Bravery awards for police officers

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

TWO hero police officers who rescued a woman from a burning house have been officially commended for their bravery.

Sgt Paul Hughes and PC Yvie Johnson fought through thick black smoke at the house in Plas Madoc, Acrefair, to locate and carry the woman to safety.

Despite needing hospital treatment themselves for the effects of smoke inhalation the officers were back on duty later the same day.

Sgt Hughes and PC Johnson were among scores of officers from the North Wales Police Eastern Division, which covers Wrexham and Flintshire, honoured at an awards ceremony.

In the early hours of August 26, the two officers were called to the house fire. Sgt Hughes saw smoke billowing from the roof of the building and as he entered the property he was confronted by the male occupier who told him there was a woman upstairs.

Sgt Hughes shouted to the woman but did not receive a reply so he and PC Johnson crawled up the staircase underneath a dense cloud of smoke.

PC Johnson saw a body lying on the landing and Sgt Hughes lifted the unconscious woman on to his shoulders and carried her down the stairs.

Divisional commander, Chief Superintendent Ruth Purdie, commended the officers for their “bravery, professionalism and tenacious actions in dealing with this traumatic incident”.

Also honoured at the ceremony was PCSO Bryn Roberts who has been based in Wrexham’s Caia Park area for the past four years.

PCSO Roberts, the winner of the Eastern Division Police Community Support Officer of the Year Award, has worked hard in developing relationships with the local community and partner agencies.

On one occasion he was on foot patrol when he noticed the smell of cannabis coming from a disused industrial unit.

Further inquiries were made and a search warrant was executed with more than £500,000 worth of cannabis being seized and arrests made.

The award for bravery of unarmed officers went to two officers from South Flintshire – Sgt Andy Massey and Sgt Stephen Arnold – for a suspected domestic violence incident in Buckley.

While Sgt Arnold was dealing with the victim Sgt Massey noticed the suspect was carrying a seven-inch knife partially concealed in the waist band of his trousers.

He disarmed the suspect and together with Sgt Arnold managed to handcuff and
restrain the man who was resistingarrest.

The divisional commander’s commendation was also awarded to Sgt Gareth Griffiths, PC Carmen Roberts, PC Martin Walsh and PC Lucia Pritchard who negotiated with, and eventually overpowered, an agitated man under the influence of drugs and in possesion of a knife at a house in Buckley.

South Flintshire Inspector Martin Best received a commendation for his leadership.

His commendation reads: “Martin has made great endeavours to seek out best practice and support when required and has never failed to take personal responsibility for his area’s performance.

“Martin has quickly become well known and highly regarded by our partners outside North Wales Police, including local councillors and other elected representatives. He is a model leader and an inspiration to a number of staff.”

Peter Davies was awarded the Divisional Cadet of the Year Award Volunteer Police Cadet for displaying great enthusiasm and commitment.

Peter, who recently graduated as a Volunteer Cadet working in the Mold Police Cadet Unit, won the award for his “commitment, enthusiasm and professionalism”
in his work with the South Flintshire Neighbourhood Policing Team, setting the standard for Police Cadets in their presentation to the public.

The divisional commander’s commendations were also awarded for investigative work, dedication to duty, leadership and professionalism towards dealing with a range of crime and supporting vulnerable people.

Among those recognised were Det InspDave Spencer, Det Con Adrian Czerniak, Det Insp Mark Chesters, Det Con George Howat, Det Con Sian Roberts, Det Con Claire Fielding, Det Con Angela Jones, Sgt Richie Evans, Det Sgt Kevin Bowden, Sgt Ian Owen, Sgt John Williams, Sgt Dave Mills, Det Con Deborah Hodges, PC Jonathon Jones, PC Gareth Duggan, PC Claire Nicholls, PC John Ashton, PC Gareth Roberts, PC Natasha Doran-Jones, PC Gavin Gilmore, PC Christopher Irvine, PC Lucia Pritchard, PC Gavin Brace, PC Vince Craven, PC Phillip Beattie, Sgt Gareth Griffiths, PC Carmen Roberts, PC Lucia Pritchard, PC Martin Walsh and PC Colin Oare.

See full story in the Leader

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