Police officers recognised at borough commander’s commendation ceremony
PUBLISHED: 17:25 13 June 2014 | UPDATED: 17:41 13 June 2014
Bravery, dedication and professionalism were just some of the qualities police officers across Newham were recognised for at the borough commander’s commendation ceremony today.
Held in the Aquatics Centre at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, employees from all across the police force - and some civilians - received acknowledgement for going above and beyond the call of duty.
Family and friends heard stories of police officers dealing with difficult situations on the beat, detectives working hard to bring criminals to justice and inspectors who led impressive operations.
Det Ch Supt Tony Nash presented the 23 different awards, with six chief inspectors reading out the reasons for the awards.
He said: “Today is a special day when we hear about police officers’ stories of bravery.
“Crime in Newham has fallen by about 14 per cent and it has fallen because of officers working hard.
“It is important to recognise the sacrifices they make.”
Pcs Katharine Pearson and Allen Parker prevented a suicidal man from jumping onto the tracks at Manor Park station on December 4, 2013
“It was a busy station but we managed to work out which man it was quite quickly,” said Katharine, who has worked at Forest Gate police station for two and a half years.
Although neither officer was a trained negotiator, they managed to keep the man engaged in conversation and win enough trust for him to open up to them about difficulties in his life.
Trains were going in and out of the station all the time and they eventually managed to convince him to step away from the platform.
After the next train was announced, his demeanour changed and the two officers edged close enough towards him to grab hold of him as he made a sudden dive towards the track.
Allen said: “It was going to end one of two ways: one was that we got him to safety and the other was that we could all have died.”
Special Constable Dave Pike received two separate commendations at the ceremony for actions performed while off duty.
On February 5, 2010, he was attending a church service with his family when he noticed a man on a pedal cycle watching a lone woman.
When he saw the man pull out a home-made weapon, he ran towards them and managed to disarm him, remaining calm and professional throughout.
“My family love what I do,” Dave said. “My sister’s a Special Constable as well and my three boys, aged eight, four and two, love it when I put on my uniform.”
The second incident occurred on March 28, 2013 when Dave was in the Dagenham branch of Halifax.
He followed a suspicious-looking man and managed to prevent him from stealing the purse of a woman who was using a mobility scooter.
Dave, who volunteers for three shifts a month, is a full time electrical engineer and despite his two commendations isn’t considering moving into policing full time.
“I enjoy my job, but I enjoy policing too.
“I just see it as a way to help others and to give something back to the community.”
Pcs Holly Thorpe and Nathan Williams were the first officers to respond to a call on June 13, 2013 from a man saying his brother, Amala Kumar Anthonypillai, had killed their father with an axe.
They attended the house in Burges Road, East Ham, and were told the suspect was still in the premises.
After calling for back up, they continued to search the premises and made an arrest.
Sgt John Salmon and Acting Sgt Matt Parrish attended the scene as back up and proceeded to attempt to save Vethanayagam Anthonypillai’s life.
“We’ve dealt with a few people wielding knives before, but never someone with an axe,” said Nathan, who has been a police officer for 11 years.
“We didn’t know if the victim was still alive and we didn’t know where the axe was.”
Anthonypillai, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, was sentenced to a hospital order after pleading guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminshed responsibility at the Old Bailey in March.