Police Federation

North Yorkshire


A pair of compassionate officers who helped bring a vulnerable woman safely down from a railway bridge have been nominated for the National Police Bravery Awards 2023.

Police received a report of a distressed female on the wrong side of a railway bridge in Harrogate.

PCSO Nichola Shearing recognised the location and was in proximity and attended the incident due to the threat to human life.

Believing the female was about to jump in front of an oncoming train, PCSO Shearing held onto her with all her strength to prevent her from dropping some distance below onto the track, and in front of an oncoming train.

Getting assistance from a member of the public, Nichola was then able to hold onto the distressed woman and also radio an update requesting immediate assistance from response officers.

Next on scene was PC Joshua Snaith who, without hesitation, climbed onto the bridge ledge itself whilst Nichola and the member of the public held onto the woman and pulled her over the edge and onto the right side of the bridge.

PCSO Shearing and PC Snaith demonstrated exceptional care and compassion in dealing with the distressed woman, explaining what they were doing, explaining any use of force, and taking steps to minimise the use of force where possible.

They undoubtedly saved the woman’s life and ensured she got the appropriate support.

Both officers also thank the member of the public who assisted them – they, too, showed a great deal of compassion in assisting them with the incident.

Rob Bowles, North Yorkshire Police Federation chair, said: "PCSO Nichola Shearing and PC Joshua Snaith are an absolute credit to North Yorkshire Police. In the proud tradition of the service, they acted with real courage and saved a vulnerable women’s life.

“It is an honour to nominate them and excellent they are receiving the recognition they deserve at the National Police Bravery Awards.”

Chief Constable Lisa Winward, of North Yorkshire Police, said: "I’m immensely proud of PCSO Nichola Shearing and PC Joshua Snaith for the selfless bravery they displayed that day to save a vulnerable woman’s life.

“With the support of an equally courageous member of the public, they did everything in their power to being the woman to safety from a perilous situation over a railway line. They also ensured she received the care and medical support she so desperately needed.

“Nichola and Joshua are shining examples to others and I am delighted their actions are being formally recognised at the Police Bravery Awards.”

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