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Membership of the Company is drawn from the security industry in its widest sense and includes leading security professionals from the industrial and retail sectors, serving and retired members of the police and armed services, security consultants, academics, heads of security for corporate businesses, investigators, and electronic surveillance companies.

The Clerk - Adrienne Harper

Phone: +44 (0) 1256 395036‬
36 Queens Rd, North Warnborough, Hampshire, RG29 1DN

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The Sheriffs’ Award for Bravery is a highly prestigious award, with the principal recipient receiving a trophy, a framed certificate and a cheque for £5,000. By order of the Sheriffs, their names are permanently inscribed on an ‘Honours Board’ and in a ‘Book of Honour’ which are on permanent display at the Old Bailey, the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales.

The search for nominations begins in October each year with the two Sheriffs’ and the two Sheriffs’ Elect making their final selections the following September. The principal recipient is invited to the Annual Dinner in October and the commendation recipients are invited to Common Hall in November to receive their certificates.

Nominations are sought from across the United Kingdom and are open to members of the public as well as members of the Emergency Services, the Armed Forces, and people employed in the Security Industry.

Sheriffs’ Award for Bravery Nomination 2024


The Sheriffs who select the individual to receive the Principal Bravery Award and any individuals worthy of receiving Commendatory Bravery Awards, rely entirely on what you write to inform their judgements. The group of individuals who put forward a list of nominations to be considered by the Sheriffs, also rely on the same written description of what took place to enable them to do so.

The criteria which guides the selection in both cases, includes but is not limited to:

  • whether the individual was knowingly aware that he/she was at risk of harm.
  • the actual degree of danger or intimidation present at the time.
  • whether the individual acted of their own volition, irrespective of the presence or action of others, and
  • to what degree the person’s actions were beyond their normal zone of comfort.

Therefore, the more detail you provide the more helpful it will be.

Nominations should describe the scene, or successive scenes, which make clear the extent of physical danger and intimidation existing immediately preceding the brave act(s) and, as near as possible to what confronted the nominee at the time. It is not necessary to describe what the nominee did in laudatory terms but instead ensure that there is sufficient detail to answer all, or some, of the criteria above to enable others to judge the degree of heroism and selflessness shown. If there is not sufficient detail available to you to do this, but you know the instance of bravery to be exceptional, do please take steps to acquire the detail that you need. It is important that when an individual is part of a group but nevertheless distinguished himself by his own action, to make sure this is brought out in your narrative.

The group of individuals who first examine the nominations, are knowledgeable and long-serving experts in various fields of public security, and therefore understand the alarmingly, dangerous and, at times life-threatening situations which occur in public and domestic life, and the ways in which different individuals respond to them. You may therefore be assured that provided there is a full and factual account describing the brave act(s), there is no need to add your own opinion about the degree of bravery shown.

The Award was begun as a means of paying tribute to the unsung heroes of the aftermath of the London bombing in July 2005 – most of whom were members of the general public.

Accordingly, there is a settled intention to honour ordinary members of the public who act spontaneously and bravely, as much as members of the emergency services who act in a way that is significantly beyond what would be expected of them, and who may in any case be eligible for separate awards or commendations.

Whilst individuals who perform acts of bravery within the UK are eligible for the Award, individuals who perform such acts abroad are not.

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The closing date for nominations is 1 August.

If you have any questions about writing a nomination, please get in touch with the Clerk who will, if necessary, put you in touch with a member of the Sheriffs Award Working Group.


Niall Stranix

Niall Stranix was working as a cleaner at One Stop Store in Leeds, when Marlon Stewart, who was on an armed rampage, having committed a number of robberies, entered the store.

Stewart pulled out a pistol and aimed at the female employee behind the till, absolutely terrifying her and angrily demanding money. Mr Stranix, who was mopping the floor, saw what was happening and decided to intervene. Despite the masked offender being armed with a handgun, Mr Stranix pounced on him and grabbed him in a headlock. Stewart lashed out with a bottle striking Mr Stranix on the head causing two cuts, but Mr Stranix held onto him during an intense struggle despite knowing the robber was still holding the gun. The pistol had started to break apart as the two fought and it was later believed to have been a plastic BB gun.

