Award for brave men who stepped in to stop ongoing assault
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Three men from Lincolnshire have been recognised for their bravery after they came to the rescue of a woman in the middle of a vicious assault.
Ben Tyler, Callum Smith, and Charlie Burley were celebrated at the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s (NPCC) annual Police Public Bravery Awards on Thursday, 30 November.
The prestigious awards were hosted at The Cutlers’ Hall in Sheffield by Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, Lauren Poultney and saw people from across the country acknowledged.
The trio were recognised for their response to an ongoing assault in 2021.
A woman was walking through the centre of Spalding, when she noticed a man following her.
The man approached her from behind, overpowered her and started to assault her, before leading her away.
As they reached a nearby footpath, the woman saw three young men walking on the opposite side of the road. She shouted for help.
Those three men were Ben Tyler, Callum Smith and Charlie Burley. They saw the man assaulting the woman and stepped in.
As they walked towards the woman, the offender pushed her away and ran off, forcing the three men to run after him and catch him.
They managed to pull a bag from him which they believed he had stolen and returned it to the woman. They then waited with her until support arrived.
The three young men went on to assist the police investigation and on 2 December 2021 the offender was charged with attempt rape, robbery and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
He later pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm with intent to commit a sexual offence. The offender was jailed for four years and one month.
He was also handed a three-year extended licence period following his release from custody after a Judge at Lincoln Crown Court concluded he was dangerous.
Lincolnshire Police Chief Constable Chris Haward said: “It was a privilege to attend the bravery awards with Charlie, Ben, and Callum.
“They are true role models and deserve every accolade possible.
“It is incredible to think that, as 15 and 16 year olds, they chose to step in where others didn’t and their actions undoubtedly saved the victim from a more serious sexual assault.
“Throughout the evening I heard of similar tales of bravery and courage, but it is fair to say the boys really captured the hearts of everyone there.”
Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, Lauren Poultney explained why the awards are so important.
She said: “I know we ask our police officers to run towards danger and put themselves between harm and the public.
“We support them in doing so by providing training, safety equipment and support in the form of other police officers.
“The ask is still a significant one and takes great courage and bravery every day to deliver.
“But, when we see members of the public step up to support another person, someone they have never met before, or to support the police in preventing a crime, they do not have the same armour, they do not necessarily know that help is coming.
“This is bravery in its purest form and is to be commended.”
*Edit: Initially listed as police officers due to information error. But they are civilians.