"Remarkable things from ordinary people": Chief Constable's December editorial
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As I pondered what to cover in this edition of my monthly ‘column’ I was torn between my ongoing concerns about how often officers and staff (in all Emergency Services) are being assaulted or focussing on some more positive aspects of policing, community and civic duty. As we enter the Advent period and head toward Christmas, I believe it is more appropriate to concentrate on the good and some extraordinary acts by people who describe themselves as ‘normal’, ‘just doing my job’ or ‘it was nothing’!
Let me start with the extraordinary acts of three young men: Charlie, Ben and Callum. I was privileged to accompany them to the National Police Public Bravery Awards on Thursday 30 November where they received a ‘Silver Award’ for their courageous actions back in 2021. At that time, they were only 15 and 16 years old. Despite their age, when they heard a young lady call for help as a man attacked her, the boys (as they were then) decided to intervene, chasing the man off and preventing the victim from a further serious assault. None of them expected any praise or recognition but it was a pleasure to see their pride on the night. Their actions were extraordinary.
Just a few days prior to this I hosted the Lincolnshire Police Commendation evening. In one evening, I handed out two Royal Humane Society Parchments, and a Royal Humane Society Certificate of Commendation, eight Judge’s Certificates of Commendation, as well as 25 Certificates of Chief Constable’s Commendation. Some of the work recognised included:
The extraordinary quick-thinking of officers and an outstanding response from our drone team who went to the aid of a woman in the sea, locating her and bringing her back to safety. (More in our press release here.)
An officer who was first on the scene and spent 11 minutes giving CPR to try and save a man’s life, until a ‘LIVES’ responder arrived. Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of the officer the man was resuscitated and saved.
An off-duty officer attending coronation day celebration with their family intervened in an altercation which involved a man with an axe. The extraordinary courage and bravery shown by the officer stopped the situation from escalating any further and prevented any harm from occurring. This must have been traumatic for his family and children who had to witness the incident, but I hope the overwhelming sense they all have is one of pride for their dad.
The extraordinary work undertaken by two officers to develop (off their own back and through their own drive and determination) a scheme introducing dedicated support to secondary victims of child sex offenders (the family, children and other close relatives who are often unaware of the offending and left in a state of shock and trauma). The scheme has been recognised nationally and is now considered best practice across UK policing.
Finally, Sgt Mike Templeman ran 48 miles in memory of the 48 people who have lost their lives on Lincolnshire’s roads in the past year. He hopes to raise awareness about road safety and the devastating impact such accidents have. He has raised over £4000 so far for his chosen charity Brake and Road Peace – the national charity for road crash victims. Mike said: “I have seen first-hand the devastation road fatalities inflict on the families and friends. There are five contributory factors to the needless deaths on our roads. These are carelessness, speed, mobile phones, seatbelts and drink / drug driving. If I help highlight these factors, then every mile is worth it.”
Sadly, as we head into the Christmas period, we know that drink driving will go up. If you’re heading out for festive drinks, please think ahead of time about how you might get home and ensure you have a designated driver or taxi organised. By taking such a small step you can make an extraordinary difference by keeping our roads safe and reducing the fatalities we see too frequently.
Policing, and those who help us by stepping in when people need help, is performed by ordinary people who are not seeking praise or reward for what they have done. They do it simply because it is the right thing to do to keep others safe. I have given you just a tiny taste of the extraordinary acts of our officers (and some of our community) who go out every day to keep everyone as safe as we possibly can. They will be there throughout the festive period, working through Christmas Day and New Year, so wish them a Merry Christmas and please remember the extraordinary job they do to protect everyone from harm.