During the struggle, Stewart’s face was revealed to the shop’s CCTV cameras, which led to officers identifying him as the suspect. He was forced to flee the scene empty-handed with Mr Stranix still in pursuit. Stewart put all his victims through extremely frightening experiences when he carried out these robberies over a very short space of time. He was clearly desperate and dangerous, and those who encountered him were put in genuine fear when he confronted them at gunpoint.

We must recognise the incredible bravery that Niall Stranix showed in making the decision to tackle him while he was threatening his female colleague. Despite not knowing if the gun Stewart was holding was real or not, Mr Stranix showed tremendous courage in taking him on and it was these actions that directly led to Stewart’s face being captured on CCTV and him being identified as the suspect. Leeds CID led the investigation, and thanks to Mr Stranix’s actions, he was given an extended sentence of ten years and four months imprisonment with an extended licence period of five years.

Awarding Alderman & Sheriffs: Dame Susan Langley and Bronek Masojada


Rayan Bouguerra

Rayan was a member of the public from Ireland who came to England to study. He had attended central London on 31/01/2022 to sight see and on the bankside by London Bridge he saw a woman on the wrong side of the railings, over the water. He acted immediately, called the police and tried to persuade the woman from jumping into the water. However, while talking to her she received a telephone call from what she said was her boyfriend which put her into a state of anxiety and led to her making the decision to jump. Rayan then acted with incredible bravery and instinct. He acted immediately and also jumped into the Thames to try and save the woman’s life. He managed to resurface and locate the woman and hold onto her and the local pier to prevent her from drowning, and was able to do so until recovered by the police and RNLI. Rayan was recovered with the woman and both were treated for hypothermia and shock. The woman recovered at the scene and was taken to hospital for treatment.

Rayan’s actions were instrumental in saving the woman’s life during this incident. He acted with compassion to try to persuade her not to jump and then showed incredible bravery to enter the freezing water on a cold, pitch black night and still managed to locate and hold onto the woman for rescue. The fact that Rayan jumped from height, yet still managed to hold onto the suicidal woman for recovery shows exceptional bravery.

Awarding Alderman & Sheriffs: Alastair King and Andrew Marsden


Lukasz Koczocik

On 29th November 2019, Fishmongers’ Hall on London Bridge was the site of a terrorist attack. The perpetrator was shot dead by the Police. It quickly became known that there had been two fatalities and several further injuries. One of the participants in this denouement was Lukasz Koczocik. Lukasz is the Head Porter at Fishmongers’ Company. In his 14 years of employment, he has prepared the building for innumerable events. On the day in question, the charity conference was running smoothly, much like any other. The first indication he received that something had happened was the screaming of a colleague that someone had been stabbed. Lukasz was on a lower floor of the building. After alerting his line manager, Lukasz proceeded towards the incident, only thinking that his first aid skills might be of use. When Lukasz arrived at the incident it was clear that something was very badly amiss and that this was not an accident. On hearing screaming and seeing overturned furniture, Lukasz advanced further into the Entrance Hall to identify the cause. It was a man holding two long knives, already bloodied, with one body lying on the floor and another on the staircase. Although able to escape, Lukasz did not flinch. He recollects two others were throwing chairs at the perpetrator in desperation, but that this act was having no deterring effect. As he stated later, Lukasz now understood the situation precisely. It needed more direct action. He was aware of his loneliness as others backed away. He came face to face with the terrorist. On the adjacent wall was a ceremonial boarding pike. Lukasz took the initiative and grabbed it. The terrorist had already mortally wounded two others with fatal stabs. Lukasz landed one strike on his opponent’s shoulder, but the tip of his blade hit resistance, an indication that the terrorist may have had some form of body armour (subsequently revealed to be an imitation suicide vest). In counter, the terrorist moved in closer and began slashing at Lukasz’ defending arm, inflicting hand and shoulder wounds, and forcing him to drop his weapon. Refusing to cede ground, Lukasz remained in grave danger. Remarkably though, he had already achieved what needed to be done, namely he had bought just enough time to allow others with equivalent courage and resolve to come back armed with fire extinguishers and narwhal tusks. In a further vicious minute or two, as a team they then matched and overwhelmed the perpetrator, eventually harrying him out of the building. It is the case that after Lukasz entered the fray, no other people were injured save himself.

