Serving officers and members of the public were the toasted for their heroic actions at the annual Calderdale Police Awards.
In total 22 awards were given out for a variety of reasons, ranging from long service, saved the life of a suspected thief who had jumped in to a river to try and evade capture, stopping people from taking their own lives, recovering hundreds of thousands of pounds from criminal activity, and taking on a dangerous dog that had bitten its owners tricep off.
Calderdale District Commander, Chief Superintendant Angela Williams, who gave out 19 District Commander Commendation awards, said: “To come out tonight to celebrate the excellent work of members of the public, our police officers and our staff and volunteers makes me very proud as district commander.
“It’s been a fantastic event and it’s really shown what the police are dealing with day in and day out.
“I’d like to congratulate all our award winners, but also the people who support them, who may not have got an individual award, but they’re all award winners.”
The most decorated officer was PC Laura Knapp, who received three commendations (one individual and two as part of a team) for saving the life of a man who was trying to set himself alight; being part of a team that helped locate and save a suicidal woman at Ripponden Reservoir; and saving the life of a woman who had received horrific injuries having intentionally stepped out in front of a train.
PC Knapp said: “I’m honoured really. I was just doing my job.”
The Calderdale POCA (Proceeds of Crime Act) Team was also commended by Chf Supt Williams for helping to recover hundreds of thousands of pounds in ill-gotten gains from sophisticated criminals. In one case alone their work led to the recovery of £180,000 worth of cocaine, high value jewellery and designer clothing, and a further £110,000 confiscated at court.
Presenting the award, West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Mark Burns-Williamson thanked the team which he described as “one of the best in West Yorkshire” and called for the Government to change legislation to make it easier for the police and courts to recover assets to invest back into the local community.
Speaking at the awards, which were held at The Shay Stadium in Halifax on Wednesday night, Mr Burns-Williamson said: “It has been a fantastic event. It’s great that we have got members of the public here, who have also received awards. Without the assistance of the public the police couldn’t do their job.
“It was fantastic to hear about the brave actions and dedication of all the award winners and it’s right that we recognise the excellent work that they do that all too often isn’t reported in the media.”
Elsewhere, PC Chris Madden was commended for plucking an attempted burglar from the River Calder at Brighouse and then helping to save his life.
PC Madden said: “I’m delighted to get the award, I’m really grateful. It’s nice to get something back. I was just doing my job and it’s just fortunate that I managed to save the suspect’s life at the same time.”
Elsewhere, PC Rick Hoyle was commended for taking on an out of control Rottweiler on the Furness Estate, which had ripped its owner’s tricep off.
PC Hoyle said: “I’m very proud to get this award. I’m just glad that the guy is okay. It was a really bad injury.”