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Celebrating courage, commitment and selflessness within Bristol at the Force Awards

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Officers who saved the life of a man that suffered a heart attack, a mum who ran for one mile with her baby’s pram to assist a woman in distress and an officer who disarmed a man threatening to use a firearm are just to name a few of the officers, staff and members of public across Bristol honoured by Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s Chief Constable.

The extraordinary accounts of bravery and commitment were celebrated on Friday 16 March at a special awards ceremony at Merchants Hall, Clifton. Police officers and staff from Bristol were praised at the event; attendees included Chief Constable Andy Marsh, Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens, the High Sheriff of Bristol, Mr Anthony Brown.

Police Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “It makes me incredibly proud to be involved in these awards to more than 13 officers and staff.  Although each of the cases that led to such recognition is different, what each has shown is a total commitment to achieving justice for victims, determination to disrupt the most serious of organised criminals and above all to protect the people who live and work within Avon and Somerset, keeping our communities safe and feeling safe.”

Chief Constable Andy Marsh said: “In the years I’ve worked in policing I have seen a huge amount of change and we’re seeing an increase in demand from a range of new issues. The remarkable nominees at the Bristol Force Awards remind us all of what it means to be in policing and part of a group who want to make a difference. The awards reflect the very best of traditional policing; selfless acts of bravery and courage, as well as tenacity in tackling the changing face of policing with evolving new issues and compassionately caring for victims of crime.”

The award winners are as follows:

WALEY-COHEN AWARD FOR MEMBERS OF PUBLIC

For members of the public within Avon & Somerset Constabulary who perform a meritorious action in support of law and order.

Matthew and Caroline Pearce

Matthew and Caroline Pearce were on a Sunday drive when they noticed a group of men standing around a car attacking the person within. Matthew Pearce was able distract the offenders and put an end to the violent assault, undoubtedly saving the victim’s life.  After witnessing this horrific incident and them subsequently intervening, Caroline Pearce then tended to the victim’s injuries whilst awaiting emergency services.

ROYAL HUMANE SOCIETY

A national award for acts of bravery while saving human life, or in attempt to do so

PC Melanie Barton and PC Peter Jones

In June last year the wife of a 73 year old man reported her husband missing. PC Melanie Baron and PC Peter Jones were able to locate the gentleman with his vehicle registration. They located the 73 year old who was unresponsive and after removing him from the car commenced CPR, with one performing chest compressions and the other performing mouth to mouth. Ambulance arrived who were able to assist once the pair has successfully recovered his breathing.  Their actions helped to save his life.

PC Lucy Olde

Lucy was only in her 7th week of the force when she attended a serious assault in the early hours on 30 April.  On arrival at the scene, the man victim was unresponsive, not breathing and no pulse was found.  He had serious facial injuries and had lost a lot of blood.  Lucy took the initiative, carrying out all the correct first aid procedures and performed CPR chest compressions for over a minute before a pulse was detected. Lucy was able to revive the man and place him in the recovery position until an ambulance arrived and a short time later he was transported to hospital in a serious but stable condition.

Lucy said: “Looking back I’m proud of myself, I didn’t really think much of it at the time and was oblivious to the crowd around me in Stokes Croft. It’s just a day’s work for me, you don’t really think about what you’re doing you just do it and that’s your police instinct.”

PC Christopher Arthur

Police were called to assist a man in distress near the harbour, on arrival PC Chris was unable to reach the gentleman who ended up in the water. Efforts to retrieve the man were unsuccessful and Chris made the decision to dive in to help. The man was experiencing a personal crisis, and in a lot of distress. However despite being faced with this difficult situation Chris was able to calm him down enough to engage him in conversation, and brought him to safety on dry land.

Chris said: “The risk was minimal in my eyes, and there was no one from fire at that point or a boat to assist so I knew he would’ve died if I didn’t help him. It was very much business as usual scenario for me and I would do it again if faced with the same situation.”

PC Beth Enright and PC Colin Warren.

Whilst on mounted patrol in Bridgwater, PC Enright was approached by a lady whose husband appeared to be suffering a heart attack in the street.  PC Enright helped to lay the man on the ground and requested immediate medical assistance over her radio. The male had stopped breathing so PC Enright opened up his airway at which point he took a breath. PC Warren was nearby and responded with a defibrillator and continued with CPR until ambulance arrived.

Members of the public

Adam Cooper

In April 2017, Adam was on his way home from work in his car when he noticed a female in distress; he quickly exited his vehicle to assist the woman, calming her down until police arrived to take over. His extremely brave act prevented harm to the woman and other road users.

