Selfless police officers and passersby have been honoured for outstanding courage and effort at the annual North and West Devon Police Awards.

Nichol Eadie receives his award from Devon Commander Chief Supt Jim Colwell. Picture: Devon & Cornwall PoliceNichol Eadie receives his award from Devon Commander Chief Supt Jim Colwell. Picture: Devon & Cornwall Police

The event at Barnstaple Rugby Club heard accounts of officers and members of the public putting themselves at risk to save others as well as inspiring professionalism, courage and outstanding investigations.

These included saving lives from the river, bringing criminals to justice and a blue light emergency dash to enable a mother to be at the side of her dying daughter.

Superintendent Toby Davies, who leads the police teams in the area, said: “These awards allow us to recognise and celebrate some outstanding achievements from police officers, police staff and members of our community.

“They all demonstrate high levels of commitment to do the very best for our local area.

Mark Holbourn and Alexander Hope receive their award from Superintendent Toby Davies. Picture: Devon & Cornwall PoliceMark Holbourn and Alexander Hope receive their award from Superintendent Toby Davies. Picture: Devon & Cornwall Police

Every day, we hear accounts of how our officers have gone above the call of duty, whether that be an act of bravery, going above and beyond to ensure investigations are meticulous, or helping to save the life of someone in a crisis.

“I am humbled to hear these stories of bravery and courage, not only from members of our police service, but from members of our local communities and partner agencies.

“In North and West Devon, there is a great community spirit, where police, partners and residents connect with and support one another, helping to keep overall crime low and protect those most vulnerable. These events are our way of thanking not only our officers and staff, but our local people who make North and West Devon such a special place.”

Phil Leonard and Ryan Moreno Chamerro receive their awards from Superintendent Toby Davies. Picture: Devon & Cornwall PolicePhil Leonard and Ryan Moreno Chamerro receive their awards from Superintendent Toby Davies. Picture: Devon & Cornwall Police

The rescue of a 15-year-old girl from the River Taw saw four members of the public commended.

In March this year Nicol Eadie had been driving across the Taw Bridge when he saw the girl climb over the railing and fall into the water.

He stopped his vehicle, ran down to the Tarka Trail and got into the water, swam out and rescued her.

Alexander Hope and Mark Holbourn were also on the trail and had been calling encouragement to the girl and directing her to the bank, where they helped Mr Eadie pull her to safety. A Mr Penman also assisted.

PC Anna Revill and PCSO Hannah Rogers receive their award from Superintendent Toby Davies. Picture: Devon & Cornwall PolicePC Anna Revill and PCSO Hannah Rogers receive their award from Superintendent Toby Davies. Picture: Devon & Cornwall Police

The girl has since fully recovered and his citation said Mr eadie had ‘displayed exceptional levels of bravery, selflessness and courage’.

In January DS Phil Leonard and PC Ryan Moreno-Chamorro saved the life of a woman who was threatening to jump off the Taw Bridge.

She was on the wrong side of the railing and was causing harm to herself, but the officers managed to gently negotiate with her and get her to safety.

Paul Woodward and Matt Reed receive their award from Superintendent Toby Davies. Picture: Devon & Cornwall PolicePaul Woodward and Matt Reed receive their award from Superintendent Toby Davies. Picture: Devon & Cornwall Police

PC Anna Revill and PCSO Hannah Rogers were called to a woman threatening to jump into the river in Torrington. She carried out her threat but the officers were able to convince her to grab a throw line and were able to pull her to safety until specialist help arrived.

PC Paul Woodward and PC Matt Reed were commended for saving the life of a suicidal man from out of the area. PC Woodward used his initiative to search force systems and find a possible match and location, where the man was found and unconscious and given CPR before making a full recovery.

DC Dave Browne receives his award from Devon Commander Chief Superintendent Jim Colwell. Picture: Devon & Cornwall PoliceDC Dave Browne receives his award from Devon Commander Chief Superintendent Jim Colwell. Picture: Devon & Cornwall Police

In March PC Woodward, PC Reed and PC Sam Heys were called to a single vehicle collision at Snapper near Barnstaple, where the passenger, an 18-year-old girl, had sustained life threatening injuries.

PC Reed and PC Woodward commenced CPR and continued for more than 15 minutes until an ambulance arrived.

PC Heys attended the mother’s address and drove her on blue lights to the hospital. His swift actions allowed her mother and grandmother to attend the hospital and say their goodbyes before she sadly passed away.