Awarding Aldermen & Sheriffs: Alison Gowman and Nicholas Lyons


Richard Dimmack

On the evening of Saturday, 3rd August, 2019 police received a report that a male had been stabbed multiple times in the chest at a caravan park on the A64 near Terrington, the suspect was still on the scene and being aggressive but was being detained by a member of the public. Mr Richard Dimmack was on holiday at the caravan site and had stepped out of his caravan when he heard a commotion.  An argument was taking place and when Richard went to see what was going on he saw the suspect stabbing the victim.  Without any thought of his own safety, he went straight up to the suspect and grabbed the hand with the knife in. The male was very strong and continued to attempt to stab the victim, Richard eventually managed to bend the male’s hand back and push the knife in to the ground. Others then came to help him restrain the suspect until police officers arrived, Richard had managed the situation for 12 minutes.   
The suspect was arrested for attempted murder.  Fortunately, the victim recovered from his knife wound injuries. Investigating officers are certain that without Richard’s selfless actions the victim would have been more seriously or fatally injured.

Awarding Aldermen & Sheriffs: Michael Mainelli and Christopher Hayward


Joby Reeve

On Saturday, 11 August 2018, my partner Joby and I were off duty when we heard someone in the street screaming for help and we ran to see what was happening. Joby was ahead of me, and when I reached the roadside a few moments later, I saw him launching himself at two suspects on a moped. He dragged the pillion off and as he did so they, the rider and the bike fell to the ground. As I took the scene in, I realised it was a four-handed moped robbery and the victim had been assaulted by the four suspects. As Joby and the suspects stood up, I saw the knife; the blade about eight inches long, glinting in the sun, held high above the suspect’s head in a clenched fist and pointing down. I was rooted to the tarmac as pure terror and panic paralysed me and as the suspect came at Joby all I could do was scream “No!” The angle of the knife, the suspect’s height, and his clear intention to kill, should have sent the knife into Joby’s chest; in a split-second judgement, Joby kicked the suspect in the torso which created enough distance at the crucial moment to send the knife into the top of his thigh instead. The image of bright red blood pouring down Job’s body and onto the tarmac will stay with me forever. Joby stood his ground, the only thing between the suspects and their original victim, and forced their retreat. In the minutes after, waiting for the police and ambulance, and as I tried to steady my hands and stop the bleeding, I think the same thoughts went through our minds – our family, the children, each other – so close to being lost. Joby didn’t hesitate to put his life on the line for a complete stranger; he was without any PPE, a radio or even shoes, and despite being seriously injured, refused to give up his position. It was an entirely selfless act, brave beyond comprehension, and a demonstration of his incredibly strong character and values. It’s the reason he is a police officer.

Awarding Aldermen & Sheriffs: Michael Mainelli and Christopher Hayward


David Burgess

On Monday 20th November 2017 at about 08:20, Mr Dhines Thangavelu was standing outside his grocery store in Ley Street, Ilford chatting to a couple of his customers when he was suddenly approached by Leon Scott. Scott was armed with two knives and proceeded to carry out an unprovoked attack on Mr Thangavelu. The victim sustained in excess of thirty stab wounds to his head, neck, back, arms and legs. At one point Scott positioned Mr Thangavelu’s head on his thighs before pulling the knife across and up his neck in an attempt to cut his throat. Mr David Burgess was passing by and witnessed the attack. With no thought for his own personal safety Mr Burgess stepped in between the two men and calmly asked Scott to stop. Scott was distracted by the intervention and stopped the attack allowing Mr Burgess to disarm him and protect Mr Thangavelu from further attacks. Scott left the scene and Mr Burgess, along with other witnesses, administered first aid to the victim until emergency services attended. The consensus is that but for the actions of Mr Burgess, Scott who suffered from Schizophrenia, would have killed Mr Thangavelu. Scott had carried out a like attack in 1998 which saw one male killed and another with life changing injuries. Scott was charged with attempted murder.

