South East Wales

Cardiff Pc wins bravery award for bridge rescue

A police officer who saved a woman's life by grabbing her as she leapt off a bridge has won a national police bravery award.

Pc Elizabeth Window kept hold of the woman until a taxi driver came to her assistance on Clarence Road bridge in Cardiff in December 2008.

Pc Window received the bravery award for the Wales region at a ceremony on Thursday at London's Dorchester Hotel.

The Police Federation of England and Wales praised her "incredible bravery".

Pc Window told BBC Radio Wales she was on routine patrol in an unmarked police car when she spotted the woman poised to jump.

"As I pulled the car up to approach her she told me she was going to jump," she said. "She wanted to end her life.

"She went to jump and as she did so I managed to lunge forward and grab hold of her and stop her from jumping.

"Her legs left the ledge and I held her there until a passing taxi driver helped me to pull her to safety."

The taxi driver left the scene and has never been identified.

Asked for her reaction after the competition's judges commended her for putting the safety and welfare of the woman above her own, Pc Window commented: "You don't really have time to think about it.

"If something like that happens it's just your natural instinct. I think anyone would have tried to grab her and stop her from falling.

"It's just sort of an instant reaction. But afterwards I did get to think about it and I went into shock thinking about the incident."

The awards ceremony followed a reception at 10 Downing Street where Pc Window, along with more than 50 other nominees, met Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May.

"It was an amazing day," she added. "Getting to meet the prime minister was the icing on the cake."

'Heroic actions'

Paul McKeever, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said Pc Window deserved the highest praise for her "incredible bravery".

"Her courage is an example to us all and we hope this award goes some way towards recognising Pc Window's heroic actions," he said.

Richie Jones, the federation's south Wales secretary, said her actions highlighted the dangers that police officers face each day.

"Her actions undoubtedly saved the life of this lady," he said.

"Pc Window is a credit to South Wales Police and to the police service in general. Her professionalism and courage are to be commended and she is thoroughly deserving of her award."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites