Police Federation

West Yorkshire


The actions of a selfless and extremely brave individual police officer without doubt saved the life of a man undergoing a paranoid and psychotic episode, whilst placing herself in extreme danger.

PC Jess Bell, from West Yorkshire Police, has been nominated for the national Police Bravery Awards 2024 for her work in bringing to a close a concern for safety call for an individual who was armed with a kitchen knife, suspected to be under the influence of drugs and who flagged warning markers for self-harm, mental health, drugs, violence and concealing items.

Arriving on scene, PC Bell found the individual on the roof of a two-story building armed with a knife. He had threatened to kill himself and whilst experiencing paranoid hallucinations was waving the knife around.

Very much aware that the individual’s mother was also on scene and keen to build a rapport with the individual, PC Bell engaged with him, making it clear she was there to help him.

Whilst waiting for negotiators and the fire brigade to arrive on scene, the incident took a dramatic turn as the individual began to use the knife to cut at his own neck.

PC Bell was becoming increasingly concerned for his welfare as she could now see blood.

The fire and rescue service soon arrived on scene and provided a ladder, so it was possible to reach the rooftop, but refused to climb the ladder while the man was still armed.

Without regard for her safety, and having been in conversations with the man, PC Bell ascended the ladder alone. The individual was twice her size and capable of pushing PC Bell from the roof or attacking her, even in his distressed and impaired state.

Upon arriving on the roof and finding the man still clutching the knife, PC Bell, for her own safety, deployed her Taser, but to little effect.

She obtained a colleague’s Taser and deployed it a second time and continued to deliver charge until the knife was dropped. PC Bell then climbed fully on the roof to provide first aid while awaiting the arrival of a medical team. The man had lost significant amounts of blood and was soon barely conscious.

PC Bell’s actions placed herself in great danger, climbing a ladder to save the life of the distressed and paranoid armed man, twice her size, high on drugs and who could have easily knocked her from the roof.

West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable John Robins, QPM DL, said: “It is absolutely clear, that without the swift actions of PC Jess Bell, the situation could have resulted in a completely different and devastating outcome. Despite the risk, she did all she could to prevent further harm, took control of the situation and ensured the young man got the necessary medical attention required. 

“Jess acted bravely and without hesitation in a challenging situation to save the life of someone in need. Her tenacity and courage is admirable and she should be very proud of her actions, as we are at West Yorkshire Police.”   

West Yorkshire Federation Chair, Craig Nicholls QGM, said: “PC Jess Bell exhibited immense bravery, grit, and professionalism in the face of a highly perilous situation when dealing with a suicidal male on a two-story roof.

“Despite the inherent danger, she maintained a calm demeanour, showcasing her exceptional care and dedication to resolving the crisis safely. Her unwavering composure not only helped de-escalate the situation but also demonstrated her commitment to protecting and preserving life. PC Bell's actions serve as a shining example of the extraordinary courage and compassion that law enforcement professionals bring to their duty, even in the most challenging circumstances.”


We use cookies on this website, you can read about them here To use the website as intended please... ACCEPT COOKIES