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Northamptonshire Police Federation

National Police Bravery Awards

12 June 2019

Officers from Northamptonshire Police who ignored their own injuries to help others after a suspected acid attack have been nominated for a prestigious Police Bravery Award.

PCs Victoria Ballantyne and Karen Canwell have been nominated for an award at the 24th Police Bravery Awards in London on 18 July. The awards are held by the Police Federation of England and Wales and sponsored by Police Mutual to recognise police officers who perform outstanding acts of bravery while on or off duty.

A heated disagreement ensued, and one gang left the scene, before returning with bottles and spraying the contents with no thought for members of the public or the officers. Both PCs were severely affected by the substance, which was initially thought to be acid but was later identified as ammonia. Their body worn video footage shows panic from members of the public who had also been affected. The officers ignored their own injuries and immediately helped the members of the public.

Despite PC Ballantyne’s discomfort she chased after the culprits but had to stop because of her physical state. She returned to the scene and found water to tend to a person who had been seriously affected by the attack and gave first aid, reassured the victim and minimised the long-term effects of her injuries.

John Perks, Chief Executive Officer of Police Mutual, said: “Police Mutual is very proud to be supporting the Police Bravery Awards for the 11th consecutive year.  To all of you who have been nominated, be rightly proud of yourselves and your achievements. When it mattered most, you stepped up. You proved that your commitment to keeping the public safe did not waver, even when tested in the most trying of circumstances. At Police Mutual, my colleagues and I are deeply honoured to be able to show our appreciation for your bravery in keeping us safe.  We hope that we can continue to play our part in helping improve the lives of the police family.”

Jim Risby, Chair of Northamptonshire Police Federation, said: “The bravery and professionalism shown by PCs Ballantyne and Canwell went above and beyond the normal call of duty. They showed exceptional bravery in incredibly dangerous circumstances.”