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Essex Police officers win bravery award

Pcs Shane Robinson and Keith Lucas have been recognised for saving a suicidal man’s life.

They received a Chief Constable’s Commendation and certificates from the Royal Humane Society and, last night Thursday, October 16, they were recognised again at the national Police Bravery Awards in London, hosted by the Police Federation and Police Mutual.

The duo won the South East Region award. Earlier in the day they had met Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street.

Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh, who attended last night’s awards ceremony, said: “Pc Robinson and Pc Lucas responded to an incredibly dangerous situation – both for them and for others – without a thought for their own personal safety and I am delighted that their bravery has been recognised.

“Thanks to their quick thinking, disaster was averted and a man’s life was saved. But for their actions, the outcome could have been very different. Their selfless acts make me feel very proud.

“This award also reflects the remarkable efforts which our colleagues make on a daily basis to help keep our county safe.


“The breath-taking quality of British policing is always evidenced at the Police Bravery Awards and I was so proud last night when hearing about all the selfless acts carried out during the last year up and down the country.”

Essex Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston added: “I was privileged and humbled to attend the national Police Bravery Awards and hear so many stories of outstanding courage and selflessness.

“Two of our Essex officers, Pc Robinson and Pc Lucas, were honoured. Their fearless and quick-witted actions saved a man’s life. They fully deserve their bravery award and all of us in Essex should be very proud of their actions.”

Essex Police Federation chairman Mark Smith said: “Last night’s bravery awards highlighted yet again the true courage and professionalism of British police officers. I was honoured to attend the ceremony with Pcs Keith Lucas and Shane Robinson, who were announced as the regional winners.

“Both officers ran towards danger without fear for their own safety and I have no doubt that their actions and quick thinking saved a man’s life. Congratulations to them both.”

An account of the incident can be read below:

Two Essex Police officers who helped extinguish a man who had set himself on fire at a petrol station have won a prestigious police bravery award.

As the man soaked himself in flammable liquid and threatened to set himself on fire on the station’s forecourt, Pc Keith Lucas and Pc Shane Robinson ran towards him, ordering him to drop his lighter.

But as the officers got to within a few feet of him, he ignited and turned into a huge fireball.


Engulfed in flames and screaming in pain, the man stepped towards the officers as they instructed him to drop to the floor.  Pc Robinson removed his fleece, ran towards the man and began to beat the flames. 

The man’s upper body was engulfed in flames but Pc Robinson continued to try to smother the flames.  Suddenly he rose to his feet but collapsed on the pavement. 

The fire service stepped in and miraculously the man survived.  Had it not been for the courage and determination of Pc Robinson and Pc Lucas, the outcome of the incident, in Westcliff-on-Sea at 3.15am on 28 December 2012, could have been very different. 

The two officers have now won the eastern region Police Bravery Award at a ceremony in central London attended by the Home Secretary, police minister Mike Penning and Met Police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, among other dignitaries. He was presented with the award by Mike Penning, police minister.

Earlier in the day, Pc Lucas and Pc Robinson joined 64 of their colleagues from 31 forces round the country for a reception at 10 Downing Street with Prime Minister David Cameron as a mark of recognition for their heroic acts.

Pc Lucas said:  “When you look at the other nominees it’s an absolute honour to have won and I feel very proud.  It is unbelievable.  When you look at the CCTV it brings home what the dangers were – how close to the pumps the man was and how dangerous it was.  It’s an absolute pleasure to attend the event but it is no more than other officers would do.”

Pc Robinson said:  “Other officers nominated and that I work with are very brave on a daily basis.  Even with hindsight I don’t think I would really change what we did that night.  This event is a lovely way of recognising what we do as police officers up and down the country.”

Steve White, chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: ‘I am constantly humbled and amazed by the selfless acts of bravery carried out by police officers on a day to day basis. For every act of courage and bravery recognised in the Police Bravery Awards there are hundreds more that occur in our communities every day that go unrecognised. Each nominee is a credit to the police service and to the community they serve.”

Stephen Mann, CEO, Police Mutual, said:  “Every day, police officers across the country face incredibly difficult and dangerous situations, acting with real heroism to protect the lives of others. All of the officers nominated for an award have shown great dedication to their duty and remarkable courage. Police Mutual is honoured to continue our sponsorship of the Police Bravery Awards for the sixth consecutive year and we give our sincere thanks to the men and women who keep us all safe.”

More details about this prestigious award, including comments from the officers and their wives, can be read at the Essex Police Federation website here.

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PFCC for Essex, Kelvedon Park, London Road, Rivenhall, Witham, Essex, CM8 3HB
01245 291600

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