Awarding Aldermen & Sheriffs: Vincent Keaveny and Elizabeth Green


PC Wayne Marques

At about 2200 hours on the evening of Saturday, 3 June 2017, three terrorists drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and then engaged in a knife attack on revellers enjoying the night-time economy in Borough Market.  They killed eight people and injured a further forty-eight.  The attackers were armed with knives and wearing fake explosive vests.  The vests had the appearance of real explosive vests. British Transport Officer, PC Wayne Marques was on duty in uniform at London Bridge Railway Station. PC Marques was a probationary officer with less than two years police service with British Transport Police.  He was previously a Police Community Support Officer with the Metropolitan Police. PC Marques was equipped with a standard issue expandable baton. PC Marques heard a woman screaming from outside the railway station.  The officer walked towards the screams and saw people running along Borough High Street.  He saw a man who was suffering from stab wounds being tended by members of the public.  He then saw three attackers with 8 to 10 inch long knives stabbing members of the public.  He withdrew his baton and charged the attackers coming to the assistance of a member of the public who was being stabbed. PC Marques struck the attackers with his baton.  He was stabbed in the head which caused bleeding and impaired his vision.  He engaged the three attackers and received stab wounds to his head, hands, hip, and legs.  PC Marques continued until he lost consciousness after succumbing to his injuries.  He was subsequently conveyed to hospital where he was treated for serious injuries. Shortly afterwards, the attackers were shot by armed police officers.  They died from their injuries.

Presented by Alderman & Sheriff


Dr Matthew Smith

Just before on 5 December 2015, a Central Line Tube Train pulled into Leytonstone Tube Station and as expected, passengers alighted and made their way to street level via the small ticket hall.  Walking towards the ticket barrier was Mr Lyle Zimmerman, a 56 year old musician carrying a guitar, followed by 29 year old Mr Muhiddin Mire, a man with a long history of mental illness – psychosis.  Without sufficient medication, Mire could be highly volatile and extremely violent.  He was convinced that both MI5 and MI6 were watching him as he conducted his Islamic studies, and to thwart their endeavours he cut all the plugs off the appliances in his flat, these being the agencies’ surveillance devices.  Several other passengers would try to deal with the incident about to unfold before them but one more so than the others. Just before the automatic ticket gates Mire, thinking Zimmerman was a government spy and controlling him, burst into action, repeatedly punched, and grabbed Zimmerman from behind by quickly coiling the crook of his arm around and under Zimmerman’s chin and wrestling him to the Floor.  Here, whilst standing over him, Mire repeatedly and violently kicked the prostrate Zimmern in the upper body and head.  Louise McGuinness, another passenger, alerted by the victim’s cries for help, shouted at Mire to stop.  Mire did momentarily, shouted at her and then continued the assault.  Mire then shouted at other passengers “to get back”, drew from his pocket a serrated bladed knife and started to behead Zimmerman.  Thankfully his efforts were less than effective as the blade and handle had separated and he could not gain sufficient purchase.  Even so, Zimmerman was seriously injured and bled heavily.  If the knife had been intact, then no doubt the charge would have been one of murder. Another traveller, Mr Daniel Bellinski, had the presence of mind to film the attack, his evidence gaining worldwide coverage.  This annoyed and distracted the hyperactive and frantic Mire who lunged at him with the blade.  Mire, now nearer the entrance to the station, lunged at Serena Valori before returning to the ticket barrier.  Here he lunged at Mr Andreas Sabllaskas and slashed David Pethers, as both men were trying to calm him down. Whilst distracted and during all this, and in the words of HH Judge Nicholas Hillard QC, “courageously and selflessly”, Dr Matthew Smith, a 28 year old Junior doctor who had just finished an eleven hour shift at a nearby hospital and was on the way to dinner with his fiancé, ignored the warnings of others and made his way to and tended to the now semi-conscious Zimmerman’s wounds.  The latter had clearly lost a lot of blood and Smith staunched the continuing flow with a jumper.  He remained with Zimmerman even when Mire reappeared only yards away and was lunging at other travellers.  At any moment Mire could have pounced on Smith and made him a second casualty.  When the opportunity arose, he helped Zimmerman to safety and stayed with him until Paramedics arrived.  Police quickly arrived, eventually tasered Mire, subdued and arrested him.  It was then the iconic message was filmed of “you ain’t no Muslim, bruv”. Zimmerman’s wounds were such that, even though no major blood vessels were cut, he required two and a half hours in the operating theatre.  Mire was sentenced to a period of detention in Broadmoor Secure Hospital.

