PCSO Receives a Royal Humane Society Award Following Life-saving Actions

Monday 19 July 2021

A police and community support officer who sat with a man on scaffolding following a concern for his safety has been recognised for his work with an award. 

PSCO James Clarke was on patrol with Liam Dawes when they were approached by a concerned resident in Bradford who stated that there was a man who was sat on scaffolding, and she was concerned for his safety in May 2020.

James decided to investigate and met the man who was sat on the scaffolding. What followed was almost two hours of negotiations.

He said: “I was on patrol and this resident was very concerned about this individual, so my colleague and I went to investigate. As it was lockdown, I was quite surprised to see the person sat on scaffolding, but my main concern at the time was to bring them to safety. 

“I remember getting out onto the scaffolding and feeling very concerned for the person, as they did not really want to co-operate. At the same time my colleague Liam has only two weeks into service, so he had literally been thrown into the deep end trying to keep the resident calm and manage the situation while we awaited assistance, and he had no experience. 

Image of PCSO James Clarke and Liam Dawes

“After two hours and with the assistance of other officers, we were able to bring the person to safety, which was a huge sigh of relief. Had the resident not been concerned about the person, we may not even have known there was a person up there who needed help and the story could have been very different.” 

James, who has worked for West Yorkshire Police for 14 years, was nominated for a Royal Humane Society (RHS) award for his efforts during this incident. 

The Royal Humane Society awards medals, testimonials, and certificates for acts of bravery in the saving of human life and for effecting successful resuscitations. Awards may be granted to those who have put their own lives at risk to save or attempt to save someone else, or those who have contributed to the saving or attempted saving of life, though they may not have put their own life at risk.

He said: “I was surprised when I received this award because to me, it’s not only my effort, it was a joint one. Before I became an officer, I used to be a roofer so being high up on scaffolding didn’t faze me, though I know I was putting myself at risk by being on there for nearly two hours. 

“In situations like this, you do realise how our job makes a difference to the community, but it’s because of the community we were able to help this person. I’m pleased that this was a positive outcome, and I’d like to thank those who nominated me for this award.”

Sergeant Rebecca Murray said “PCSO James Clarke is a compassionate and experienced officer, and it comes as no surprise he has been nominated for this award, and I am proud to have him on my team serving the Bradford City Centre community.” 

Inspector Richard Baildon, of West Yorkshire Police said: James is a fine officer, and we are very proud of him and this award. 

“He demonstrated the degree to which he and his colleagues put themselves at great risk every day to keep the public safe and make them feel safe.”

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