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hampshireconstabularycrestThe courage, dedication and determination of some of Hampshire Constabulary’s most inspiring officers were celebrated at a special award ceremony recently, which also recognised the courageous acts of members of the public who have taken action to protect others.

Hampshire’s Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney had the honour of presenting The Chief Constable Awards at the ceremony in Netley.

The ceremony was also a chance to celebrate the bravery of officers and members of the public who have been recognised by the Royal Humane Society.

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Chief Constable Pinkney said:

“Hearing the inspiring stories of my officers and members of the public makes me feel very proud to serve Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

“Every day our officers are out there, serving our communities, never knowing what they will face and these examples we have heard today just goes to show the dangers they can be confronted with and how lucky we are to have people who are willing to stand up for what is right.

“It is my honour to recognise these acts of professionalism, courage and dedication which have saved lives, protected our homes and supported those who are most in need.

“It is encouraging to know that there are so many people within our force and within our communities who are committed to making Hampshire and the Isle of Wight a better place to live and work.”

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Rebecca Bruce-Witchall

Those awarded include Julie Welling, Jacob Gates and Rebecca Bruce-Witchall, who helped save the life of a 13-year-old boy drowning in the sea off Sandown.

She may not have been on duty at the time, but district nurse Julie Welling didn’t hesitate when the life of a teenager was hanging in the balance. Having seen a 13-year-old boy being dragged from the water by Rebecca Bruce-Witchall and Jacob Gates, at Sandown beach, Julie Welling ran over to assist.

The teenager had gone underwater several times but she knew exactly what to do. She put him in the recovery position and made sure he coughed up the water, getting him to breathe again.

The teenager eventually made a full recovery following the incident in July 2014.

Jacob Gates and Rebecca Bruce-Witchall have both been awarded an RHS Testimonial on Parchment Certificate. Ms Welling has been awarded an RHS Commendation Certificate.

Sandown Airport/Archive

Meanwhile PC Andrew Sparshott from Hampshire Constabulary’s Joint Operations Unit has been awarded the RHS Resuscitation Certificate.

The call of duty can come at any time and this officer literally leapt into action to save a man’s life even though he was enjoying a day off work.

PC Andrew Sparshott was off duty when he went along to a fundraising aviation event at Sandown Airport in September 2014. Just an hour after arriving he noticed a man lying on the ground and quickly realised he was desperately ill.

PC Sparshott ran 200 yards and jumped over a fence to get to the man who was in full cardiac arrest. The off-duty officer immediately assessed the man’s airway and started CPR.

During the 15 minutes before paramedics arrived, the man had lost consciousness and been resuscitated by PC Sparshott 3 times.

It is without doubt that the actions of PC Sparshott that day is the reason that man is alive today.

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