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Downing Street reception for brave officers

A drinks reception in the garden of No 10 Downing Street and a meeting with the Prime Minister were two highlights of a memorable day for Leicestershire's two nominees for the annual Police Bravery Awards.

PC Matthew Eld and Special Constable Neil Deveney were nominated after their brave efforts to rescue two people from a burning flat. Along with 69 other nominees, their achievements were celebrated during a ceremony at The Dorchester Hotel in London.

Alongside Prime Minister Theresa May and Home Secretary Amber Rudd, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick was among distinguished guests on the day.

The two Leicestershire officers were nominated for the awards by Leicestershire Police Federation. They had arrived at a reported incident to discover flames up to the ceiling and thick black smoke which made it hard to breathe.

A woman was lying half on and half off a sofa and a man was leant over the top of her - both refused to leave, despite the unbearable heat.

The officers grappled with the woman and eventually, with further help, were able to carry her outside where she resisted SPC Deveney's attempts to administer first aid.

The man tried to prevent PC Eld getting out, but the brave officer activated his body worn video and forced him down the stairs and out of the building.

PC Eld was accompanied to the bravery awards by his wife, Charlotte, while SPC Deveney's father, Bernard, was his guest.

Leicestershire's nominees were included in the Federation's Eastern Region with the regional award being won by two officers from Lincolnshire who intervened in an armed robbery on a jewellers in Newark while off duty.

Sergeants David Wilson and Iain McIvor faced up to offenders with lump hammers and a pump-action shotgun and 11 offenders eventually pleaded guilty in court.

The overall winners were two Northumbria officers. PCs Sarah Currie and Michael Otterson had a violent and lengthy struggle with a man, grabbing his arm as he held a gun, in a bid to stop him from aiming it at them.

Sergeant Elliot Richardson intervened to help disarm the man who fired a shot through the ceiling of a pub foyer. A later search of his belongings revealed two handguns, a crossbow, a pack of throwing knives, home-made petrol bombs, smoke grenades and a baseball bat.