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24 September 2020
A Surrey Police Officer who risked her safety to rescue a partially sighted woman who fell onto London Underground tracks has been nominated for The National Police Bravery Awards.
PC Stevie Spurgeon was on a training day in the capital on 12 February 2019 when she saw the woman accidentally walk off the edge of the platform at Leicester Square Tube station.
The poor woman injured her ankle in the fall and was clearly unable to get back onto the platform by herself. With the trains still running, her life was in real and immediate danger.
Grasping the gravity of the situation, PC Spurgeon rushed to help while radioing in for back-up. However, radio reception was weak, and although colleagues couldn’t get the full picture of what was going on, they still rushed to the scene.
Realising the tracks weren’t live, PC Spurgeon jumped from the platform to the woman’s aid and together with the help of a member of the public managed to pull the woman back up to safety.
Even though the emergency safety button had been pressed, a train could have still entered the station putting the brave PC and the woman in the greatest of danger.
PC Spurgeon stayed with the woman and administered first aid while she waited for the ambulance crew to attend. The woman suffered a broken leg in the fall, but the incident could have easily resulted in tragedy.
Officers usually receive specialist track training from train companies or colleagues in the British Transport Police before they are required to go onto tracks in these sorts of circumstances, but PC Spurgeon knew she had to act fast to save the woman’s life.
Surrey Police Federation Chair Mel Warnes said PC Spurgeon had demonstrated real bravery and selflessness to prevent a fatality.
“What a courageous thing to do,” she said. “Stevie wasn’t on her policing patch in Surrey but those policing instincts still kicked in. She reacted fast and assessed the situation and got onto those tracks to save this woman from what could have been horrendous injuries or worse.
“Once again this demonstrates how police officers are much more than crime fighters. Stevie can’t have expected to do what she did as she travelled for that training day and yet, there she was.
“We are all extremely proud of her as a person and as a Surrey Police officer.”
As a nominee, PC Spurgeon will attend a prestigious daytime reception and evening awards ceremony in London in July 2021. The 2020 event – the 25th National Police Bravery Awards - had been scheduled to take place this past summer but had to be cancelled due to Coronavirus.
Nevertheless the Police Federation of England and Wales wanted to take the opportunity to highlight the fantastic work of all 94 nominees from across the country online from today (September 24).
John Apter, National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “We are incredibly proud of all the nominees from across England and Wales. The actions of these courageous officers provide a small snapshot of the amazing work our colleagues carry out day in and day out.
“PC Stevie Spurgeon showed incredible bravery in this fast-moving incident. I think people would wonder what they would do when confronted with such a situation. But this is what police officers do. It’s pleasing this incident had a good conclusion. PC Spurgeon is a credit to policing.
“As a Police Federation, we wanted to make sure these brave officers received the recognition they deserve in the year their actions were meant to be celebrated. And we look forward to seeing them all in person – and revealing regional and national winners - when the time is right in 2021.”
The National Police Bravery Awards are sponsored by Police Mutual.
John Perks, Chief Executive Officer of Police Mutual, said: “Police Mutual is, as always, proud to be supporting the National Police Bravery Awards in its 25th anniversary year. Despite having to postpone the original ceremony, the officers’ courage has never been forgotten – they all showed commitment to keeping the public safe in the most demanding of circumstances.
“We very much look forward to meeting all the nominated officers in July 2021 for the ceremony, and our chance to give our thanks in person.”