At a Lincolnshire Police awards ceremony yesterday evening (June 9), a number of staff and officers - as well as a member of the public - were presented with awards for outstanding conduct and service, and long-service awards.
Opening the ceremony, Chief Constable Neil Rhodes said: “We often refer to ourselves as a family force and tonight of all nights is an opportunity to say thank you to the families of our officers, members of staff and also our volunteers.
“Policing is a tremendous career. But it is a career where you absolutely do need the support of your family. “
He continued: “A police career is not an easy career, but it’s a rewarding and worthwhile career and we’re here tonight to celebrate many years of your proud police service and some exceptional police service.”
Among those presented with awards were PCSO Michael Cobley and PCSO Barnaby Prince, who both received a Royal Humane Society Parchment and Chief Constable’s Certificate of Commendation.
On September 1 last year PCSO Cobley (now retired) received a report of concern for safety when a man had fallen into a deep water filled dyke in Skegness and his friend who had called in the incident could not reach him. The man was in the water at neck height and he was unresponsive as he had blacked out.
PCSO Cobley was in the vicinity of the incident and volunteered to attend the scene. The man was not visible from the roadside and PCSO Cobley, who was first on the scene, climbed down the steep embankment which was a sheer drop and extremely slippery underfoot. He saw the man whose head was above water but he appeared to be unresponsive. PCSO Cobley pulled the man to safety however, the man slipped into the dyke a second time and had to be pulled to safety again before the fire and ambulance service arrived at the scene.
PCSO Cobley displayed both determination and professionalism, putting his own life at risk and saving a man from what could have had a very different outcome.
PCSO Prince was presented with his award after an incident on October 7 last year. Police received notification from the Fire and Rescue Service that they were attending a report of a man who was in a caravan who had doused himself in petrol and was threatening to set himself alight. There was some confusion over the location of the caravan and PCSO Prince was able to identify the location in the Alford area by using his local knowledge.
PCSO Prince was first on the scene and gave accurate and concise updates to the Force Control Room. Police officers and negotiators were deployed but they were a considerable distance away. At one point during the incident the man opened the caravan door and PCSO Prince used this opportunity to engage with the man. He was able to gain his trust and managed to persuade him to handover the lighter he was holding and also the jerry can which contained petrol and for him to leave the caravan, it was at this point that fellow officers arrived.
PCSO Prince could have quite easily stood off and awaited the arrival of other officers but he took charge of the situation and seized the opportunity to engage with a vulnerable and unpredictable man whilst placing himself in danger.
PC Richard Jones was awarded a Certificate of Chief Constable’s Commendation after an incident on December 2 last year. PC Jones had been out shopping in Grimsby with his son and while driving home he noticed that a woman had left an ambulance and had climbed over the railings and into the river.
He decided to take action; he leant over the railings and whilst being held by a member of the public he attempted to rescue the woman using his jacket. During the first attempt his jacket was swept away by the river. Having been given a second jacket by a member of the public, PC Jones managed to hold on to the furthest extent of one sleeve and the woman took hold of the other cuff. The woman was successfully recovered from the river.
PC Jones insisted that the woman needed medical treatment and was not in any fit state of mind to be left and detained her under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act and put her in the care of the paramedic.
He returned home, got changed, and then went to the hospital to obtain the woman’s details (name, date of birth, etc.) and created an incident with the Force Control Room to make a record of his actions with regards to the use of Section 136.
Through his actions, PC Jones took responsibility for a vulnerable person’s welfare and averted a potential tragedy.
George Wilson, a member of the public and who was aged just 16 at the time, was the front seat passenger in his mother’s car when they witnessed a road traffic collision on the A17 at Fulbeck on December 27, 2014.
A Renault Clio had lost control and overturned onto its driver’s side. The two elderly occupants, Mr and Mrs Ball, were trapped in the car with Vera Ball in the front passenger seat being suspended by her seatbelt.
George ran over to the car and opened the front passenger door. He gave reassurance to the people in the car and supported Mrs Ball’s head. He had received no first aid training but continued to stay with her until the emergency services arrived around 15 minutes later. The weather was cold with snow on the verge and the car was unstable until it was secured by the Fire Service. The people in the car were later released and taken to hospital. Sadly, Mrs Ball died as a result of her injuries on January 2, 2015.
George showed great maturity and quick thinking in a situation where life was at risk. He acted to help others even when there was personal risk from an unstable vehicle. He provided comfort and first aid at a time when the need was greatest. George demonstrated selflessness, courage and compassion.
Other officers and staff who received awards were: Anthony Tomlinson (Police Staff Long Service Certificate), S/Chief Officer Stephen Woodcock (Special Constabulary 29 Year Bar), S/Inspector Trevor Cox (Special Constabulary 19 Year Bar), PC Alexander Bedford; Inspector Patrick Coates; PC Michelle Ford; PC Julian Minton; T/Detective Sgt Matthew Sharp and D/Inspector Stephen Knubley, all of whom received Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medals.