Piers Chapman Walker receives his award from Devon Commander Chief Supt Jim Colwell. Picture: Devon & Cornwall PolicePiers Chapman Walker receives his award from Devon Commander Chief Supt Jim Colwell. Picture: Devon & Cornwall Police

DC Dave Browne was commended for his thorough enquiries in an attempted murder investigation following a serious assault on two men at Barbican Terrace in Barnstaple in March.

He worked with the vulnerable and scared victims and witnesses to build a case that stood up in court and saw Kyle Saville sentenced to 21 years in prison.

Piers Chapman-Walker was on his boat on at Bideford Quay when he heard screaming and discovered a woman stuck on a mud bank near his boat.

DC Mark Hendry receives his award from Superintendent Toby Davies and Detective Superintendent Ken Lamont. Picture: Devon & Cornwall PoliceDC Mark Hendry receives his award from Superintendent Toby Davies and Detective Superintendent Ken Lamont. Picture: Devon & Cornwall Police

With the tide rising, he got into the water to help her and kept her above the rising and freezing water until the emergency services could arrive.

The citation said there is no doubt he saved her life.

The team at Holsworthy were commended after visiting local secondary schools with a powerful film, Kayleigh’s Love Story, to warm students of the dangers of online grooming.

Sally Ferris and her team receive their awards from Superintendent Toby Davies. Picture: Devon & Cornwall PoliceSally Ferris and her team receive their awards from Superintendent Toby Davies. Picture: Devon & Cornwall Police

As a result, two children who were being groomed came forward to police, who were able to ensure their protection.

DC Mark Hendry and DC Mick Dean were commended for their ‘highly professional’ investigation into the death of Luke Campbell-Tapsom, 16, who died from an MDMA overdose.

They discovered a sophisticated conspiracy between two teenagers to source the drugs and set up a Post Office Box account to receive them for onward supply.

Knife robbery team photo. Picture: Devon & Cornwall PoliceKnife robbery team photo. Picture: Devon & Cornwall Police

The pair were convicted but avoided prison due to the wishes of Luke’s family.

A team of Sergeant Sally Ferris, Sgt Chris Spence, PC Andrew Helps, PC Benjamin Thomas and PC Laura Watson worked tirelessly on CPR to try and save a man found dead in a Bideford park.

All officers took a turn to administer CPR and PC Watson broke her hand in the process. They were praised by paramedics for their attempts and determination to preserve life.

DC Martin Pearse receives his award from Superintendent Toby Davies and Detective Superintendent Ken Lamont. Picture: Devon & Cornwall PoliceDC Martin Pearse receives his award from Superintendent Toby Davies and Detective Superintendent Ken Lamont. Picture: Devon & Cornwall Police

DS Stephen Bates, DS Phillip Leonard,

DS Helen Holmes, DC Adrian Wroe, DC Martin Pearse, PC Joseph Smith, DC Dave Browne, PC Michael Kearney,

PC Richard Irwin, PC Gareth Woolway, PC 13183 Dan Worby, PC Mark Stewart, PC Terry Sparrow, PC Mark Patchett, Steve Dyer and DC Simon Scotthorne (retired).

PC Anna Fielding receives her award from Superintendent Toby Davies. Picture: Devon & Cornwall PolicePC Anna Fielding receives her award from Superintendent Toby Davies. Picture: Devon & Cornwall Police

In October 2017, officers were called to a knife point robbery in Barnstaple, where an 18-year-old was threatened and personal belongings stolen.

Following excellent investigative work, the suspect’s identity was gained and his description circulated.

He was found and arrested and gathering evidence continued through the night and into the following day which enabled officers to conduct an in-depth and challenging interview with the suspect.

He was later identified and due to such extensive investigative work, all evidence was submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service, which charged the suspect with robbery.

Mr Loudwill and PC Jack Richard receive their award from Devon Commander Chief Supt Jim Colwell. Picture: Devon & Cornwall PoliceMr Loudwill and PC Jack Richard receive their award from Devon Commander Chief Supt Jim Colwell. Picture: Devon & Cornwall Police

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four years in prison.

DC Martin Pearse: In July 2016, DC Pearse began an investigation into historic sexual abuse.

The investigation was complex, not only by the seriousness of the offences alleged, but because of the number of different locations across the country where offences were committed.

Roy Scott and Philip Doswell receive their award from Devon Commander Chief Superintendent Jim Colwell. Picture: Devon & Cornwall PoliceRoy Scott and Philip Doswell receive their award from Devon Commander Chief Superintendent Jim Colwell. Picture: Devon & Cornwall Police

He managed multiple enquires across the country that included police and third party agencies, while putting the care of the victim at the forefront of his investigation.

