Bravery and dedication honoured at police awards ceremony

Police officers, staff and members of the public have been honoured at an awards ceremony and presented with commendations for bravery, excellent work and going beyond the call of duty.

The recipients include:

  • A member of control room staff who saved the life of a suicidal woman
  • Officers whose first aid skills have saved lives
  • A police officer who used his own time to help improve living conditions for an elderly woman
  • Two members of the public who came to the aid of three men following a fatal collision at Wharram le Street


Temporary Chief Superintendent Lisa Winward, Head of Uniformed Operations at North Yorkshire Police, hosted the ceremony at police headquarters in Newby Wiske near Northallerton on Thursday 18 September 2014.

T/Chief Supt Winward said: It is very humbling to read the stories behind these awards which are very varied and, in many cases, very emotional and indicative of the kind of situations members of the police service deal with every day. The officers, staff and members of the public have saved lives, made life better for people and brought justice for victims.

Each one thoroughly deserves to be recognised for their compassion, courage and professionalism. They are a credit to their communities and to North Yorkshire Police.

Note: Some officers have requested no publicity about their award, therefore names have been omitted in these cases.

Force Control Room, York
In July 2013, Jason Stacy, a Force Control Room operator based in York, received a call from a very distressed woman who was threatening to take her own life and had also been reported as missing from home.
Jason spoke to the woman over the phone for over three hours, building up a rapport with her and eventually persuading her to speak to a trained police negotiator. During this time, officers on the ground were able to trace and locate the woman and take her to safety. Jason was presented with a commendation for his professionalism in dealing with the situation.

T/Chief Supt Winward said: Jason’s professionalism and compassion in dealing with a distressing situation for over three hours was outstanding. Jason is a credit to North Yorkshire Police and it’s only right that his actions are recognised.

Harrogate
In February 2013, PC Richard Baranovsky of Harrogate Safer Neighbourhood Team, identified that a vulnerable, elderly lady needed assistance with her living conditions which were unsanitary and unsafe.
While off duty he took responsibility to organise a team to help him clear her flat of over four tons of material, arranged for Social Services support and afterwards maintained contact with her to ensure her safety and wellbeing



Easingwold
In July 2013, PC Mark Atkinson of Easingwold Safer Neighbourhood Team, received a report that a vulnerable man intended to take his own life. On arrival at the scene, PC Atkinson found the man had hung himself. He was unconscious, grey in colour and not breathing.
PC Atkinson cut the man down and immediately began CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and the man eventually started breathing. The ambulance service arrived at the scene a short time later and the man was taken to hospital where he later recovered.

A certificate of appreciation was awarded to two members of the public for their bravery at the scene of a fatal collision near Wharram le Street in the Ryedale area.

On 27 November 2013, a Ford Focus car carrying five people on their way to work at Malton Bacon Factory, collided head-on with a van on the B1248 between Wetwang and Wharram le Street.

Christopher Strong of Driffield, who was also on his way to work, came across the collision and stopped to help. As he walked towards the vehicles, he saw a flame shoot out from the side of one of them.

Undeterred by the obvious danger, Mr Strong approached the vehicles and first rescued the driver of the van, who was still in his vehicle but obviously injured, taking him back to his own vehicle for safety.

He then went back to the crashed vehicles, all the while he was on the phone to the emergency services and asking passing motorists for blankets and first aid kits.

He was then joined by another member of the public who stopped to help. The second man (who does not want to be named) rescued a badly injured passenger who was upside down in the foot-well of the Focus and took him to safety. Mr Strong then obtained medical advice over the phone to help treat the seriously injured man.

By this time, the Focus was well alight and Mr Strong noticed another injured man directly behind the Focus. He ran over to him, picked him up and carried him to safety. At this point there was an explosion from the Focus which sent flames and debris into the air.
The three casualties were taken to hospital, two of them with serious injuries. However, all three have since been discharged from hospital.
Sadly three other people, including a mother and son, lost their lives in the collision. Both men have been recognised for their bravery in the face of a life-threatening situation.

