Recognising bravery and dedication
A TEENAGER who saved the life of a complete stranger he pulled from the sea has been recognised at this year’s States of Jersey police awards.
A total of nine awards and certificates were also given out to officers and staff who had shown bravery, dedication and enthusiasm for their jobs.
Those gathered at the event at the Town Hall heard cases of officers putting the safety of others before their own wellbeing, saving lives and securing the best evidence to bring offenders to justice. They also heard about the impact the cases could have on the lives of those on the frontline.
And they were also told of how Les Quennevais student Finley Paton, then aged 14, had selflessly put another’s safety before his own by diving into the sea to help when he heard a stranger in distress.
The teenager had been fishing at Grève de Lecq in December 2016 when he heard a woman’s cries.
Having managed to swim and find the woman in the dark, Finley – who is now 15 and received the force’s recognition award – pulled her to the shore, placed her in the recovery position and ran to a nearby café to raise the alarm. With the woman safely taken to hospital, Finley then went back to his fishing.
His father Martin said he was extremely proud of his son. ‘He was soaked through and he had his wellies off, he was dripping with water but he just wanted to carry on fishing,’ he said.
Meanwhile, the honorary police officer of the year award was given posthumously to Karen Valerie Gough, who dedicated 15 years of her life to the parish of St Martin as an honorary officer.
She died of cancer on 4 January and her award was accepted by her husband Richard and daughter Hannah, who heard her described as a ‘mother hen’ to other officers and a font of knowledge.
Deputy Chief Officer Julian Blazeby said: ‘The awards were a fantastic opportunity to thank our staff and others for the amazing things they do. We often forget because it’s our job that some of the things we do show remarkable dedication and bravery and it’s only when we stand back and reflect that we see this.
‘It is great for us to be able to talk about some of the cases and say to those people that we appreciate what they have done and the contribution they make to our community.’
Also recognised at the event, which was attended by friends and family of the winners and guests including Home Affairs Minister Kristina Moore, Attorney General Robert MacRae and States chief executive Charlie Parker, was PC Trystan Colley, who received the force’s newcomer of the year award. He joined the States police in October 2016 as one of seven new recruits and, having since attended 374 incidents and made more than 50 arrests, was described as ‘one to watch’.
And Detective Inspector Steve Langford was presented the head of department commendation for his outstanding contribution as the lead operational senior investigator in Jersey over the last 15 years.
During that time he has dealt with homicides, attempted murders, rapes and serious sexual assaults, as well as organised crime, including drug importation.