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Police awards honour the bravest of heroes
THEY are some of the county’s bravest people. But until this week, they truly were Oxfordshire’s unsung heroes.
Now police officers, police staff and members of the public have been honoured for going above and beyond the call of duty.
A ceremony has taken place to hail them for outstanding service and acts of bravery.
Among those given credit was a police officer who caught the most wanted offender in Oxford in connection with a series of house burglaries in August.
Pc Stuart Carey from the Oxford South East neighbourhood team won two commendations. He received the first for the part he played, along with Pc Alex Locke, when he rescued a man who was stabbed in the neck during a mass brawl at a traveller’s funeral in Iffley Road on November 13, 2012.
He was then commended for catching the city’s most wanted offender. Pc Carey, pictured, said: “He was burgling houses in my neighbourhood and so I almost took it personally. It gave me a great sense of achievement to catch the offender.”
In another example of the fine work the police do in this county, Pc Carey and Pc Locke helped rescue a man who was stabbed at a traveller’s funeral.
Violence broke out at a service for 76-year-old Winnie Joyce. Mrs Joyce had helped set up the Redbridge Hollow travellers’ site, near Kennington, and she had 13 children, 64 grandchildren and 45 great grandchildren. This meant there were about 300 people both in and outside Greyfriars Church in Iffley Road.
Pc Carey said: “We saw someone get stabbed in the back of the neck among a crowd of hundreds of people.
“Alex and I got round the front and managed to get him into a side street.
“Adrenaline sort of kicks in and you just think you’ve got to deal with it.”
Pc Locke said: “When there’s something like that, you act instinctively and adrenaline sets in and you do what you can. We made the decision to intervene even though we were outnumbered, and it turned out to be the right one.
“We were just doing our job and I never expected to get recognised like this.”
The Area Commander’s Commendation awards were presented to the county’s bravest by Supt Christian Bunt at St Aldates’ police station.
In another case highlighted, Sgt Matthew Sulley and Pc Simon Gray were commended for managing to stop a female jumping from the top of Debenhams in George Street in July.
Insp Rob Axe paid tribute to the pair, saying they had shown courage and professionalism in dealing with the incident, which helped to save the woman’s life.
Mr Bunt said: “This is an opportunity for us to recognise the excellent work done by police officers and staff on a day-to-day basis and to be able to reward their work.
“The officers and staff don’t always get the recognition they deserve. They have shown courage, bravery, integrity, leadership, negotiation, tenacity and investigation.
“It is fair to say that I am amazingly proud of my staff and members of the public.
“It is a great honour to recognise the work by the members of the public who have shown excellent citizenship and courage of the highest order."
Prof Graham Upton, the High Sheriff of Oxford, who is traditionally responsible for law and order in the area, agreed. He said: “I want to thank all of you for what you have done to make our society a safer place.
“It is wonderful to see and hear things that people have done. We are most grateful for what you have done.”
Soccer hooligans identified by Operation Boot squad
Sgt Lewis Boyce, Dc Charlotte Dunford and Pc Eleanor Batty were part of the Operation Boot team which managed to identify those involved in the violence at the football match between Oxford United and Bristol Rovers on February 9.
After a three-and-a-half-month inquiry, 42 people were arrested and 32 people were charged for their part in the violence.
Det Insp paul Miller said: "This was above and beyond the call of duty and is in the finest traditions of Thames Valley Police."
Officers persuaded woman not to jump
On July 21 Sgt Matthew Sulley and Pc Simon Gray attended a report of a woman threatening to jump from the roof of Debenhams in george Street.
They called the fire service, which lifted them up six storeys to the woman.
When they got to the top of the building, the woman was asleep and so they first had to wake her before persuading her to come down from the building and to safety.
Pc Gray said: "It was certainly one of the most terrifying things I have done."
The roll of honour
- Pc Stuart Carey and Pc Alex Locke: Rescued a man who was stabbed in the neck during a mass brawl at a traveller’s funeral in Iffley Road on November 13, 2012.
- Pc Stuart Carey: Tracked down and caught the most wanted offender in Oxford, who was reprimanded and imprisoned.
- Pc Keith Marrisan: Single-handedly arrested someone described as a very volatile and aggressive offender on July 25.
- Sgt Matthew Sulley and Pc Simon Gray: Managed to persuade a female to come down from the roof at Debenhams, George Street, and brought her to safety.
- Pc Ian Crock: Recognition for eight years of work on the operations department. Pc Crock has helped plan many of the operations in Oxford including two visits from the Queen.
- Sgt Lewis Boyce, Dc Charlotte Dunford and Pc Eleanor Batty: Identifying those involved in football violence at an Oxford United match against Bristol Rovers in Operation Boots. This led to 32 people being charged.
- PCSO Cassandra Parry: For her negotiation skills and tactical awareness at the scene of a domestic incident where the subject threatened officers with a knife. The person was safely arrested.
- Tracey Broome: Identified two offenders who robbed another man of his mobile phone on July 23 and then identified them as being back in the city centre the following night. This led to their arrest and the recovery of the stolen phone.
- Mohammed Shafqat, Mohammed Abbasi, Mohammed Hamid and Mohammed Mirza: Assisted two members of the public who had been subjected to a vicious and unprovoked attack on April 10. They chased down the offenders and detained them until the police arrived.
- Pc Laurence East: Given an award from the Royal Humane Society, presented by Chief Inspector Cecilia Agger, for helping to save a man’s life who had been stabbed in the neck. When he arrived at the scene, there was serious bleeding and the man’s life was at risk. The policeman pressed his fingers into the hole in the man’s neck until he was seen by a surgeon.
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