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Wiltshire Police Federation

Retired Wiltshire Officer Nominated for Bravery Award

27 June 2018

A Wiltshire officer has been nominated for a national Police Bravery Award for rescuing a suicidal woman from the train tracks.

A woman with a history of mental health issues and suicidal thoughts walked out of her house, stating that she was going to kill herself on a railway line.

Inspector Ian Stevenson (now retired) helped search for the woman and spotted her by the railway line. He had heard the long horn blast of what he thought was a train a couple of minutes before and knew that it was on its way. The railway had a single track and the fence was close by, meaning there was not much room.

Inspector Stevenson was on the opposite side of the track to the woman, who kept jumping on and off the line. He decided that he needed to be on the other side to try to move her away from danger, so he crossed over the track. Moments later, a train appeared and the woman ran onto the track.  Inspector Stevenson grabbed hold of her and wrestled with her to get her out of the way of the train.  He had to put himself in considerable danger in front of the oncoming train to restrain her. The train then passed by, narrowly missing them by a couple of feet.

His colleague described it as “like something out of a movie” and that her heart skipped a few beats, until the train had passed and she could see that Inspector Stevenson had the woman safe on the embankment.

Inspector Stevenson calmed the woman down and spent at least 20 minutes reassuring and talking with her. His brave actions saved a vulnerable woman’s life, risking his own in the process.