More than 100 police officers and members of the public were awarded for incredible acts of bravery at a ceremony last night hosted by the University of Leeds.
The daring deeds recognised at the Leeds District Police Awards included a witness who restrained a man after he snatched an iPhone from a woman in the street, two off-duty officers who rescued a mother and son who had fallen unconscious during a house fire, and a postmaster, alongside several members of the public, who chased two armed raiders.
Chief Superintendent Paul Money, Leeds District Commander, said: “It is a genuine honour and a privilege for me to be able to recognise all the bravery, public-spiritedness, hard work and dedication to serving our communities that these awards encapsulate.
“This year’s event recognises police officers, police staff, members of the public and partner agency representatives for the exceptional qualities they have displayed across a range of challenging circumstances.”
PCs Aaron Smith and Becki Lamb were driving back to Elland Road Police Station when they were flagged down by a member of the public who told them a fire alarm was going off at Acre Crescent, Middleton, and someone was trapped inside. The officers, alongside a member of the public, smashed through the front door and rescued the mother and son, who had fallen unconscious after a pan fire filled the house with smoke, before returning to check the house was empty.
PC Smith said: “It sounds like a bit of cliché but you read these stories and think you wouldn’t necessarily run into a burning building for whatever reason but in the moment you don’t really think, it’s more of a gut instinct.
“Police will do similar jobs and far more dangerous jobs throughout their careers and it’s nice to get the thanks but we don’t do it for the thanks.”
PC Lamb added: “The man who assisted us to get that top lock off the door really deserves some recognition.”
Chief Inspector Chris Matthews said: “From my perspective it goes to show what efforts they have made on behalf of those people who quite literally would not have survived had we had not been there. It’s what they do and they don’t want my recognition, but from my perspective that recognition needs to be given – they put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public and that’s what our officers do here day in, day out.”
When bystander Sammy Bzeu saw a man struggle with a woman and snatch her iPhone on The Calls in Leeds city centre he leapt into action and chased the assailant.
The robber drew a pen, which appeared to be a knife, during the pursuit but Mr Bzeu continued to follow him alongside builder Jake Bowen.
And PCSOs Tracy Murphy, with colleagues Shawnee McMahon and Caroline Francis, had to deliver CPR to a cyclist who had suffered a heart attack by Swillington Common.
The ceremony was told her efforts helped to save the man’s life and this was the second time in six months that she had to deliver CPR to a heart attack victim.
Also, postmaster Tony Williams gave chase after his Boston Spa post office was targeted by two armed raiders who threatened staff and customers.
The gang members - who were disguised in wigs, hats and women’s clothing, with one being pushed in a wheelchair - were jailed earlier this year.
PS John Barker
PS John McNiff
PC Charlotte Maude
PC Mikaela Reid
PC Spencer Loney
PCSO Christopher Winn, PCSO Rajesh Ramkissoon, PCSO Daniel Scott and PS Nick Frost
PCSO Matthew Penn
PCSO Richard Nutter
PCSO Claire Leech
Special Constable Greg Holdsworth
PC Ben Sagar
Special Constable Daniel Garofoiu
Inspect or Dan Wood
PC Arron Smith and PC Becki Lamb
DC 3027 Mel Britton, TI 4243 Emily Smith and DS Jan Sullivan
DC 2931 Gareth Pervin, DC 1529 Claire Comiskey and DS 5541 Jan Sullivan
DC Laura Ireland
DI Ian Scott (now DCI), DS 2488 Stephen King, DC 2910 Dean Holroyd
DI Paul Hobson, DS 2488 Stephen King, DC 6173 Pete Yau, DC 209 Andrew Smurthwaite, DC 677 Tom Hilyer, DC 682 Adam Piggin, DC 3384 John Clayforth and DC 3453 Tony Thompson
DC Ailis Coates
DC Michael Wimbles, DC Andrew Smurthwaite, PC Jo Parkes, DS Stephen King, DI Ian Lawrence and Gemma Grant
DS Naeem Khan, DS Alan Burns, DC Christopher Monaghan, DC Charles Maloney, DC Paul Brindle, DC David White, PC Mark Spence and PC Christopher Maltas
Inspector Anthony Scopelleti, DS Naeem Khan, DS Alan Burns, PC Richard Hipkins, PC Darren Machell, PC Craig Crosswell, PC Charles Maloney, DC Gavin Keany and Leslie Sharp
Inspector Anthony Scopelliti, Paul Strafford, Tony Thompson, Neil Masheder, Gillian Ben and Jeff Griffiths
Imran Shah, Ruth Mutanda, Ali Mahgoub, Jocelyn Bass, Anand Sharda, Sharan Dosanjh, Pritpal Manku, Gurdev Sagoo, Daniel Mundet, Jessica Thompson, Kanchan Dutta, Sukjinder Samra, Maryam Bahar Khesrawi, Karen Chagger and Tuyyebba Bukhari
Jeffrey Garforth, Rachel Guest and Travis Welsh
Sammy Bzeu and Jake Bowen
Paula Lister and Jayne Hoyles
PCSO Tracy Murphy, Shawnee McMahon and Caroline Francis
DC Daniel Crumbley and DC Christopher Cooper
PC 2922 Ed Crompton and PC 6216 Michael Herbert
PC Joanne Felton
DI Philip Jackson, DS Timothy Lumb, DC Timothy Lewis, DC Robert Finn and Anthony Williams
DS Jan Sullivan, DC Melanie Britton and TI Emily Smith
DI Philip Jackson, DS Andrew Greatorex, DC Lisa Watts, DC Helen Murphy Hartley, DC Craig Mason, Mr Timothy Capstick and James Pass