Adam said: “I’m very proud of my award today, I feel like I’ve given something back to the community. Coming here today and looking back on that evening I felt a mixture of emotions, it’s still a shock to think I did that. But it’s a good feeling knowing I helped someone and I would definitely do it again.”

Victoria Grimmond

Miss Victoria Grimmond was pushing her baby in a pushchair in Clifton when she was approached by a distressed woman. The woman asked Victoria for directions and ran off very quickly. Victoria’s gut instinct knew something wasn’t right so she dialled 999. Once in contact with the operator, Victoria was able to provide a description of the woman. Victoria was so worried about the woman that she followed her for almost one mile in the rain with her 6 month old baby. Victoria caught up with the woman and comforted her until police officers arrived.

Victoria said: “I just had a gut feeling, mainly because she spoke so quickly and rushed off. I kept thinking something wasn’t right. My little girl was in her pram, safe and warm so my main focus was keeping this woman within view, which became very difficult when it started to rain heavily. I would tell anyone that if you have a feeling in your gut that something isn’t right just check, the worse that can happen is you’re wrong. Best case scenario you save someone’s life.”

CHIEF CONSTABLE’S COMMENDATION

For significant personal courage or significant initiative and/or commitment in the execution of duty far and beyond what should normally be expected.

Financial Investigator Andrew Smith

Andrew Smith is awarded a Chief Constables Commendation for his professionalism and technical expertise during the lengthy confiscation proceedings undertaken for an Operation, following the successful fraud conviction of a man selling fake bomb detectors worldwide.

DC Mark Gilbert

DC Mark Gilbert was a key part of Operation Cranial, an intelligence led police operation, targeting the supply of crack cocaine and heroin in Bath.  The drug supply was being controlled by gangs operating out of London, Birmingham and Bristol and was being operated on a County Line structure. In total 47 individuals working in the Bath area were convicted of drug supply offences. They were sentenced to a total of 121 years imprisonment.

PC Darren Lees

PC Darren Lees was called to an address of a distressed man. When they arrived, Darren could see the man holding a fire arm pointing it at officers, threatening to harm them. Darren did not shoot and quickly assessed the situation, it became clear the man was experiencing a personal crisis and was trying to provoke officers into harming him. Darren’s quick assessment coupled with him showing his human side meant he was able to build a rapport with man and eventually defused the situation.

Darren said: “I’ve never won anything like this before. It was a stressful situation at the time, when someone’s pointing a gun in your direction you need to be calm. I was able to establish the situation quickly and begin to deescalate things. I feel proud I could keep that composure and identify that the man standing in front me of was in crisis and needed some help. I hope he’s ok now.”

Inspector Robert Millican

In September 2017, there was a fatal accident on the M5 which led to a full closure of the motorway in both directions for a total of 50 hours. The accident was caused by a HGV who had ploughed through a through a number of vehicles heading in the opposite direction.  It was declared a major critical incident and sadly, four people were confirmed deceased at the scene. Insp Rob Millican was on a weekend off, but answered a call for his assistance at the scene of the M5 incident.  Inspector Millican then worked a 17 hour night shift at the scene, in really challenging conditions to ensure all the evidence linked to the collision was located and recovered.

CROWN COURT COMMENDATION

Awarded by the Crown Court for significant personal courage or significant commitment in the execution of duty, above and beyond what should normally be expected.

DC Steve Webb

DC Steve Webb was the officer in a case for an investigation into sexual offences committed against two young boys between 1983 and 2001.Following a trial the defendant was convicted of twenty sexual offences.

DC Simon Da Costa   

DC Simon Da Costa was involved in an extensive and complicated investigation relating to serious sexual offences against children.

HARIS-JOSHI AWARD

This trophy was donated by Mr Hari Joshi and is awarded annually to the police officer or group of officers who have made the greatest contribution to community relations within the greater Bristol area.

PCSO Paula Perry

Paula works as the local PCSO in the Lawrence Weston area of Bristol, and over the past year Paula has driven forward our response to the local issue of fly grazing by the Travelling Community.  Paula has tirelessly worked with the travelling community and other agencies to bring a complete stop to the fly grazing  As a result of this work she has built a fantastic relationship with the local Travelling Community.

Paula said: “It’s a real honour to be the first PCSO to win this award. The most important part for me was making sure that we were able to apply the law to ensure that horses were safe and I worked very hard to build relationships with local animal charity’s and the council. Building trust within the travelling community wasn’t easy and now we have a very good working relationship.”
Posted on Monday 19th March 2018
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