T/Chief Supt Winward said: Their quick actions at the scene of the collision undoubtedly prevented further tragedy.

They acted selflessly despite being confronted by a very dangerous and distressing situation, risking their own lives in the process. It is right that they are formally recognised for their extremely brave actions.

Skipton
Two Police Community Support Officers, Ruth Pearson and Gillian Seed, were commended for their work which led to the arrest of an armed robber who robbed a shop on Skipton High Street on 26 September 2012.
The robbery was reported at 3.35pm after a shop owner reported a man had gone into her shop, threatened her with a knife and took money from the till.
Using their local knowledge, the PCSOs were able to locate the suspect and assist with his arrest, just 17 minutes after the incident was reported. Their swift action also led to the recovery of the stolen cash and the weapon used in the incident.
Wayne David Smith, of Fareham, Hampshire, was subsequently charged with robbery and possessing an offensive weapon. He was later transferred to Hampshire Police where he was wanted as a suspect in connection with other offences.

York
Special Constable Amanda Popely, based in York, and four officers from the Firearms Support Unit were dispatched to an incident in York on 6 April 2013 after a man in his fifties stabbed his 81-year-old father in the chest.
The officers were the first emergency service to arrive at the scene. As well as detaining the suspect, ensuring the safety of other people at the scene and securing vital evidence, they performed emergency first aid on the elderly victim which saved his life.
The man was subsequently jailed in October 2013 for 10 years after pleading guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. He was also convicted of common assault for assaulting a police officer while in custody.
All five were commended for their professionalism and swift actions both in saving the victim’s life and securing evidence at the scene.

Selby
PC Dave Herbert, of Selby’s Priority Crime Team, has been recognised for his unending drive and enthusiasm to reduce crime in the Selby District over the past two years. His work includes:
In Sept 2012, he pursued intelligence in respect of a stolen firearm that had been stolen from a house burglary. He produced a potential suspect from prison, and through PC Herbert’s rapport building and interview skills, the suspect then took him to the location where he had hidden this firearm. The offender was subsequently charged and imprisoned.
During July and Sept 2012, the Selby District suffered a series of day-time burglaries. PC Herbert was instrumental in the investigation which resulted in a man being charged, convicted and jailed for nine burglaries.
PC Herbert led another investigation in May 2013 into burglaries across the Selby District. As a result of his work, two men were charged with conspiracy to burgle across four police force areas in connection with over 50 house burglaries.

Ripon
Forensic Collision Investigator, Traffic Constable Dave Taylor, was commended for his work when dealing with a fatal road traffic collision near Studley Rodger near Ripon on 3 August 2013.
Motorcyclist Peter Wilson-Mayor, of Darwen, Lancashire, was riding along the B6265 near Studley Lane when a deer ran out in front him. A short time later, a passing motorist found Mr Wilson-Mayor deceased in the road.
TC Taylor carried out a painstaking and detailed investigation into the collision without which, it would never have been established how Mr Wilson-Mayor died.
His family commented on the thoroughness of the investigation as they sat through the inquest into his death.

Northallerton
PC Lisa Jones and Special Constables Alan Simpson, Richard Barker and Daniel Stubbs, were commended for their commitment and dedication following an investigation into the theft of £10,000 worth of sunglasses from Boots in Northallerton. Working under the direction of PC Jones, the volunteer constables carried out a detailed operation including targeted observations which led to the arrest of the suspects who were later handed over to another force where they were wanted in connection with other offences.

Stokesley
On 16 July 2013, police received a report that a cyclist had been pushed off his bike by the occupant of a vehicle travelling along Stokesley Road, near Newby. The cyclist suffered minor injuries to his arm, shoulder and knee as a result of the incident.
A short time later, an off-duty police officer called in with information that he had witnessed a vehicle driving erratically around Great Ayton. He followed the vehicle from a safe distance, all the time passing information to the control room. This enabled a patrol officer to locate the vehicle and, with the assistance of Cleveland Police, arrest four of the occupants who had by then, travelled into the Cleveland area.


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