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Blues and Twos - Police & Law Blog is a an amalgamation of thoughts, feelings and observations on news, current affairs and UK policing in general. Our police blog has contributions from officers of the rank of Inspector (Organ Grinder) down to Constable (Monkey). Blues and Twos - The Police Officer's Blog

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Saving Lives - Why Bother?

In The Times today there is a report about a Police officer being rebuked for saving the life of a suicidal man.

A young police constable who saved a suicidal man from plunging to his death has been reprimanded for using excessive force.

PC Amerjit Singh, 26, one of the first Sikhs to be recruited by Cambridgeshire police, was in his first year in uniform when he and two colleagues were called to a disturbance at a house in Peterborough in September last year.

They found a man under the influence of drink and drugs, acting aggressively and threatening to jump from the second-floor window. The constable grabbed him despite being assaulted and kicked. But during the struggle the man’s father arrived as the officer held down his son.

Despite being told of events leading to his son being restrained, the father made an official complaint, which the Cambridgeshire force rejected. He appealed to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). The officer, a probationer, was given “words of advice” when police watchdogs ruled that he should not have used a headlock but applied a method of holding the man approved by the Home Office.

Their admonishment will go on PC Singh’s record. A father of two who gave up a career as a legal executive to join the force, he was not available for comment last night. But his father, Manjit, said: “It’s absolutely ridiculous. It’s the father who should be reprimanded.”

The IPCC’s ruling was described as “barking mad” by Stewart Jackson, PC Singh’s Conservative MP. “We should be applauding the bravery and commitment of this young man rather than pillorying him.”

Tony Laud, secretary of the Cambridgeshire branch of the Police Federation, said that the officer was baffled and upset by the IPCC decision. He said: “It is unbelievable. We’ve got concerns that the IPCC seem to be quite happy to appease the public rather than look at things in a fair manner.

“This was a young officer doing what he believed was the best thing and, rather than receiving a pat on the back, he effectively found himself being told off. Having spoken to him, he feels really disappointed because he felt he should have been given some praise.”

Cambridgeshire police continued to defend the officer. A spokesman said: “When there is a risk of serious injury, the priority must be to minimise that risk and ensure the safety of those involved.”

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