South Wales officers named regional winners at Bravery Awards

Four South Wales Police officers who made a human chain to try to save a woman precariously positioned over a crumbling cliff face have been named as regional winners for Wales at the 2023 National Police Bravery Awards.

PC Owen Bedford, Inspector Paul Ramsay, Detective Inspector Paul Graham and a fourth officer who wishes to remain anonymous, were honoured for their courage at the awards ceremony in London.

The team were presented with their award by First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford MS.

South Wales Police Federation deputy chair Phil Walker, who attended the event alongside the officers, said: “The Police Bravery Awards are the highlight of the policing year and I never fail to be amazed by the incredible acts of bravery showcased.

“The event gives us an opportunity to shout about the positive work our officers do, every single day. We get to shine a light on the fact that they continue to put their lives on the line to protect the public.

“Everybody at South Wales Police Federation is extremely proud of this team. They undoubtedly demonstrated extreme bravery and courage that evening. Although they didn’t get the outcome they wanted that evening, they did all they could, and I hope they see this award recognises that. These officers are a credit to South Wales Police.”

Left to right: Paul Ramsay, Owen Bedford and Paul Graham with their Police Bravery Awards.

As part of the annual bravery awards, they also joined nominees from forces across England and Wales at a morning Downing Street reception hosted by Home Secretary Suella Braverman ahead of the awards ceremony.

The South Wales team were nominated for an award after responding to a call from a distressed woman on the edge of high, steep cliffs at Southerndown, Vale of Glamorgan, in the early hours of 12 April 2021.

The four officers demonstrated great bravery and little regard for their personal safety as they linked and supported one another over the wet, crumbling and exposed cliff edge in the dark.

Holding onto PC Bedford as a base, DI Graham reached out to the woman but was unable to get a firm grip of her hand. He managed to hold her hands briefly in his own before she fell over the cliff’s edge to the ground below.

The officers rushed to locate her at the base of the cliffs but found her unresponsive and unable to be resuscitated by CPR.

The overall winners on the night were from West Midlands Police – 14 officers who risked their lives to pull four children from a frozen river in December and perform CPR, though sadly the youngsters could not be saved.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak paid tribute to all the officers who were nominated at the 28th Annual Police Bravery Awards, sponsored by Police Mutual.

He said “I am acutely aware of the pivotal role that the police play in our society. We depend on officers to fight crime and keep us safe. This is public service of the most noble kind and everyone working in policing has my enduring gratitude and admiration.”

National Federation chair Steve Hartshorn said of the nominees: “Their commitment to the role and extraordinary sense of duty is incredible, as they will humbly tell you they have carried out these selfless acts because this is what they are supposed to do. Their actions of going above and beyond the call of duty is truly inspiring.”