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Mum praises hero officers for ‘saving son’s life’

22 Jun 2018 15:30 PM

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A relieved mother has praised the officers who she credits with saving her son’s life.

PC Jason Parkin and PC Paul Snowdon were first onto the scene last month after receiving a report of a vulnerable teenager on Sunderland’s Wearmouth Bridge.

The 18-year-old had positioned himself in a precarious position on some raised metalwork on the bridge – meaning officers had to act swiftly and decisively to avoid a potential fatality.

After negotiating with the distressed teen, the officers – one of whom was virtually lying on the pavement in a bid to prevent the male from toppling over the edge – managed to lift him back to safety, along with members of the public.

Now, after seeing her son return home safe and well, his mother has thanked police for their life-saving heroics.

“I am so grateful – I daren’t think what might have happened had the officers not have been on the scene so quickly. They showed such care and professionalism.

“The officers managed to help my son back from the brink, and then the Street Triage team who offer specialist mental health support were wonderful in their work afterwards.

“I genuinely believe that, had police not have been there, I would have been pulling my son out of the River Wear. They did a marvellous job – they do care.”

PC Parkin admits he is relieved to have brought the teenager to safety after a shift which he won’t forget in a hurry.

The officer of nine-and-a-half years said: “I heard over our radio that there was concern for a male on the bridge. I wasn’t far away so I headed over.

“He was on a crest which is a bit higher up from the railings, so you couldn’t just reach over and grab him. So I kept him talking, said to him ‘you’ve still got so much to live for’, and thankfully he eventually inched back towards us so we could help lift him to safety.

“These jobs can be difficult. I’d never met this gentleman before and I suppose it could easily have had a different outcome, but I’m pleased he’s now safe and well.”

PC Parkin and PC Snowdon both received a Commander’s Compliment from Chief Superintendent Sarah Pitt following their actions.

Inspector Donald Wade, of Northumbria Police, was also quick to pay tribute to the pair after witnessing the incident first-hand.

“This was not an easy task,” Insp Wade said. “I was passing in my vehicle as this was going on and without their intervention I truly believe that the young man would have fallen.

“By the time I had parked up and ran over, the two officers and members of the public had managed to get him over onto the right side of the railings.

“Their timely intervention prevented a potential fatality and I’d like to recognise their professionalism.”

In partnership with Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW), Northumbria Police’s Street Triage service sees a team of dedicated officers and mental health nurses work alongside each other across Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Gateshead, Sunderland and Northumberland.

Set up in 2013, the team responds to individuals experiencing a mental health crisis who have come into contact with the police, ensuring they receive mental health support and an assessment of their needs at an early stage. The team also advise and guide frontline officers on the best course of action for the individual.  

For more information on the work they do visit www.ntw.nhs.uk