Outstanding acts of bravery by the public were celebrated at The National Police Chiefs’ Council’s (NPCC) annual Police Public Bravery Awards last night (28 November).
Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, Lauren Poultney, hosted the awards at The Cutlers’ Hall in Sheffield.
The ceremony was held to honour the brave members of the public who have placed themselves in dangerous situations, carrying out courageous and selfless acts to help protect others, defend their communities, prevent and detect crime and actively assist the police.
Amongst this year’s award winners were people who risked their lives while trying to save others, people saving strangers from burning buildings, others foiling and detaining armed robbers, and people who stepped in to protect others from violent sexual attacks.
Also presented on the night was the Binney Medal, which is awarded to the person whose nomination stands out as exceptional above the others. The Binney Medal is in remembrance of Sir Ralph Binney, a retired naval captain who died while trying to stop an armed robbery.
This year the Binney Medal was presented to Teresa Locke from Kent (see image below), also a gold medal winner, who intervened when she saw a man overpowering a teenage girl. The man assaulted Teresa as she tried to fight him off the girl but she continued her attack on him unrelenting. The man later received a custodial sentence of 36 months.
The Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police Lauren Poultney, who hosted last night’s ceremony, explained why the awards are so important:
“The event celebrates the very best of society. The public-spirited nature of the individuals recognised at the awards is something we would all like to see more of. These are people who will put themselves in harms way for the safety or protection of others, often people they have never met before.
"The brave acts of those celebrated at the awards remind us of Robert Peel’s adage that ‘The police are the public and the public are the police.'
“We don’t celebrate these acts to encourage people to take unnecessary risk, but pay tribute to those who consider themselves ordinary people, who we see perform extraordinary acts.”
The following police areas have winners at the awards:
Devon and Cornwall, Durham, Essex, Greater Manchester, Hampshire, Kent, Merseyside, Norfolk, PSNI, Sussex, West Midlands, Humberside, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Metropolitan, Northumbria, Nottinghamshire, Police Scotland, South Yorkshire Police
South Yorkshire Police host the awards on behalf of the National Police Chiefs Council.