Pc Ian Dibell has been awarded the George Medal for gallantry for his actions on the day he lost his life tackling a gunman in Clacton.
He is the first police officer in the country to receive the award in 21 years and the first ever in Essex.
Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh, said: “Essex Police could not be more proud to learn that Police Constable Ian Dibell has been awarded the George Medal.
“This award ranks PC Dibell, quite rightly, as one of the bravest people in the country. He has been recognised posthumously for his immense courage and sacrifice. He selflessly and knowingly put his own life at risk to protect the innocent people of Clacton.
“PC Dibell paid the ultimate price for his actions, but he will never be forgotten by his colleagues in Essex Police, or the people of this county.
“We all owe him such a huge debt of gratitude. I am sure that this award will be cherished by Ian’s family, friends and colleagues who still so keenly feel his loss.”
Detective Inspector Paul Dibell, Ian’s brother, said: “I am immensely proud of Ian as his brother. I had the honour of spending time with Ian’s colleagues from Clacton at the recent Police Bravery Awards and I am sure that this further award and recognition of his heroism brings a huge sense of pride to all in remembering Ian and his actions.
“He did an extraordinary act in protecting the public. His bravery, professionalism and happy memories of him as my brother and colleague will never be forgotten.”
Ian’s partner, PCSO Louise Lilley, said: “I am immensely proud that Ian has been awarded ‘The George Medal. Ian made a decision to keep his community safe and unfortunately paid with his life. This selfless act has now been recognised at the highest level. He will be remembered by the country for his heroic act, but to me he was just my Ian.”
The George Medal is granted in recognition of acts of great bravery and is primarily a civilian award – just over 2,100 medals have been awarded since its inception in 1940.
Nick Alston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “Police Constable Ian Dibell has been recognised posthumously for an act of great bravery, and he fully deserves this exceptional honour.
“Ian died protecting his community which he served as an Essex Police officer. Well aware of the risks, he was attempting to calm a dangerous situation in a quiet residential part of Clacton.
“Ian put the safety of others before his own welfare and made the ultimate sacrifice. He acted in the finest tradition of Essex Police. The people of Essex will always remember and honour Police Constable Ian Dibell, George Medal.”
Mark Smith, Chairman of the Police Federation of Essex; “PC Dibell knowingly confronted an extremely dangerous and life threatening situation. This did not alter his decision making and we are humbled and proud that his bravery is being recognised by this prestigious honour.
“His courage and dedication to his duties and his care for those around him will always act as an inspiration to all who served with him. PC Dibell’s family, friends and colleagues have lost a great man but this award pays respect to this loss in recognising his incredible selflessness and the ultimate sacrifice he paid for his community. We will never forget him. We will always remain proud.”
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