Police commendations: how police risked their lives to save girls at notorious 'suicide bridge' (From Haringey Independent)
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Haringey Police Officers handed commendations for saving girls from suicide at Archway Bridge
Police officers who carried out a dramatic rescue mission to stop two girls from jumping to their death have been praised for their courage.
PCs Garry Salmon, Wasim Din, Gavin Upton and Mehmet Mehmet - along with a passer-by - all risked their lives to help two females off the Archway Bridge in Hornsey on April 9 this year.
The four detectives were today awarded certificates for bravery, professionalism and communication at a police commendation ceremony at Gladesmore School, Ferndale Avenue, Tottenham.
Officers Din and Salmon were called to the scene at 1.30am, where they found two girls had climbed over the railings onto a narrow ledge, where there was an 80 foot drop onto the busy A1 below.
PC Din said: "It was clear they wanted to commit suicide or cause serious injury and there wasn’t any time to think about what to do. We had to save them.
"I managed to grab one of the girls away from the ledge, whilst trying to distract the other by speaking to her. It was stressful I suppose, but that’s not what was going through my mind."
As his colleague distracted the second girl, quick-thinking PC Salmon climbed over the ledge to try and reach her.
Without any regard for their own safety, the detective and the passer-by managed to restrain her against a pillar just as PCs Mehmet and Upton arrived at the location, which is notoriously dubbed "suicide bridge".
With PC Din still trying to stop the first girl from jumping back over the ledge, the other three detectives were forced to grab hold of the girl to bring her back over the edge.
PC Mehmet said: "When we arrived, we saw Garry and the girl in a very precarious position and the reality of it set in. We didn’t have time to speak about what we wanted to do, but luckily we all had the same idea.
"We grabbed hold of whatever we could - her belt, her arms, her legs - and managed to safely bring her back over the ledge."
After both girls were safely over the ledge, an ambulance was called and the first girl was detained under the Mental Health Act.
PC Salmon remains modest about his brave actions but admitted he felt proud to receive the award.
He said: "At one point when I was hanging over the ledge trying to grab her, I thought it could go wrong and I could slip.
"I am obviously very happy to receive the award but you don’t expect an award for doing your job. I did what I had to do to save the girl’s life. That’s the main thing." PC Upton added: "There wasn’t any time to panic. The reality of it set in afterwards and we had a bit of a comedown in the police van.
"It sounds like a bit of a cliché, but we were just doing our jobs. There isn’t a question of whether or not I would react the same way again - of course I would."
Handing them their certificates, Haringey Police Chief Inspector Jane Easton said: "If they had not intervened when they did, a double fatality would have occurred.
"PC Din showed resilience, fortitude and courage in a highly stressful situation. PC Salmon acted above the call of duty to place himself in harm’s way to save the girl.
"PC Mehmet and Upton’s calm demeanour placed with little thought for their own safety formed excellent team work."
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