Yesterday, Thursday 13th July 2017 saw the Police Bravery Awards take place in London. 71 police officers from 40 forces in England and Wales attended the reception organised by the Police Federation as a mark of recognition for their heroic acts. This included Gwent Police Officer PC Natasha Counsell.
The nominee's were invited to a special reception hosted at 10 Downing Street by The Prime Minister Theresa May, Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service, Nick Hurd.
All the Nominee's later attended an awards dinner at at the Dorchester where 8 regional winners and 1 National winner was announced.
We were honoured that Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex was amongst those present.
L to R - Daniel Counsell, Pc Natasha Counsell Gwent Bravery Nominee, PCC Mr Cuthbert, Tim Wilcox Gwent Federation Chair and ACC Ackland
PC Natasha Counsell was single-crewed when she attended an address where a woman had called asking for help. On arrival the door was opened by a surly, bare-chested man who said there had been no call and that there was no female in the premises at all.
PC Counsell was not satisfied with the reply, and decided to enter the address herself – even though the attitude of the man had suggested that he may be a violent individual and that should PC Counsell insist upon entry, he might well become violent to stop her.
PC Counsell put her concern for a potentially injured woman ahead of her own safety, switched on her body-worn video camera, and then entered the flat. Inside she found the woman hidden under a duvet, curled up in the foetal position. It was clear she had been subjected to a sustained and violent attack and was so fearful that she could only whisper to PC Counsell. The officer’s excellent communication skills ensured that she was able to give a full evidential account of what had happened. PC Counsell's actions helped secure a conviction against the male.
Eight regional winners were named on the night, with one of the eight being named overall winner for 2017.
Steve White, Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales said: “Every day officers selflessly put themselves in harm’s way to protect others and it is right that they are duly recognised for their bravery, courage and dedication to duty. “This year perhaps more than most, the public realise the threats we face every day, and the heroic efforts of our officers, most of which goes unnoticed and unreported. “I am delighted that Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex is able to share in our celebrations. It is fitting that a member of the Royal Family will be with us to congratulate this year’s nominees and support the wider police family in their unfailing duty to keep the Queen’s peace.”