Presented by Alderman & Sheriff


Zoe Brown

On Thursday, 2 January 2015 at 1.45 am, Zoe and her partner Matthew were at home with their baby enjoying New Year celebrations.  Zoe’s attention was drawn to a male banging on the window of an address close to her house.  He was trying to climb through an open bathroom window and appeared to be shouting to his partner to let him in.  The male claimed that he was locked out of his flat and asked for a screwdriver.  The male continued to kick the door and eventually managed to gain access. Almost as soon as he had entered the property, Zoe and her partner Matthew heard a disturbance and the sound of a female screaming.  The screams became louder and louder and more desperate.  Zoe approached the house and peered inside to see what was happening.  At this point she saw a female being dragged by the hair along the hallway floor by a male.  The female was screaming and shouting and appeared to be in a great deal of pain.  Without a thought for her own safety, Zoe ran into the address and pushed the male away from the female who was lying on the floor; she helped her to her feet and started to take her out to safety. As Zoe was taking the female way, she heard the male shouting over at them and Matthew, who was outside helping, saw the male return inside the house and come out a short time later brandishing a kitchen knife.  The knife had a 3-inch blade.  Zoe saw the male turn his anger and aggression towards Matthew.  He was acting aggressively and squaring up to him.  Zoe, fearful for Matthew’s safety, began to back away.  Matthew shouted to Zoe to stop and reiterated the male had a knife.  He was threatening to stab Matthew with the knife and was waving it around.  Without provocation, the male then lunged at Matthew with the knife.  As he tried to escape, the male continued to follow and threaten him. At this point, and again demonstrating no regard for her own safety and desperately trying to protect Matthew, using all her might Zoe lunged on the male and forced him to the ground.  They managed to restrain the male and took the knife off him.  The male returned to his flat and emerged moments later holding a stainless-still object around a foot in length.  He continued to shout and threaten Zoe and Matthew, who were now back in their flat with their baby, and then smashed one of the windows before running back to his flat just as the Police arrived at the scene. Zoe put her own life on the line to apprehend a knife-wielding offender and to protect her loved ones.  Her actions undoubtedly saved Matthew’s life and she had the courage to stand up for and protect a vulnerable victim from domestic violence; she prevented further serious harm to the woman from her violent partner.

Presented by Alderman & Sheriff


John Wayre

At 09.06 on 22 August 2013, a woman was walking down Bromley Road SE6 when she noticed a man walking towards her.  He stared directly at her making her feel nervous.  When the man was within an arm’s length of her, he pulled out a large kitchen knife from behind his back and without any warning began stabbing at her stomach. The victim was screaming; the man appeared emotionless and didn’t speak.  She was forced back into some bushes and fell to the round.  The man continued stabbing her, she screamed and fought for her life, sustaining cuts and stab wounds whilst trying to defend herself from the onslaught. Mr John Wayre was on his way home when he heard screaming.  He looked around and saw the man, who was over six feet tall, stabbing the woman who was on the ground.  Without any thought for his own safety, Mr Wayre ran over to assist the lady.  He hit the attacker, forcing him sideways, then grabbed hold of him.  A struggle ensued; the attacker was still holding the knife.  Whilst they struggled, the man was still trying to stab his victim. Once the attacker realised he was unable to stab the lady, due to being held by Mr Wayre, he stopped.  Mr Wayre let go of the man, he spun around and faced him adopting an aggressive stance.  Mr Wayre was standing between the attacker and the woman and at this challenge the man ran off. Mr Wayre remained at the scene with the woman until the police arrived.  As a result of the attack, the woman received multiple stab wounds.  Had Mr Wayre not intervened in the attack, she would have certainly been fatally wounded. On the day after the attack, Inspector Flint at Lewisham Borough phoned Mr Wayre to thank him personally for the actions he took in saving the victim’s lire.  Very humbly he stated: “I only went out for a bag of potatoes and I’m sure anybody else would have done the same thing”.

