Heroic members of the British public recognised at national bravery awards night

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Edward Hall, 73 has been heralded for his bravery after helping an officer overcome a suspected violent shoplifter.

Heroic members of the public who saved a woman from a burning building and a trio who came to the aid of a police officer, have been commended for their bravery at a national awards ceremony.

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 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 Binney Medal was presented to Teresa Locke from Kent who intervened when she saw a man overpowering a teenage girl. Photo credit: National Chief Police Council

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.”

Unfortunately, not all involved could make the ceremony but Mark Kerridge, who helped rescue the woman from the fire, and Edward Hall, who came to the aid of the officer, were accompanied at the awards by Northumbria Police’s Chief Constable Winton Keenen QPM. They both collected medals for their heroic actions.

Mark, of Gateshead, was outside a pub close to where he lives last May when he spotted a nearby flat on fire. Without hesitation he and two others entered the building and ran up a flight of stairs to where the smoke was coming from.

Mark, 43, selflessly entered the bedroom, which was now full of thick black smoke coming from the bed which was on fire, and noticed a woman lying motionless. Heroically, Mark got down on his hands and knees and approached the bed, rescuing the woman as the flames grew closer. Mark helped to carry the woman downstairs to safety away from the property.

Without the brave actions of those involved the woman may have suffered horrific injuries or even died.

Edward, 73, also of Gateshead, has been heralded for his bravery after helping an officer overcome a suspected violent shoplifter outside the Metrocentre.

Last summer, one of the shopping centre’s neighbourhood officers was in the process of detaining the male in the centre’s car park, which resulted in both falling to the ground. Edward was driving past and, seeing the officer on the ground, immediately went to assist.

Another two members of the public also came to help.

Chief Constable Keenen said:

“A huge congratulations to all those involved on their awards, they are thoroughly deserved.
“You went above and beyond to assist others and we thank you for your selfless actions.”

He added:

“The North East is truly a fantastic place to live for many reasons, none more so than because of the wonderful people who call the region home.
“While we would never ask anyone to put themselves at risk, we continue to see extraordinary acts from the communities we are privileged to be a part of and serve.”

The Police and Public Bravery Awards were held on Monday, November 28, in Sheffield, with South Yorkshire Police hosting the event.

The following police areas also had 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

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