Worthing police officers receive bravery awards

POLICE officers and staff from across West Sussex have been honoured for their commitment, dedication and service to the community.

The good work of the officers, staff and volunteers from West Sussex Divisional policing teams was recognised on Monday (July 9) at a special ceremony held at Arundel Castle.

The awards were given to officers who had gone beyond their daily roles and responsibilities, sometimes placing their own lives at risk.

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Accolades were also presented to members of the public who had shown incredible bravery.

Two Worthing officers who caught a gun suspect received the Outstanding Courage award in the Divisional Congratulations for Neighbourhood Policing category.

Speaking of the award-winners, PC Matthew Leech and PC Lee Versluys, Chief Inspector Ian Pollard said: “In May 2011, police were called to a man brandishing a gun in Worthing. PCs Leech and Versluys saw the man run to a car in which a female driver and young passenger looked terrified.

“With no thought for their own safety the officers pursued and caught the suspect and recovered a gun.

“As a result of their bravery and quick actions no members of the public or officers were injured.”

Later that day, an attempted robbery was also linked to the same suspect.

PC James Metcalf and PC Sian Weston-Smith were also presented with the Outstanding Courage award in the same category for their efforts after they were called to Worthing seafront by a distressed young woman whose suicidal boyfriend had gone into the sea.

Chief Inspector Pollard said: “PCs Metcalf and Weston-Smith arrived in darkness to see a male going out to sea. PC Metcalf followed the man into the water, wading up to shoulder height.

“PC Weston-Smith remained on shore liaising with arriving officers. She then entered the water to help PC Metcalf bring the man back to shore.”