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Police Bravery Awards for officers who saved man’s life in Bury St Edmunds

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Pc Emma Stacey and Pc Rob Farrow
Pc Emma Stacey and Pc Rob Farrow

Two officers are to receive Police Bravery Awards for saving the life of a man who was threatening to throw himself under a train in Bury St Edmunds last year.

Pc Rob Farrow and Pc Emma Stacey had requested a stop on trains but, when they heard one approaching, knew they had to act quickly.

Pc Stacey was able to distract the man long enough to give Pc Farrow the chance to tackle him and drag him to safety.

The pair, who work for Suffolk Police, held the man down on a grass verge at the side of the tracks as a train drove past at high speed.

They were called to the pedestrian crossing at Mount Road on August 22, 2014, after a woman called police reporting that her drunk boyfriend was on the train tracks, threatening to throw himself under the next train.

The unguarded gated crossing is at the end of a long dirt track and pedestrians are expected to look carefully in both directions before crossing the tracks.

Calling to request a stop be put on the tracks, Pc Stacey was told the train operator had confirmed there were no trains nearby and the stop was in place.

Both officers then walked down to the tracks to try and talk the man down.

Pc Stacey stayed behind a barbed wire fence where she had a good view of Pc Farrow, who stood on the tracks.

Pc Farrow asked the man to go to the gate so they could talk but he stayed put and repeated threats to throw himself under the next train.

He was aggressive and the officers feared he would use a heavy glass beer bottle he was carrying to assault them.

Suddenly they heard a rumbling noise and saw the tracks vibrating.

Startled and surprised, they knew a train was approaching and they needed to act fast.

Pc Stacey spoke to the man and, as he turned his attention to her, Pc Farrow rushed at him and managed to drag him off the tracks.

Pc Stacey jumped over the barbed wire fence and together they held him down as the train passed behind at speed.

They then handcuffed him and detained him under the Mental Health Act.

Matt Gould, chairman of Suffolk Police Federation, said: “The swift, brave and courageous action of Pc Rob Farrow and Pc Emma Stacey may well have saved a life.

“It is decisions such as this that officers make 24/7, day in and day out.”

The Police Bravery Awards, hosted in partnership with Police Mutual, is an annual event which honours police officers across England and Wales for their actions to tackle criminals and keep the public safe.

This year marks the awards’ 20th year and will take place on October 27 at The Dorchester, in London.

Stephen Mann, CEO of Police Mutual, said: “Police Mutual is extremely proud to sponsor the Police Bravery Awards, recognising the courage of police officers who face extremely challenging situations every day to keep the public safe. Our ongoing, long-term commitment to support these awards reflects the incredible respect we have for the work of the police service.”