Presented by Alderman & Sheriff


Tom Temple

On the afternoon of 3 November 2012 at approximately 4.25 pm, a taxi driver was parked waiting for a fare in his vehicle in Friarscroft Way, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.  Being near the railway station and only leading to a cul-de-sac, the narrow road was quiet, and he was resting whilst waiting for any passing potential foot-fall passengers or radio message for a fare.  A young male riding a pedal cycle slowly rode up to the cab’s open driver’s door window, dismounted and suddenly said “hand over all your money, I have a gun”.  The cyclist then quickly drew a handgun from his pocket and shoved it into the cabbie’s face, this time saying, “hand over the money or I will blow your mother***ing head off”.  After ten seconds or so he repeated his demand.  Not surprisingly, at this sudden occurrence, the taxi driver froze and just stared at the gunman.  Remarkably, as nothing happened, the cyclist re-mounted his bike and started to ride off. Mr Tom Temple, a 51 year-old logistics consultant, was walking with his wife Wendy on the footway on the other side of the road and in the same direction as the taxi was facing.  The driver’s door of the cab and the whole occurrence were in full view across the narrow street.  Mr Temple said to his wife, whilst pointing at the cyclist “is it me or does it look like he’s got a gun?”  Wendy replied, “Yes, but don’t do anything silly”. Instinctively, Temple ran the few strides across the street towards the cyclist.  The gunman, seeing this threat, drew the gun again and pointed it at Tom before he was rugby tackled off his bike and onto the roadway.  Luckily, in this quick and violent manoeuvre, the gun fell out of the cyclist’s hand and landed in the middle of the road.  Tom Quickly overpowered the younger man by placing him in an arm lock behind his back.  Simultaneously Wendy was calling the police for assistance.  The cyclist continued to struggle, making various threats, including: “I’ll come after you when I get out of prison”.  Tom maintained his grip. Several passers-by saw the situation and shouted abuse at Tom.  One girl shouted “What’s going on?  Get off him, he’s my brother”.  Any of these could have intervened and attempted to liberate the prisoner.  Tom remained calm and shouted back that a robbery with a gun had taken place and to stay away.  The taxi driver had by now alighted from his vehicle, approached the gun, and picked it up.  Tom shouted at him to leave it on the roadway which he did.  Another male became interest in the firearm, approached it, but Tom again verbally intervened to keep him away from the weapon, thus preserving its evidential integrity as far as possible. After approximately ten minutes, the Police arrived on the scene, arrested the cyclist, and examined the weapon.  The firearms officer, despite having military service and having been trained on the Glock 22 pistol, did not realise it was only a BB gun until he tried to make the weapon safe.  It was that good a replica. Tom Temple’s actions were exemplary not only by intervening but by remaining calm and preserving the integrity of the prisoner and, so far as he was able, the integrity of the scene and evidence.  He used no more force than was necessary and reasonable. The offender received a 2 ½ year custodial sentence after pleading guilty at court.

Presented by Alderman & Sheriff


PC Rhys Evans

An extreme weather warning of high winds and high rainfall was issued to Wales by the Meteorological Office for the weekend of 15/16 January 2011.  Three inches of rain had fallen I the days before and many rivers were in full spate.  The River Claddau flows from north to south through Haverfordewest before debouching in open country into the tidal basin on the southern edge of the town on its way to the open sea.

At 1.56 am on Sunday, 16 January 2011, Police received a call from Street Pastors that a woman was threatening suicide by jumping into the swollen and fast running Claddau.  The Pastors’ persuasions failed and she jumped from the west bank into the raging torrent.  In no time she was swept downstream over a roaring weir, disappeared from view and then re-emerged further downstream.  The Pastors ran along the bank trying to maintain sight and contact with her.  The apparently lifeless woman did not respond to calls, shouts or buoyancy aids thrown to her.

PC Evans and other officers responded to the call, left their vehicles and ran south along the east bank trying to see the woman.  Occasionally, in the turmoil and darkness, she was glimpsed in the foaming water in the Pasters’ torch lights.  Evans ran further south along the bank to gain advantage on the incident and to find a way of intervening.  After a third of a mile, and passing under the A48 road and railway bridges, he thought he had enough time and the position to effect her rescue.  The rail bridge stand on two pairs of columns evenly spaced across the 80 feet of the river’s width.  From her passivity he knew the only way to save the woman was to enter the water.  Under the railway bridge it was virtually pitch black with no ambient lighting and effects to shout to the woman were now drowned out the roar of traffic on the nearby A48.  His plan was to swim across using the columns to reach the woman as she travelled from his right, parallel with the far bank.  It wasn’t a wide river and the bridge supports would help him against the current.  Disregarding the danger of the cold water, or hidden debris hitting him, or the woman’s reaction to being rescued, he jumped into the slowing but unlit and murky river.  When he surfaced he couldn’t breathe due to the shock of the extreme cold of the water and his limbs were restricted by the force of the current, its muscle-numbing temperature and his clothing.  Worst of all he was being swept away to his left under the bridge.  Using all his strength, he fought against the current and just managed to grab the passing framework of the base of the first pair of bridge columns.  Fearing he would be overwhelmed by the force of the current he dragged himself out of the water and inched his way along a ledge between the struts back upstream till he rounded the far column.  From here he plunged into the current to try to reach the next pair of supports.  Again, he was nearly swept away but managed to gain the next column and repeat the procedure.  To his right he could see the torch lights of colleagues and Pasters illuminating the woman’s progress.  She was showing no signs of life or movement.  As she cam near, he timed his jump and for a third time entered the river.  He fought the current till he intercepted and grabbed her body.  Despite the current and cold, he at last gained the passing bank but soil and foliage repeatedly gave way as he clawed the mud with his free hand to hold his position for colleagues to reach him.

