Police Federation

Officer who took weight of a car to save a life wins national award

Fri, 19 Jul 2019

A Warwickshire Police officer has been named the overall winner at this year’s national Police Bravery Awards, hosted by the Police Federation of England and Wales.

PC Andrew Dear was named the overall winner at the 24th national Police Bravery Awards in London. The awards, sponsored by Police Mutual, took place on 18 July to honour and recognise police officers who perform outstanding acts of bravery.

PC Dear was first on the scene of a serious car accident and went to help the most injured person, who was trapped between the roof of the upturned car and the road. The car was ripped in half, with the top half of the man’s body ejected though the sunroof and he was trapped with a severe head injury. The wreckage of the car was leaking fuel and there was a real risk of a major fire or explosion.

The officer scrambled into a 10-inch gap under the roof of the car, so that an airway could be maintained and to take some of the weight of the car on his back. The casualty was drifting in and out of consciousness and bleeding badly, so PC Dear constantly talked to and reassured him. There was a real risk of the fuel catching fire, but PC Dear stayed with the casualty, which allowed a paramedic to secure an IV line and stem the bleeding. PC Dear placed himself in a dangerous and life-threatening situation, refusing to leave the man and helping to save his life.

Speaking of the incident afterwards, the casualty, and why the officer did what he did, PC Dear said:

“Knowing what his family would probably be thinking had he not made it, knowing somebody was there with him when he was injured, trapped – that means everything.”

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said:

“PC Dear’s bravery is truly extraordinary and deserves to be recognised with this award.

“I pay tribute to the courage and professionalism of this country’s dedicated police officers, who put their lives on the line to keep us all safe day after day.

“All of today’s nominees and winners exemplify this selflessness and are living proof that we have the best police in the world.”

John Apter, National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales said:

“These awards highlight the incredible bravery that officers protecting our country show every single day. PC Dear demonstrated outstanding courage and dedication, putting the lives of others before his own without a second thought.   Without doubt his actions saved the life of another.

“As National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, I am immensely proud to have shared this day with such humble and brave officers and their families.  They are a credit to the service and I am proud to call them colleagues.”

John Perks, Chief Executive Officer of Police Mutual, said:

“For the past 11 years, Police Mutual is proud to have sponsored such an inspiring event in the policing calendar. It is a privilege for my colleagues and I to be able to show our respect for the exceptional bravery shown by police officers who risk their lives every day to protect the public and keep us safe.  We hope that we can continue to play our part in helping improve the lives of the police family.”

The regional winners of the Police Bravery Awards 2019 were:

Cumbria

Lone officer Sgt Kevin Milby challenged and restrained a blood-soaked axe-carrying man.

Humberside

PC Ian Sweeney and PD Logan were shot multiple times with a gas-powered pellet gun, but still got their man.

Suffolk

Off-duty DC Joanne Smith courageously chased after suspected armed robbers.

Bedfordshire

Solo PC Christopher Willcox-Cassidy safely unarmed a vulnerable woman who was waving a knife and threatening to cut her own throat.

Devon and Cornwall

PC Agata Makowska single-handedly rescued an unconscious man from a house fire.

Gwent

PC Kelda Griffiths braved a sustained, frenzied attack from a violent woman while her hand was in plaster.

City of London

Off-duty DC Joby Reeve was stabbed in the leg when intervening in a moped robbery.

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