Following a trial at Truro Crown Court in March 2018, the defendant was found guilty of 15 serious, sexual offences and sentenced to 16 years imprisonment.

PC Anna Fielding: In July 2017, PC Fielding attended an incident where a vulnerable 35-year-old woman was reported missing from hospital.

Mike Dove receives his award from Superintendent Toby Davies. Picture: Devon & Cornwall PoliceMike Dove receives his award from Superintendent Toby Davies. Picture: Devon & Cornwall Police

She was located by her husband in the river on Raleigh Meadow, Barnstaple. PC Fielding was the first officer on scene and waded into the river pulling the female to safety.

PC Fielding is commended for her courage and selflessness and bringing the incident to a positive outcome.

The female was taken to a place of safety where she received appropriate treatment.

DC Phil Lawes receives his award from Superintendent Toby Davies. Picture: Devon & Cornwall PoliceDC Phil Lawes receives his award from Superintendent Toby Davies. Picture: Devon & Cornwall Police

PC Jack Rickard and Mark Loudwill

In March, PC Rickard walked to Bude Police Station due to heavy snow.

On route, he heard a woman screaming for help on a nearby golf course and discovered her lying unresponsive.

He immediately requested the assistance of an ambulance and for further officers to attend.

Nicola Saunter collects the award for her team from Superintendent Toby Davies. Picture: Devon & Cornwall PoliceNicola Saunter collects the award for her team from Superintendent Toby Davies. Picture: Devon & Cornwall Police

PC Rickard picked up the female and carried her off the course, tackling thick snow and ice underfoot.

Her condition was deteriorating rapidly so he sought help from a nearby property.

The owner, Mark Loudwill immediately grabbed a blanket and without hesitation assisted PC Rickard in commencing first aid.

They continued to improve her chances of survival until the ambulance arrived.

Jenny Mashford and Dave Clarke recive their award from Devon Commander Chief Superintendent Jim Colwell. Picture: Devon & Cornwall PoliceJenny Mashford and Dave Clarke recive their award from Devon Commander Chief Superintendent Jim Colwell. Picture: Devon & Cornwall Police

She was taken to Bude ambulance station where she was slowly warmed up and regained consciousness.

There is no doubt that the selfless actions of PC Rickard and Mr Loudwill saved the life of the female concerned.

Passerby Phillip Doswell and Roy Scott investigated smoke coming from a house and discovered a fire caused by a halogen heater.

Mr Doswell searched smoke filled rooms several times before finding an injured man lying face down. He and Mr Scott managed to get the man into a wheelchair and out into the hallway before the fire service arrived.

Sadly, the casualty died of his injuries two months later.

In April, Mike Dove and Mr Phillips talked down a man who had been on the wrong side of the railings on the Landkey Road bridge over the A361.

They built up a rapport with the man and identified that he had an interest in cars and used this to engage with him and help reduce his focus on harming himself.

He refused to cooperate with the police officers, but Mr Dove and Mr Philips eventually managed to get him to join them on the right side of the railings, where he was brought to safety and received the help he needed.

DC Phil Lawes was the OIC for Operation BEAN, which became the first police-led operation targeting Class A drug related criminal activity in North Devon involving County Lines.

His thorough and detailed investigation eventually led to the identification of individuals suspected of supplying drugs into the area.

In April three men were convicted and received significant prison sentences.

A/PS Tracey Swift, PC Graham Callender and PC Nicola Saunter

In July 2017, the officers attended an address in Tavistock after a report of a male threatening to commit suicide.

Upon arrival, the officers found the male unconscious. They carried out CPR until an ambulance arrived. The male was taken to hospital and he regained consciousness a few days later. Without the professional and calm actions of all three officers, the young man would have certainly died at the scene.

PS David Clarke and PC Jenny Mashford were assaulted by a violent suspect after pulling over a suspected drink driver in Tavistock town centre.

The man became violent and grabbed PS Clarke lifting him off the floor, getting him in a headlock and grabbing his face causing serious injury.

During the violent struggle PS Clarke tasered the male with no effect, continuing to be hit to the body.

Showing complete disregard for her own safety and concerned for her colleague’s life, PC Mashford intervened and despite being seriously injured by the male she managed to deploy captor spray which allowed PS Clarke to overpower the man and detain him.

The suspect was arrested, charged and received a lengthy term of imprisonment.