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Officers awarded at Commissioner's Commendation ceremony

News   •   Jul 19, 2018 12:30 BST

[PCs Nigel Murray and Peter Sandell with Commissioner Cressida Dick]

Officers from across the Metropolitan Police Service have been recognised for acts of bravery and heroism at the Commissioner's Commendation ceremony, held on Tuesday, 17 July.

Officers received the distinguished awards for remarkable acts whilst on duty, and were joined by family, friends and colleagues for the ceremony, held at the Empress State Building in West Brompton.

Long-serving PCs Nigel Murray and Peter Sandell, both attached to the Marine Policing Unit, each received a Commissioner's Commendation.

The officers were both on duty on the evening of Sunday, 11 February, following the discovery of a 500kg World War Two ordnance at King George V dock, adjacent to London City Airport, which resulted in a major incident being declared.

The following day, the Royal Navy raised the bomb from the dock floor and took it onto the River Thames. The officers drove the Police RIB boat which escorted the naval vessel and the ordnance to Shoeburyness, around 40 miles away, where it could be safely detonated.

They were involved in planning the route along the Thames and out to sea, with a rolling 250-metre cordon put in place for public safety as part of the major multi-agency operation.

The Dartford Crossing and Channel Tunnel were closed as the ordnance was towed. It could not be taken at a speed faster than four knots; the transportation was estimated to take a minimum of eight hours.

The officers helped guide the ordnance through heavy tides and rough waters, ensuring the journey went as smoothly as possible.

The device was safely detonated at the planned location. PCs Murray and Sandell are due to retire from the Met later this year after more than 40 years' service, having first met as trainees in the late 70s.

PC Murray said: "It was a very tricky operation, with freezing conditions and rough waters, and Peter and I just did what we could to help and keep things running smoothly. By the time we clocked off, we had been on duty for around 36 hours non-stop.

"I have had a long career and it's been a lot of fun. After 40 years with the Met, it is a real honour to be receiving an award. I wasn't expecting it at all."

Chief Superintendent Craig Haslam, said: "PCs Murray and Sandell played an important role in this delicate, challenging operation, and showed initiative, dedication and know-how in ensuring that the ordnance was taken out to sea safely.

"Both Nigel and Pete are approaching 40 years' service for the Met having joined a month apart, and even with this length of service behind them, they are still engaged with frontline policing protecting Londoners on the River Thames.

"They are a remarkable pair of officers, and these commendations are well deserved."

A further 15 officers and a member of the public were also presented with awards on behalf of the Royal Humane Society, a charity that grants awards for acts of bravery in the saving of human life:

- Greenwich-based PCs David Paine and Kristina Money, and member of the public Chris Chapman received Certificates of Commendation for the medical assistance they gave to the victim of a serious stabbing at a petrol station in Eltham in March 2016.

- PCs James Apted, Hannah Brady, Paul Dunlavey and Daniel Turner, all attached to Lambeth Borough, received Certificates of Commendation for their roles in giving emergency first aid to, and saving the life, of a teenager who had been struck by a car and stabbed in Brixton in December 2016.

- PC Ben Jacques was awarded a Testimonial on Vellum, and PCs Pablo Robins and Leanne Ward all attached to Ealing Borough, each received a Testimonial on Parchment in recognition of their actions during a fire at the Aeronaut pub in High Street, Acton in the early hours of New Year's Day 2017.

- PC Glen Calvert and another officer attached to Newham Borough, received a Certificate of Commendation for their efforts treating the victim of a fatal stabbing at an off-licence in Canning Town in April 2017.

- Seven officers attached to Waltham Forest Borough received awards for battling a serious fire at a block of flats in Parkhill Road in Chingford on 5 July 2017, and ensuring those in surrounding homes were led to safety. These included PCs Jameel Arif and Stuart Forgione and retired PS Andrew Wickstead who each received a Testimonial on Parchment from the Royal Humane Society.

- PC Claire Pilkington, attached to Brent Borough, was awarded a Certificate of Commendation after helping a distressed woman threatening to jump from a footbridge the A406 North Circular Road in Brent.

The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, Cressida Dick, who presented the awards at the event, said: "We heard remarkable stories of bravery, professionalism and skill from police officers and members of the public who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances.

"They put others first, and their own safety second, they acted with courage to save lives, and it is with great pride and thanks that I commend them today."

The Met is recruiting. If you have been inspired by any of these stories and want to find out more about how to become a police officer and start your career in policing, visit: www.met.police.uk/car/met/careers

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For more information on the Royal Humane Society, visit: www.royalhumanesociety.org.uk