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Thank you to all police officers ahead of annual Police Bravery Awards

Monday, 11 July 2016

As we draw close to our annual Police Bravery Awards on Thursday (14 July), Chair Steve White pays tribute to the nominees – 69 officers from 40 forces – as well as police officers across England and Wales.

This year marks the 21st anniversary of the Awards, that’s more than two decades of celebrating the brave and heroic great British police service, which amounts to (with some crude calculations) around 1,250 nominees in total.

Every year I am blown away by the calibre of the candidates, and this year is no exception. Whether on or off duty, stories range from selfless acts involving knives, guns and other makeshift weapons to dramatic rescues from burning buildings and open waters. 

Helping people with mental health issues and preventing them from committing suicide is sadly a common theme as it is every year. When other services can’t deliver for whatever reason, the police are always there to deal and pick up the pieces, highlighting that much of our work is not actually connected to crime. 

While the incidents vary, they all have one thing in common – officers putting their own safety and lives at risk for others. And this is what makes being a police officer a job like no other, ordinary people doing extraordinary things. 

These stories of bravery are worthy of recognition, worthy of headlines and worthy of awards. Yet this remarkable bravery and heroism often goes unreported. And I suppose in some small way that is testament to how we just get on with it. Every day cops go out, not knowing what they may face, often finding themselves in dangerous situations. Yet they run towards the danger as others run away, because that’s what we signed up to.

Of course, the nominees are only the tip of the iceberg, police officers are performing acts of bravery every day as part of their jobs. For every officer nominated this year, there are hundreds who day in and day out show passion, compassion, humility and bravery without so much as a thank you. So to all this year’s nominees and the thousands of officers throughout England and Wales on the frontline, for whom duty is just the beginning, you are all winners in my eyes.

Come late evening on 14 July, we will have crowned eight regional winners and one overall winner. The evening is a rare occasion when the police, politicians and the media come together to showcase and celebrate some of the very best in British policing. An event the Police Federation of England and Wales is truly proud of. 

Check out the nominees at www.polfed.org/bravery

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