90 days from today is Sat, 24 December 2022
7 December 2021
A Hertfordshire police officer who pulled a man high on drugs out of the way of a lorry on the M25 has been put forward for a Police Bravery Awards and will join nominees from across England and Wales at the presentations this week.
Sergeant Martin Kemp, who has now retired from the Force, was nominated after risking his life to pull the man to safety seconds before he was hit by a HGV and will be in London for the ceremony on Thursday (9 December).
The man, who had taken cocaine, had abandoned his Mercedes Sprinter van at the junction of the M25 and A1 at South Mimms where he was spotted by a Highways England traffic officer darting in and out of the motorway traffic. The incident happened at 10.50pm on 7 June 2019.
Police were called and traffic on the eastbound carriageway was stopped – but he crossed onto the westbound side of the motorway which was still live.
PS Kemp caught up with him in the middle lane of the motorway and, with two lorries approaching, tried to drag him off the carriageway.
But the man started fighting, punching the officer, knocking his glasses into the road and grabbing his genitals.
PS Kemp said: “I kept shouting at him to stop and let go, telling him we were both going to die if he carried on as I could see the HGVs getting closer. I cannot recall a time in my 25-year career that I have felt so vulnerable in the belief I was about to die. The HGV missed us by mere inches.
“I have two young daughters who I firmly believe could have been made fatherless as a direct result of this man and his behaviour. I come to work to help people, not to be assaulted and have my life put in danger by them.”
As the HGVs approached, he managed to get the man into the outside lane of the motorway seconds before the lorries passed – missing them by inches.
With the man still resisting arrest, PS Kemp managed to inch him to the relative safety of the central reservation until colleagues arrived and he was arrested.
A subsequent test on the man found he had five times the legal amount of cocaine in his body.
PS Kemp has received a commendation for bravery for his actions from Judge Michael Simon, who presided over the case when it came to court.
The citation said: “For his incredible bravery in risking his life to save that of the defendant’s in live lanes on the M25 in the face of oncoming cars and HGVs travelling at speed.”
PS Kemp has also received a Commendation for Bravery from Chief Constable Charlie Hall.