued to support the paramedics. After treatment from a defibrillator and continued CPR a pulse was found and the man was taken to the BRI
Royal Humane Society Commendation:
• In the early hours of Saturday 9 April 2016 Samuel Hilton
was in Easton when he heard a gunshot and ran towards the sound. He saw a vehicle driving off and a man on the pavement. With no thought for his own safety, Mr Hilton ran over and administered first aid. He kept the man conscious and calm despite a serious injury to the victim’s shoulder. A large group of agitated people had gathered and were trying to pull Sam away and at one point to move the victim to a car. Mr Hilton persuaded them it was in the injured man’s best interests to stay where he was and continued to give first aid – unaided – until the ambulance arrived. The victim required several operations on his shoulder. Medical staff praised Sam’s efforts to prevent blood loss and the victim has described him as his ‘guardian angel’.
A Metropolitan Police Commendation
was presented to Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Leanne Pook
for her work to tackle honour-based abuse, forced marriage and female genital mutilation. The citation described her as a ‘professional, committed and common-sense advisor’ to the National Police Chief Council, and remarked on her ‘invaluable’ counsel. DCI Pook has been involved in formulating national police strategies and professional practice on these issues and has provided senior officers and investigators from around the UK with practical advice.
The Angela Yeoman Award
for community safety was presented to a team of officers involved in an operation to tackle drug dealing in Easton and St Paul’s since February 2015. Neighbourhood team officers PCs Ifor Williams
QPM, Andrew Woodman
, Nick Davies
and Liam Biggs
as well as investigating officers DC Jonathan Bevan
and PC Simon McFall
were among those receiving the award alongside police staff member Kevin Crookes
. The operation led to 79 dealers in Class A drugs being sent to prison for a total of 213 years. The citation said that each member of the team performed a critical role with ‘dedication, enthusiasm and professionalism’. Their efforts have contributed to a long-lasting improvement for the community.
Chief Constable’s Commendations
for personal courage, initiative and/or commitment far beyond what should normally be expected:
• PCSO Barrington Scott
and Crime Scene Investigator Robert Causon
were honoured for entering a smoke-filled property in Bath to search for occupants and attempt to extinguish the fire. PCSO Scott was driving past the property, Julian House, on the night of Saturday 3 September 2016, when he saw smoke billowing from the front door. He immediately called the fire service and approached the building, calling out to see if anyone was inside. There was no response so he went inside, crawling towards the source of the fire – the kitchen – and tackling it with a fire extinguisher. CSI Robert Causon was also passing and saw PCSO Scott enter the building. Despite being off-duty he also stopped and went into the property to search for residents. A PC who was unable to attend the ceremony also responded to the call for assistance and escorted one resident to safety. When the fire and rescue service arrived all occupants were confirmed safe. The citation said: “Without a moment’s hesitation they put themselves in danger to ensure the safety of others. Their actions and professionalism were exemplary in the handling of this potentially life-threatening situation.”
• PC Mathew Shutt
single-handedly stopped a car being driven the wrong way along the M32 at night. On seeing members of the public taking evasive action to avoid the oncoming vehicle he took positive action to stop the traffic. He then had to restrain the driver, who got out of the vehicle and tried to walk into oncoming traffic. He was found to be twice the legal alcohol limit. PC Shutt’s actions undoubtedly prevented loss of life. He continued to work tirelessly after the immediate threat was gone, providing diagrams and a detailed statement which made a compelling case, leading to the suspect being charged with dangerous driving.
Crown Court Commendations
• DC Julie Bryan-Young
was commended by His Honour Judge Martin Picton after four Bristol-based offenders were sentenced to a total of 63 years in prison for the ‘wholesale betrayal and despicable abuse of children’. The trial concluded in September 2016, but the investigation by DC Bryan-Young stretched back to 1978. During her painstaking enquiry she reopened long-closed cases. She listened to the young victims and pursued their complaints with the utmost diligence to see justice done. DC Bryan-Young displayed exceptional skills and unflinching dedication to duty. She was described as ‘an inspiration’ to other officers and ‘a beacon of strength’ to the victims.
• DS Andrew Coggins
was commended for his involvement in an operation which led to the seizure of amphetamines, cannabis and heroin with a street value of more than £1.5 million from the Mendips in July 2015. The large scale investigation saw arrests across the South West and led to a combined prison sentence of 39 years and six months for five criminals, striking at the heart of organised crime.
CC Andy Marsh said: “Today we heard of some truly remarkable life-saving events and amazing stories of dedication and determination which make us all incredibly proud.”
The High Sheriff of Bristol, Mrs Helen Wilde, presented the Crown Court Commendations at her last official function with the police. She said: “Today the thing which has most struck me, as well as the bravery of police officers and staff and members of the public, is the absolute doggedness of the police officers to bring criminals to justice.”
PCC Sue Mountstevens said: “To be in a room with you makes me feel amazingly privileged. You are all extraordinary people.”
Posted on Tuesday 21st March 2017