Officers risked their own safety to save a man threatening to jump

Sgt Richard Ambrose and PC Matthew Parker at Saffron Walden Police Station, Essex.

Sgt Richard Ambrose and PC Matthew Parker at Saffron Walden Police Station, Essex. - Credit: Si Barber

Two Essex Police officers have been recognised for bravery, after their quick thinking saved a man's life. 

PC Matthew Parker and Sgt Richard Ambrose responded to a 999-call in March 2018 saying a man was sitting on the wrong side of railings on the bridge over the A120 in Braintree.

They could see the man was wearing pyjamas and was apparently drinking alcohol.

They realised the man needed to be dragged away from his precarious position to prevent him from falling on to the road below.

The officers managed to get hold of the man and pulled him back. He had previously sent a suicide note.

The officers then accompanied the man in the ambulance to the hospital, where he received the appropriate care.

PC Parker said they knew they had to act quickly.

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“It was an instinctive thing,” he said.

“We knew we needed to act right now. We can’t stand around talking, and that’s why there wasn’t any conversation between us.

"I don’t remember saying anything. We just looked at each other as if to say, ‘we need to grab him right now’, and we did.

“It was just a reaction to what was going on there.

"He needed us [the police] in that one instant to make sure he doesn’t do something stupid.

"But then from that moment on, he needed to be in the care of people who can help what he’s going through mentally, to put him in a better place."

The pair have won an Essex Police Federation Bravery Award.

Laura Heggie of Essex Police Federation said the officers’ quick actions had belied the danger they faced.

“It was real teamwork, and through their actions, they made sure the man got the mental health support he needed.

“They are very worthy award winners, and we’re very proud of them both.”

Sgt Ambrose and PC Parker will attend the first Essex Police Federation Bravery Awards – which will combine celebrating 2020 and 2021 winners – this September.

Overall winners for both years will be announced and winners will go on to compete in the National Police Bravery Awards.