Hampshire police officers recognised at the Royal Humane Society Awards for their courageous work

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Hampshire police officers have received recognition for their bravery in helping to save lives in distressing and traumatic circumstances at an awards night.

A number of Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary officers have received commendations at the Royal Humane Society Awards. The awards recognised twelve officers whose acts helped to save a life in difficult circumstances.

Two officers received a commendation for the events of April 30, 2021, in Slindon Street, Portsmouth. A young man had been stabbed and was bleeding badly with PS James Cole arriving at the scene first he immediately applied first aid and pushed his knee down on the wound. PS Cole was closely followed by PC Sara Hopes who helped establish a sterile area around the victim.

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PC Sara Hopes and PS James Cole were presented with the RHS Certificate of Commendation by chief constable Scott Chilton and vice lord-lieutenant of Hampshire colonel Charles AckroydPC Sara Hopes and PS James Cole were presented with the RHS Certificate of Commendation by chief constable Scott Chilton and vice lord-lieutenant of Hampshire colonel Charles Ackroyd
PC Sara Hopes and PS James Cole were presented with the RHS Certificate of Commendation by chief constable Scott Chilton and vice lord-lieutenant of Hampshire colonel Charles Ackroyd | Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary

Both officers helped assist ambulance workers when they arrived and their actions led to the man surviving. They were both awarded the RHS Certificate of Commendation for their actions.

PC Hopes said: "Knife crime devastates communities and affects the lives of all those involved. I am not just talking about those who are injured, the perpetrator, or their families. I also mean the emergency service personnel who respond to these incidents and have to deal with the aftermath.

"I take pride in knowing that my colleague and I did everything we could to save the life of the male that day, but what officers have to deal with on a daily basis is far from the ordinary and it is important that if you attend a job like this that you receive the right aftercare from your line managers and are supported. I am not ashamed to say that I accessed support after this incident and it is definitely a job that will stick with me for the rest of my career."

The awards ceremony heralded the actions of a number of Hampshire officers, including police sergeant Shaun Brennan, police constables Vasos Gogos, Tom Hillier and Karen Stevenson, and PCSO James Headen, who were awarded the RHS Certificate of Commendation.

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Hampshire officer received recognition for their bravery in difficult and distressing incidents.Hampshire officer received recognition for their bravery in difficult and distressing incidents.
Hampshire officer received recognition for their bravery in difficult and distressing incidents. | Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary

This followed an incident on May 22, 2022, where they attended Portchester Railway Station to help a man on the wrong side of the footbridge who was in extreme distress.

PC Hillier, who was a PCSO at the time of the incident, said: "We unfortunately go to high risk incidents like this very often these days. I do not think society as a whole understands the nature of our work and one minute we are at a traumatic incident like this and the next we might be dealing with some low level incident and we’re expected to be as if it never happened. At the end of the day our number one priority is saving lives and that is what we ended up doing on that day."

Another incident in Stokes Bay saw four Hampshire officers awarded for their actions in saving a life. In the early hours of March 26, 2023, police were alerted to a woman in the water.

Police constable Roy Kimber, assisted by a student officer, entered the sea to help the woman and speak to her, eventually calling for back up and the coastguard when he was unable to pull her out by himself. The back up soon arrived in the shape of police constables Simon Tate and Gurdit Singh who entered the water and helped PC Kimber to save the woman.

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The woman thanked the officers for saving her life and pinpointed the role of police staff controller Dee Court who kept the woman speaking on the phone throughout. PCs Kimber, Singh and Tate were awarded the RHS Certificate on Parchment. Police staff controller Dee Court was awarded the RHS Certificate of Commendation.

PC Gurdit Singh, PC Roy Kimber, Dee Court, and PC Simon Tate with their commendations.PC Gurdit Singh, PC Roy Kimber, Dee Court, and PC Simon Tate with their commendations.
PC Gurdit Singh, PC Roy Kimber, Dee Court, and PC Simon Tate with their commendations. | Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary

The awards night also awarded the actions of two further Hampshire officers who helped save the life of a man in Gunwharf Quays on July 9, 2023. PC Jaimie O'Byrne and PS Andrew Way were taking the statement of a man who believed people were trying to break into his house when he suddenly had a seizure and stopped breathing.

The officers immediately started CPR and after a few minutes he started to breathe again whereupon they put him in the recovery position. When regaining consciousness he became aggressive and the officers restrained him until paramedics arrived. Both officers were awarded the RHS Certificate of Resuscitation.

PS Way said: "This incident shows exactly how policing can change in a matter of seconds. We initially thought we were attending a break-in which quickly escalated into being faced with a male who went into seizure then cardiac arrest. We are thankful that we managed to resuscitate the male and he got the required medical assistance he needed and neither of us sustained any injuries."

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All of the officers received the commendations from chief constable Scott Chilton and vice lord-lieutenant of Hampshire colonel Charles Ackroyd. Chief constable Scott Chilton said: “Our officers are often faced with extremely distressing and traumatic incidents, sometimes on a daily basis. To be able to put aside the emotions of what they are facing and then act quickly to help those in need and save lives of people at risk of danger shows incredible courage and professionalism. I commend every single one of our officers who have dealt with similar incidents and I’m sure the public would join me in thanking them.”