Every one a hero - Islington police bravery awards
PUBLISHED: 17:10 11 December 2013
Heroism, bravery and sheer guts in Islington’s police force were honoured at a lavish ceremony last night as officers and members of the public were celebrated for outstanding courage.
The bi-annual gala, held at the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC), in City Road, Finsbury, handed gongs to police who had saved people from burning buildings, chased armed thieves and blown apart London-wide fraud operations.
And £4,000 worth of stolen WWI medals, including a Victoria Cross, stolen from HAC in September were returned by the force who helped track them down.
Valiant tales abounded all evening – one officer even arrested his own colleague after he brutally assaulted a prisoner in the back of a police van.
Pc Dave O’Hara dragged his fellow officer off the prisoner and restrained him after the victim was punched in the face.
Two other officers saved a suicidal man, who had developed an elaborate system to decapitate himself, by racing their car in the way of the contraption. Acting Sgt Tom Hassan and Sgt Shaun Gidney were praised for their quick-thinking and bravery, which saw them run out of their vehicle to grab the man’s car keys.
The event also honoured courageous members of the public, many of whom had taken the law into their own hands after seeing someone being mugged.
Thomas Rogers, a rugby player from Australia, was commended for racing after a phone thief and tackling the criminal to the ground after hearing a scream.
Mr Rogers said: “I heard the screaming and didn’t even have a thought process. I just ran out of my kitchen and chased him.”
A two-year, London-wide investigation by Det Con Ed Rigby exposed a ring of fraudsters who preyed on the old and vulnerable.
More than 500 offences were discovered in a “colossal undertaking” by the tenacious officer, including sexual and racist abuse towards the fraudsters’ victims, which the criminals were said to get a ‘‘perverse pleasure’’ from.
Det Con Rigby was the only officer to make links between seemingly unrelated incidents, with the criminals receiving up to eight years in prison.
A group of eight officers were also commended for their work at the English Defence League (EDL) and Unite Against Facism (UAF) protests, five days after the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby, when racial tensions were particularly high.
The unit – Serial 77C2 –held a line between a Sikh group and the bottle-throwing EDL and UAF.
The troop stood in place during the increasingly aggressive and violent protest, despite the danger.
Council leader Richard Watts said: “The hard work of these officers makes Islington a safer place.”
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