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POLICE officers, staff and members of the public attended a special ceremony to be presented with awards for their brave actions.
The annual event, held by Lancashire Constabulary's Western division, also honoured those who have given up their free time to carry out volunteer work that makes Blackpool and Fylde a safer place for all.
At the ceremony, the Rhodes Marshall Meritorious Conduct Cup was presented to officers who have shown significant degrees of physical, emotional or moral courage during an incident.
PC Liz Gardner and PC Stacey Dyson attended an incident in October last year where a man had seriously assaulted his partner. The offender then turned on the two officers and as a result PC Gardner suffered an injury to her wrist and knee and PC Dyson sustained a broken finger and bruising to her face. However, they were eventually able to arrest the man and protect his victim from further harm.
Also nominated for the award was PC Peter Horsfield who, despite being on patrol on his own, tackled an offender who had stabbed a woman, leaving her bleeding heavily. Although he sustained an injury himself, PC Horsfield was able to not only arrest the man but also call for medical assistance for the victim. Without his bravery and actions, the consequences of that evening may have been fatal.
Chief Superintendent Richard Debicki, divisional commander, said: "Our officers and staff are there to protect our local communities on a daily basis, often going beyond what is expected of them. Occasionally though their acts demonstrate such outstanding bravery that they deserve special recognition. It is right that we acknowledge the work of people who put themselves in harm's way.”
Three members of the public also received commendations for their brave actions.
Hayley Bee was praised for disarming a man in a Blackpool restaurant, after he threatened diners with a screwdriver while under the influence of heroin in February.
Sydney Bailey and Karl Kushnirow were thanked for helping to save the life of Sgt Dave Cross, who had been cycling to work along the Promenade on March 23 when he sustained a heart attack. The pair carried out CPR until an ambulance arrived.
Chief Superintendent Richard Debicki said: "Had it not been for Mr Bailey's and Mr Kushnirow's public spirited actions that evening, one of our own colleagues would not be with us. We all owe them a great debt of gratitude for their unselfish response and actions.
"We use this ceremony as a way of highlighting the exceptional actions of members of the public, many of whom come to our assistance or show true heroism. The actions of these individuals should be praised, because in some cases they have helped to save the life of someone else, putting other people ahead of themselves and acting for the greater good.”
A number of volunteers were also presented with awards for dedicating their time to helping their local community. John Gavin, who has done six years of voluntary work for the force providing a link to the area's LGBT community, was presented with the overall award, while the work of Simon Bassett, who works as a Special Sergeant with the neighbourhood police teams and immediate response teams at South Fylde; Matthew Ellis, a community volunteer at Blackpool, whose work has been invaluable in turning around the rising trend in scrap metal thefts in Blackpool; and Pamela Peabody, who carries out volunteer work within Blackpool's CID department, was also recognised.
A posthumous award was presented to the widow of Syd Tomlinson, who passed away last year. Mr Tomlinson was the chair of the Independent Advisory Group, providing independent advice to the police with the aim of improving the quality of policing services delivered in the area. He also helped to create links between the Jewish community and local police, setting up an annual Holocaust memorial at headquarters in Hutton.
Chief Superintendent Richard Debicki said: "It is also heartening that many residents give up their own free time to do policing work, either as a station volunteer or as a Special officer. This really benefits others in the local area and we want to honour their dedication to their communities.”