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Avon & Somerset Police Federation

National Police Bravery Awards 2024

17 May 2024

 

Two officers who put themselves in danger to help a distressed man on a busy motorway have been nominated for the national Police Bravery Awards 2024.

On the evening of Sunday 28 May 2023, having just left the scene of a serious road traffic collision on the M5 northbound split level, Avon and Somerset officer PS Nick Dalrymple was alerted to a concern for welfare incident involving a pedestrian on the M5 southbound carriageway on the Avonmouth Bridge.

PS Dalrymple, a dog handler based at the force’s Wilfred Fuller Operational Centre, was first on the scene and as he drove onto the bridge, he was initially unable to see the pedestrian due to the dark conditions. 

As he approached the midway stage, at the bridge’s highest point, he saw a man standing between lanes one and two. Due to it being a Bank Holiday, the motorway was still busy with a heavy flow of articulated lorries and other vehicles travelling at significant speeds.

PS Dalrymple could see the man was in distress and was making a clear attempt to walk out in front of the oncoming vehicles. He immediately activated his emergency lighting and sirens and positioned his vehicle across the carriageway to slow the traffic down, but it had little effect.

PS Dalrymple didn’t have time to put on his florescent PPE due to the escalating risk and the imminent danger the man was in, so he got out of his vehicle and attempted to engage with him. The man didn’t respond but ran towards the officer and the oncoming traffic, with motorists breaking sharply to avoid hitting him. Fortunately, the northbound carriageway was still closed due to the earlier collision.

It was at this point that off-duty officer PC Mitchell Raymond arrived on the scene. PC Raymond, who was driving home from work and saw the man in the middle of the live carriageway, parked his private vehicle on the hard shoulder and quickly grabbed his body armour from the boot.

Due to the continuing danger the man was in, as well as the clear risks to other members of the public using the motorway, PC Raymond deployed his PAVA spray, and the man was able to be safely detained while further police resources arrived at the scene. The man was then able to get the medical help and support he needed.

Both officers received a Chief Constable’s Commendation on 29 November 2023.

Avon and Somerset Police Federation Vice Chair Iain Prideaux said: “During 2023, Avon and Somerset Constabulary once again faced a challenging year when our officers and staff stood tall and faced into serious threat, harm and risk.

“Many officers received recognition for their outstanding actions, and it is my great pleasure to nominate PS 2116 Nick Dalrymple and PC 2906 Mitchell Raymond for this year’s annual bravery awards ceremony.

“Their actions on a busy motorway and facing into oncoming vehicles, rescued a man from serious harm or death, and protected other members of the public who were using the motorway at that time.

“The force values of caring and courage were on display when both officers put their own lives at risk to save others.

“As so many of our officers do day in and day out, they preserved life and kept the public safe.

“Well done Nick and Mitch and I look forward to welcoming you both in London.”

Avon and Somerset Police Chief Constable Sarah Crew said: “The actions of PS Dalrymple and PC Raymond were incredibly brave as they placed themselves in imminent danger to save a man in distress, and to keep other road users safe.

“We know police officers run towards danger and not from it, and this is exactly what happened during this incident. They embody our values of caring and courage and are a credit to policing.

“We’re extremely proud of them and they fully deserve to be recognised and celebrated on this national stage.”