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Don’t tell him Pike!

December 10, 2007

Police helicopter footage of the rescue

Pc Neil Pike swam to the man’s aid in the River Thames

A police constable who dived into the River Thames to save a man who jumped off a bridge has been commended as “extremely brave” by senior officers.

Pc Neil Pike was called to Bridge Road, Chertsey, to reports of a man threatening to attempt suicide.

He managed to reach him in the water and got them both to safety with the help of a buoyancy aid dropped from a police helicopter.

Ch Insp Dave Kelley paid tribute to the “professionalism” of Pc Pike.

The incident took place at about 1420 GMT on Saturday.

‘Reacted instinctively’

Video footage shot from the police helicopter showed the man sitting on the edge of the bridge, lowering himself over and then falling.

He could then be seen afloat in the water for several minutes before Pc Pike appeared and got the buoyancy aid to him.

He said afterwards: “I am pleased that I was able to help to save a life.”

The man involved was taken to hospital for treatment, while the officer suffered shock caused by the cold water in the Thames.

Ch Insp Kelley said: “Pc Pike was extremely brave to risk his own life in order to save another, and reacted instinctively to the scene as it unfolded in front of him.

“Without his fast actions… the man could have died.”

This is the sort of thing police officers do on a daily basis. They risk their lives for other people. They don’t do it for the money. They don’t do it for the glory. They do it because it is the right thing to do.

There are no performance criteria against which this sort of action can be measured. There are no government targets for rescuing people out of rivers, burning buildings, smashed up cars, hostage situations, failed relationships, drug addiction or alcoholism. Yet all of these things are done by police officers each and every day.

For this, what reward do we get?

We get a total lack of support from the Home Office, who expect us to perform these duties as well as meet a raft of targets that do absolutely nothing to improve the quality of service that the police provide.

We get the uninformed comments from members of the public. (There are some informed comments amongst this lot, but read through a few and you’ll see what I mean.)

We get abused for stepping into the fray. We get abused for not turning up on time when something more urgent is happening. We get assaulted, insulted, villified, accused of being fascist, racist, homophobic, uncaring and power mad.

Yet for all this, there are occasions when someone will say “Thank you”. I had such a case last night. I won’t go into details, but one man who had been through a hell of a time still found time to thank the officers that had helped him. Again, there’s no target or bonus for this sort of thing, but you know what?

It makes up for all the other crap!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. belgianquill permalink
    December 14, 2007 21:55

    Of course I’d say thank you if you did something to my advantage. I’ve been brought up to be polite. But you took on a job to ‘serve & protect’ the public. You get paid well, time off, benefits and a damned good early retirement pension.

    Who’s the whinger?

    I’d jump in to any river to save a life (I can swim), wouldn’t expect a bonus and certainly am not in a position to take time off for thermal shock.

    Get real or stack shelves in Tescos.

  2. December 15, 2007 17:06

    Belgianquill

    I think you might be getting us mixed up with the New York Police Department, whose motto is “to serve and protect”.

    I do get paid well – not as much as some occupations, more than others.

    There aren’t any jobs that don’t allow their full time staff to have leave, so why should we be any different?

    Benefits? Let me think? I get to work 24/7 shifts. I get to have my days off cancelled at next to no notice. I can have my annual leave cancelled, regardless of whether I have plans or not. I can work every high day and holiday going. Most beneficial.

    Pension? Early retirement? Police officers can retire on a full pension after 30 years service. During that 30 years, an officer will have paid 11% of their salary every month towards their pension. How much do you pay towards yours Mr/Mrs/Ms Quill?

    Stacking shelves in Tesco – no rivers running through the store – no-one trying to assault, insult or undermine me – no chance of seeing dead bodies and stuff. Sounds like a good career move. Shame that I prefer to take my chances on the street!

    If you’re not allowed time off for sick leave in your job, I would suggest you find another one. They aren’t treating you very well.

  3. Quetelet permalink
    December 21, 2007 16:09

    “…..no-one trying to assault, insult or undermine me…..”

    Clearly you’re not acquainted with the statisitcs concerning assault in the retail trade, where the workers don’t have sticks, sprays and the powers pertaining to the office of constable to protect them! In fact, I would suggest that if a member of staff in Tesco was assulted and defended themselves, they’d be arrested anyway as you can get an easy ‘detection’ to go with it, plus DNA etc.

  4. Quetelet permalink
    December 21, 2007 16:11

    ahem, that should read ‘ASSAULTED’

  5. Quetelet permalink
    December 21, 2007 16:43

    Anyway, was he trying to make up for these two? —-> http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,2174507,00.html

  6. December 21, 2007 16:58

    Those two weren’t (aren’t) police officers. They made their decision based on the situation before them.

    In the same way, I wouldn’t necessarily arrest a person in the circumstances you describe. I would deal with the situation according to the facts. The matter would only be “detected” if they are charged or cautioned, not merely because they are arrested.

    You are correct in your assumption that I am not acquainted with retail assault figures. I do know that one or two shop workers have been murdered at work in the last few years, but I guess it would have more to do with them knowing the person who killed them than them being killed merely because of the job they do.

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