Humane award for heroic police duo

PUBLISHED: 20:00 20 September 2015


Two police officers, who were confronted by a bloodbath when they were called to a house where a man was attempting to kill himself, have been praised for their swift action which almost certainly saved the man's life.

PC Mark Neal from Nailsea and a female officer from Weston who cannot be identified, were called to a house in School Close, Banwell, in the evening of November 23 last year.

They had been told a man there was self harming. But by the time they arrived he had already slashed his wrists and lost a large amount of blood. They elevated his arms and held the wounds together in a bid to stem the bleeding.

A paramedic who attended said later that he believed it had been a serious suicide attempt that might well have been successful had the officers not taken the action they did.

Now both officers are to receive Royal Humane Society Certificates of Commendation. And they have won the personal praise of Dick Wilkinson, Secretary of the Royal Humane Society.

Speaking at the society’s London headquarters after announcing the awards, he said: “The scene that confronted two officers when they arrived must have been horrific with blood everywhere.

“However, they went straight into action, took steps to stem the bleeding and in doing so saved this man’s life. It was a great piece of teamwork and it saved a life.”

No date has yet been fixed for presentation of the awards, which come following a recommendation from Avon and Somerset Constabulary, but it is expected to take place in the near future.

The roots of the Royal Humane Society stretch back more than two centuries. Its president is Princess Alexandra and it is the premier national body for honouring bravery in the saving of human life.

It was founded in 1774 by two of the day’s eminent medical men, William Hawes and Thomas Cogan. Their primary motive was to promote techniques of resuscitation.

However, as it emerged that numerous people were prepared to put their own lives at risk to save others, the awards scheme evolved, and today a variety of awards are made depending on the bravery involved.

Since it was set up the Society has considered over 86,000 cases and made over 200,000 awards. The society is a registered charity which receives no public funding and is dependent on donations.

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