Bravery and courage recognised at Islington Police Awards

The great and good of Islington’s police force were rewarded for acting above and beyond the call of duty in a gala ceremony on Tuesday night. The event took place at the historic Honourable Artillery Company building in City Road, Finsbury, and also recognised the efforts of the public. The awards were presented by Islington Borough Commander Ch Supt Mike Wise, who is on secondment at the Olympics. After the presentation, he said: “Tonight is a great opportunity for me to recognise the great work the team, and not forgetting partners and members of the public, have done to make Islington safe.” Here are some of the stories of bravery behind the awards.

One of the winners was Pc Eddie Kemp. While off duty, he spotted a dangerous gang member who was on bail for murder and arrested him – then was pulled down a flight of stairs for his trouble.

Pc Kemp was at Finsbury Park police Station, on his way home from a late shift, when he saw a young man on a bike with his hood covering his face.

He recognised the gang member who was banned from entering Islington as part of his bail conditions – he had been arrested on suspicion of the murder last summer.

The suspect used to be of good character and Pc Kemp said he had often been round to his house to talk to his family about the trouble he was heading for.

The man had a string of previous convictions for violence and firearms, but with no regard for his own safety Pc Kemp rushed in and grabbed him.

The man jumped down the two flights of stairs, carrying his mountain bike and taking Pc Kemp with him. They ended up in a heap. Then another off-duty officer came to help and the man was arrested.

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“I knew he shouldn’t be here, so I got hold of him,” said Pc Kemp.

“Then he jumped down the stairs and I ended up on top of him and managed to keep hold.

“Even though I got the citation, he was unarmed when I tackled him.

‘‘One of my colleagues chased him previously when he was holding a large, bloodied carving knife.”

“He ended up being convicted for possession of a weapon, plus he is still on bail for the murder.

“And he is banned from Islington for two years when he gets out, which is a fantastic result.

“His family don’t live here any more so he only came here for gang activity – and he is someone who has gone further than most to ingratiate himself with the gangs.”

The other winners:

Det Con Lee Spicer and Trainee Det Con John Vinten for talking down a volatile man threatening to slit his own throat

Pc Chris Hewson, Pc James Howlett, Pc Stuart Watts, Pc Dario Persechino, Pc Michael O’Conner and Pc Ellis Coates of the Islington Visual Images and Identification and Detections Office (VIIDO) for helping to catch Zack Sackett, who raped and strangled schoolgirl Jessie Wright.

PCSO Abdul Malik, PCSO Anthony McCausland and PCSO Tosun Gulakdeniz for snaring 10 thugs trying to rob two victims in Finsbury Park

Pc Matthew Pham and Pc Nicola Tyler of the high speed Q Cars team for consistently bringing in robbery suspects

Rev Stanley Underhill, 84, who set up a web cam to catch a burglar red-handed after she kept stealing his money.

Insp Martin Epps for taking control of an armed siege in Archway and helping get the hostage and the unstable suspect out uninjured.

Pc Steven Hannay and Sgt Kieran McAuliffe who risked their own lives to rescue women and children from a burning building after reports of men threatening to shoot the occupants.

Det Con Alison Jones for helping a woman with learning difficulties after she was sexually assaulted.

Special Constable Chris Heathcote, who has made more than 65 direct arrests.

Pc Matthew Fletcher who tackled rising tensions between two Finsbury Park gangs.

Safer Neighbourhoods Taskforce Team Two for making more than 500 arrests.

Det Con Marcus Johnson for assisting domestic violence victims.

TDC Becky Saunders for helping domestic violence victims.

Sgt Chris Walsh for his investigation into a gang who stole �12,000 cash from an elderly woman in Upper Street, Islington.

TDC Jason Cole for catching a gang of robbers.

Det Sgt Neill Scrimgeour for cracking a gang of robbers.

Special constable of the year: Matt Lever; Local partner of the year: Simon Vallance; Police community support officer of the year: Johnson Oga; Volunteer of the year: Barbara Gifford; Outstanding team of the year: Holloway Safer Neighbourhood Team; Outstanding contribution of the year: Rick Nolan; Police staff member of the year: Press officer Selina Okoli; Police officer of the year: Martin Hodgson