Cheshire - saved man's life

Cambridgshire PC David Smith

PC David Smith

A Cheshire police officer who risked his life to save a suicidal man from setting himself on fire has been nominated for a national Police Bravery Award.

While on uniformed mobile patrol on 29 October last year, PC David Smith responded to a report of a suicidal male who had been seen by his family to drink petrol and leave with a petrol can stating he was going to commit suicide. The officer used his local knowledge to search a nearby wooded area and quickly located the man who was pouring petrol over his head.

PC Smith calmly called in an update of the incident with his location. The man was agitated and started throwing petrol towards the officer who was attempting to keep the man talking and calm. As other officers approached, the man pulled a lighter out of his pocket and brought it towards himself. Without any hesitation or thought for his own safety, PC Smith ran towards the man and struck him hard to bring him to the ground.  He then grabbed the man and the hand holding the lighter.

Other officers then helped PC Smith to secure the man and remove the lighter. The man was taken to Chester Hospital and detained in a secure unit.

Chairman of Cheshire Police Federation, Bryan Kennedy, summed up: "Whilst saving this man's life, PC Smith risked serious injury to himself, showing determination and courage in the face of significant danger.  It is a great honour that he should be in contention for this award this year."

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