Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 26 October 2014

Police bravery award-winners chosen

Pc David Williams was one of four West Mercia officers who risked their lives to save a couple from a burning car (West Mercia Police/PA)

Police officers from eight forces have received awards for acts of bravery including saving a couple from a burning car after an horrific four-car pile-up in which two other people were killed.

The regional winners were chosen from among 53 officers who were nominated for the annual Police Bravery Awards, held on Thursday night in the City of London.

They include Pc David Williams and Sergeants Stuart Wells, Andrew Jackson and Darren Heyes from West Mercia who risked their lives to free a couple from a burning car.

They braved fierce flames and smoke as they battled to rescue the pair from the wreckage of a crash that left two other people dead.

Chairman of the Police Federation Paul McKeever said: "The sheer persistence of these officers in such deadly conditions is testimony to their professionalism and dedication to duty. Without their intervention, more lives would undoubtedly have been lost. They all put the safety of others before that of their own. Their actions were truly astounding."

Other winners include Pc Aaron Horsfall from West Yorkshire, who rescued three people from a house fire single-handed, and Sergeant Ashley Waterhouse and Pc Adam James Hovells from Norfolk who plunged themselves into the sea in freezing conditions to save a suicidal man.

The remaining successful nominees were from Avon and Somerset, Cumbria, Hampshire, London and South Wales. There will also be one overall winner revealed at Thursday night's ceremony, and a victim support award.

All the nominees were honoured with a lunchtime reception at Downing Street ahead of the evening awards ceremony. David Cameron was not at Number 10 because he was out of the country, but Home Secretary Theresa May was set to attend the awards.

The event has a particular resonance this year following the deaths of Pcs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes who were shot after attending what appeared to be a routine burglary call in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.

Off-duty Pc Ian Dibell from Essex Police also lost his life when he was gunned down as he went to help a neighbour who was being attacked.

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