Eventually, in the darkness, his shouts for assistance were traced and the woman was hauled from the river.  Events, exhausted, had to be assisted out of the water too.  The cold water and raw air temperature meant he could barely stand or speak.  The woman, a young mother, was taken to hospital by ambulance and made a full recovery.  Rhys returned to his police station, washed, changed and after a warm drink resumed patrol to answer other calls.

Presented by Alderman & Sheriff


Peskett Citation

On Friday, 19 February 2010 a Neighbourhood Enforcement Office3r was undertaking a routine patrol in Northend, a busy commercial centre of the London Borough of Croydon. The Last thing he expected was to be on his own dealing with a dangerous situation 

Well, that’s exactly what Mark Peskett was confronted with as e became aware of a building up of young male youths in the pedestrian area.  The youths concerned started using street furniture such as tables and chairs and any other objects they could find to assault each other.  It should be borne in mind that this was in broad daylight on a weekday and the street was full of families shopping.  The innocent people who were caught up in the incident were absolutely terrified and were forced to run into the Whigift and Centrale malls to escape the escalating violence.

As the pitch battle between the rival gangs spread along the length of Northend, Mark, realising that he was on his own, knew that he needed to do something to intervene and quell the violence.  Acting instinctively and without through for his own safety, Mark waded into the middle of the group of youths and physically removed the objects being used as weapons from the main protagonists.  He continued to use his calm demeanour and his physicality to keep them apart ordering them to disperse.  As a consequence of this intervention, they did indeed disperse.

The aftermath of the event was as appalling as the event itself.  Furniture broken and strewn the length of Northend and, as Mark himself noted, that he was personally affected by the damaged he witnessed.  In his words “I was gutted to see the Busker’s violin broken, but I am glad to see no one was injured”.

Not unsurprisingly, this incident was picked up by the local and national media and whereas the incident itself was no a positive image of Croydon, the intervention of a lone authority worker was seen by many as something that should be commended.

In his own words, Mark said “my only real thought was to calm things down as quickly as possible to make sure on one got hurt.  In a situation like that you have to rely on instinct and training”.

The whole incident was monitored by the CCTV Control Room who were able to call for police assistance and capture evidential images for subsequent court action.

In recognition of his heroic action and exemplary citizenship by walking into the middle of rival gangs and removing the objects being used as weapons; then keeping the situation calm until the Police and Community Support Officers arrived …

Presented by Alderman & Sheriff


Colin Swann

At about 7.30 pm on Friday 31st July 2009 Colin Swan, an off duty Metropolitan Police Officer, was driving home along the M3 motorway with his family. He was behind a coach which he saw was smoking heavily. Colin thought it unusual as the smoke was much thicker than diesel fumes. As he neared the coach, he saw that the nearside wheel was on fire. Colin pulled alongside the coach and seeing that it was full of passengers tried to attract the driver’s attention, but to no avail. He pulled in front of the coach and slowed to a standstill. As they were travelling through road works the hard shoulder was in fact a running lane and so the coach stopped behind him.

Colin left his family a safe distance away and ran back to the coach. He was shocked to see the doors still closed and no one getting off as the flames from the rear of the coach had reached as high as the top deck. He banged on fhe door and shouted to the driver to let him. When the doors opened Colin got onto the coach and immediately began to shout at the passengers to evacuate the vehicle. The majority of the passengers were women with young children.

As the passengers from the lower deck were getting off the coach Colin realised that there was still many passengers upstairs not Herring off By this time the fire was progressing rapidly towards the front of the coach He called out to them to come down however as the steps were large and steep the children were having difficulty getting down them. There were also women with babies in arms. The fire and smoke were growing by the second so without any thought for his own safety Colin went up the stairs and began grabbing the children and passing them off the coach.

