Bedford police officers rewarded for courage

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A string of Bedford police officers have received bravery awards for their work resolving the town’s prison riot.

And one of their colleagues has been rewarded for his courage in challenged an armed man during a robbery in Kempston.

The plucky officers all went “above and beyond” the call of duty in keeping the public safe, said Paul Fullwood, who is Assistant Chief Constable for Joint Protective Services.

He said: “In the current climate the challenges that face our teams every day are even more prevalent and we are reminded of life-threatening consequences this can come with. It’s with huge pride that we showcase the outstanding courage and professionalism of those who go the extra mile to protect our communities and tackle some of the most serious crimes.”

The first set of awards was presented to officers and staff who responded to the disorder that broke out in HMP Bedford in November last year.

Bedfordshire Police Force Control Room received reports of unrest shortly before 5pm and rushed officers to the scene to support prison staff.

The incident was resolved shortly after 11pm.

“Staff worked excessively long hours, working throughout the night to secure and preserve evidence in what was an extensive scene, and get the prison back up and running,” said Mr Fullwood.

Scenes of Crime Officers Georgina Cox, Tim Sheppard, Vijay Sharm and Danielle Smith were commended for their excellence during the riot.

Meanwhile PC Chris Conneely was commended for challenging an armed robber in Kempston last year.

The call had come in from an off duty police officer who was commended for his quick thinking and intelligence gathering that allowed police to get officers speedily to the scene.

The work of both officers detained the suspect and prevented further harm to the community; they were recognised for their swift actions, calm nature and bravery.

Mr Fullwood also thanked the family and friends of his officers.

“The love and support given to our teams is invaluable,” he said.