Police honour riot heroes

West Midlands Police will tomorrow pay tribute to those who helped the community during last summer’s riots.

This Thursday (8th December) will see 145 officers, police staff, partners and members of the community presented with special award from West Midlands Police and the Police Authority for their outstanding contribution during the summer disturbances.

Receiving awards will be officers and police staff, partners who worked closely with the force, businesses who gave huge support and members of the community who went ‘above and beyond’.

Officers to be honoured include:

  • A female member of the Operational Support Unit who was injured by a brick thrown by a crowd in Handsworth, but continued her duties and only took one day off before returning to work.
  • Two PCs in Coventry who were confronted by more than 50 youths armed with petrol bombs, bricks and masonry. A passing car was petrol bombed and burst into flames, trapping the driver inside. The officers helped the driver out of the car and extinguished the flames, despite the extreme danger to themselves.
  • Three officers from the Jewellery Quarter who, despite being outnumbered by a large group of youths armed with sticks, metal bars and bricks, confronted them and made three arrests.
  • A Sandwell officer who sustained severe bruising and a fractured rib but returned to full duties hours after being released from hospital, acting as a tactical advisor and working long hours.
  • Members of the public receiving awards include:
  • A Coventry student who alerted the police via Twitter after she discovered several petrol bombs, showing great community spirit.
  • A Sandwell church which delivered numerous food hampers to local officers during the disorder.
  • A Birmingham shopkeeper who showed great bravery when his store was attacked while he was inside, protecting his store from looters.
  • A voluntary force chaplain from Birmingham who supported police officers and staff and the local community.
  • A Wolverhampton minister who organised a clean-up of local streets.
  • Street Wardens in Birmingham who offered reassurance and support to police, local businesses and the community.

The awards will be presented by Chief Constable Chris Sims and the chair of the Police Authority, Bishop Derek Webley,during a ceremony in the Great Hall of Birmingham University.

Members of Birmingham Gospel Choir will greet guests, and the ceremony will start with a one minute silence as a mark of respect to the three young men who lost their lives in the disturbances,  Shazad Ali, Abdul Musavir and Haroon Jahan.

“Many of those receiving awards played a huge and important part in the successful outcome during those turbulent few days and displayed exceptional courage and bravery,” said Chief Constable Chris Sims.

“We felt that it was only right and proper to record our thanks and the thanks of many members of the community  in such a way.”