There were some 50 on the top deck and after Colin had got about 25 off, the coach exploded, shook violently and fell to the nearside at an angle. Despite the obvious danger Colin continued to carry the children off.  At one point, when the fire had become so serious Colin thought he should leave the vehicle as he was standing directly on top of the diesel tank. However, he made a conscious decision o stay and get the children off at any cost as he realised there was no one else that would.

As the last women came down the stairs there was another explosion and the fire had taken hold of the rear of the coach. Again, Colin went back upstairs to ensure that everybody was off the vehicle. As he left the coach, he was horrified to see that all the passengers were standing close to the vehicle. He knew that the diesel tank hadn’t yet exploded so he then led everybody away from the coach to a place of safety.

Presented by Alderman & Sheriff


Christopher Rothwell

Around 03.00hrs on 6th December 2008 a man who was armed with a 2ft machete wearing a black balaclava went into FIREFLY Bar and Restaurant in Bolton via the main front entrance. There were around 20 customers inside the bar including the Manager and Christopher Rothwell, a 16-year-old glass collector. The manager Nigel Moller was stood inside the bar near to the front entrance door talking to a customer when the offender entered and produced the 2ft machete and said “I WANT THE MONEY”. The offender marched the manager at knifepoint across a distance of about 50 yards to the till which was located behind the bar. Customers stood watching in total disbelief and shock. Nigel then mouthed something to Christopher and pushed the offender towards Christopher who immediately tackled him to the floor. Whilst Christopher attempted to take the machete away from the offender he was directly on top of him and received serious injuries to his hand. His father, Paul Rothwell assisted Christopher holding the offender on the floor and also received injuries to his hand The offender managed to break free and made his way to the front door but was detained again by another customer. The Police arrived shortly after whereupon the offender was arrested.

The Sheriffs and the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals commends Christopher Rothwell for his actions.

Presented by Alderman & Sheriff


Eileen Watts

On the evening of Friday 24th November 2006 Eileen Wans was on her way home. Her route took her through St Chads Gardens, Chadwell Heath, and as she walked through the gardens, she saw a large group of men attacking a young man.

The victim had been chased by a “pack” of men who had cornered him in the gardens and then produced large knives with which they continued to stab him in the chest.

Seeing this drama unfold before her eyes and showing a total disregard for her own personal safety, Eileen flung herself into the group, swinging her handbag at the assailants and casting some lusty blows She shouted: “Cowards Leave him alone. Get away.” The yobs were so startled that they turned tail and fled.

Unbeknown to Eileen at the time, this same group of young men had previously stabbed two other males a short distance away in the same area. Five men were sentenced on 25th April 2008 at Snaresbrook Crown Court after admitting being involved in the attack.

Mrs Watts became known locally as “supergran” because her timely intervention undoubtedly saved this young man’s life, and led to him being able to make a full.

Not many young, energetic, and fit people would have done what Eileen did that night; but she has also suffered two heart attacks and experienced the tragic loss of her teenage grandson in very similar circumstances.  She has set a high standard and a difficult example for all of us in society to follow.

Her unselfish actions and her extraordinary bravery cannot be understated, and should not go unrecognised and she is a very deserving winner of the 2008 Sheriffs Award

Presented by Alderman & Sheriff


Susan Porter

Full citation to follow.

Presented by Alderman & Sheriff


Muhammad Khalil

On the 7th July 2005 terrorists struck at the London transport system by placing bombs on Underground trains and one on a bus causing death, injury and wide-spread disruption and fear in our capital.

Muhammad Khalil, a security officer, was on duty close to Kings Cross Station when one of the explosions occurred in the underground system. He raced to the scene and in the chaos of people trying to escape from the blast, he quickly assessed the situation and utilised his first aid training to prioritise and give help to those who most needed it.

He then entered the tunnel and without concern for his own safety, assisted passengers to escape and tended to the injured and dying. There he remained for over 7 hours working tirelessly with other emergency workers, his face covered with only an improvised bandage mask to protect him from the fumes and smoke. Eventually, it was obvious that he was totally exhausted and he was instructed to leave the tunnel to rest.

There were many acts of unsung selfless bravery that day but Muhammad Khalil’s actions went beyond what was expected of him. Unquestionably his heroic efforts helped to save many lives.

Presented by Alderman & Sheriff

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