Chief honours those who went 'over and beyond' to protect public
- Credit: Cambs Police
Police saving the life of a man threatening to jump off a roof, a prison officer disarming a violent inmate and a member of the public confronting machete attackers.
These are some of the heroes of Cambridgeshire recognised at an awards ceremony.
Distinguished courage and noble qualities are defined within the description of a hero – and chief constable Nick Dean was determined their bravery be recognised.
“You have stepped up to help someone in need, put your own lives at risk and gone above and beyond,” he told them.
In a ceremony that combined recognition of long service with Cambridgeshire police, Mr Dean plucked out the what he termed “extraordinary bravery and determination”.
And he was at pains to point out it was not simply his officers who had made Cambridgeshire a little bit safer and secure.
Members of the public had, when needed, stepped up and “gone over and beyond” he said.
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In a socially-distanced ceremony at police headquarters in Huntingdon, Chief Constable Dean said: “It is great to finally be able to hold a ceremony in person.
“It is overwhelming to read the stories of outstanding bravery, compassion and kindness towards others in very difficult circumstances.
“Going that extra mile is something I, and indeed you, should be enormously proud of.”
He thanked the families and friends of officers “who have supported you as you do great work for the people of Cambridgeshire - something which is often overlooked.
“And while they can’t be here with us in person, I am sure they are all immensely proud.
“You have stepped up to help someone in need, put your own lives at risk and gone above and beyond.”
Long service and good conduct medal
The Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medal was awarded by Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire Benjamyn Damazer to officers who had served 20 years or more within the force.
Officers awarded the medal included Alan Calver, Jonathan Edwards, Steve Kerridge, Kathy Spencer and Martin Ward. Staff member Ashley Beaumont received a police staff long service award.
Below are just some of the acts of bravery, commitment and determination heard at the ceremony.
Saving a life at hospital
PCs Mark Coteman, Barbara Williams, Dave Byrne and another officer helped save the life of a man who was self-harming while trying to jump from Addenbrooke’s Hospital car park in December last year.
PC Coteman and a colleague were first on scene and heard screaming. Running up the stairs they found a trail of blood leading to the man.
PC Byrne arrived and, with PC Coteman, jumped over the barrier, stood on small ledges and managed to restrain the man before pulling him back to safety.
Meanwhile, PC Williams was on the ground floor attempting to talk with the man and directing the ambulance crew to position their trolley and blankets in case he fell.
The officers were commended for their bravery, resilience and quick-thinking.
Stepping into a knife fight
PC Dave Byrne was awarded for his quick thinking and brave actions that broke up a fight and prevented someone being seriously injured or killed.
He was cycling to work for a late shift on February 6 when he saw a fight taking place in a Cambridge alleyway, and heard a member of public scream that one man had a knife and the other had been stabbed.
Without body armour or radio, PC Byrne tackled one of the men to the floor and detained him. The other man then tried to assault this man with a knife but PC Byrne pushed him away.
Both men, who were linked to drug dealing, were arrested and there were no serious injuries. PC Byrne is commended for his bravery in going above and beyond to prevent a potentially serious assault.
High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire Caroline Bewes presented the judge’s commendation awards to officers and staff.
DC Nigel Ebdale, Detective Sergeant Colin Nelson and Detective Inspector Lucy Thomson were commended for the parts they played in the case of Melanie Wright and Barry Chapman who were jailed for life in November after beating Nigel Wright, 64, to death in Peterborough.
The murder followed a drunken argument at a property in Park Road on 25 May last year.
It was a complicated case with many different strands but was conducted to a high standard with close and effective supervision.
PC Joe Woolf and PC Aimee Jones were also commended by the judge.
PC Woolf was the first officer at the scene, whose calmness and professional attitude led to the discovery of Nigel’s body and the timely arrest of both offenders.
PC Jones, the second officer at the scene, performed CPR in difficult circumstances while her colleague dealt with the two suspects.
Confronting machete attackers
A member of the public, Sarfraz Khan, was commended after he left the safety of his home to help when a gang of youths attacked a man with machetes and samurai swords.
He remonstrated with the group and they ran off, leaving the victim seriously injured.
He also gave evidence at a trial which resulted in the conviction of four men.
Judge Sean Enright gave the commendation at Peterborough Crown Court on 28 January 2020.
Helping at the scene of a crash
Driver Shalane Parrish gave assistance and immediate first aid to someone who was seriously injured at the scene of a fatal road collision on 18 February 2019.
Without her intervention the person may not have survived. Judge Enright gave the commendation in January last year at Peterborough Crown Court.
Prison knife brawl
Tim Haddow, a prison officer, disarmed a prisoner who was trying to stab another inmate with a knife.
On the 10 July 2020, at the conclusion of the trial of Pernel Taylor, Judge Enright commended Tim for bravery in the course of his duty.