Police Awards Ceremony Recognises Bravery of Officers and Members

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Imran Hussain and Ali Kurnaz Both Recognised for Bravery

A prestigous awards ceremony recognising the courageous and innovative actions of local people and police officers to tackle crime and improve their communites has been held in Wakefield.

Mark Gilmore, Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, hosted the evening alongside Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson at the Calder Park site of the Regional Scientific Support facility.

Throughout the event tales of courage, heroism and people going above and beyond their civic and professional duty were heard.

Among the awards was a tale of bravery in which two members of the public helped two officers tackle a team of robbers armed with hammers during an incident at a Post Office in Burley-in-Wharefedale last year.

Local resident Marcus McLeod initally spotted suspicious activity at the post office and flagged down a police car containing PC Tim Brown and PCSO Darrin Thompson. While PC Brown was parking the vehicle, PCSO Thompson entered the building and was immediately confronted by the two masked suspects. With no thought for his own safety he grappled with one of the men while the other repeatedly struck him with a sledge hammer.

As the struggle continued outside, Mr McLeod saw the attack and rugby tackled the suspect armed with a sledgehammer. With the assistance of PC Brown the suspect was detained with his accomplice making off towards a waiting getaway vehicle.

Another male member of the public, who has asked for his name not to be detailed, then gave chase and was struck by the vehicle as it attempted to leave the scene. Fortunately all those involved in the incident suffered only minor injuries.

The second suspect was later indentified and arrested.

In another astonishing act of bravery, Bradford resident Imran Hussain followed a vehicle which he had earlier seen hit a pedestrian on Great Horton Road and drive off from the scene. Finding the car around three miles from the scene, Mr Hussain, a local taxi driver, confronted the three male suspects and demanded they return to the scene of the crime and take responsibility for their actions.

Unfortunately the injured man died from his injuries but as a direct consequence of Mr Hussain’s actions the driver of the offending vehicle was convicted of several offences and received eight years imprisonment. 

Brighouse restaurant owner Ali Kurnaz was also among those commended by the Chief Constable for his public spirited, selfless actions that directly led to the arrest of two suspects for the theft of a 79-year-old woman’s handbag.

Mr Kurnaz, owner of the Meze Restaurant, was standing in the doorway of the restaurant and saw two men pull the victim’s handbag from her arm resulting in her falling to the floor. He chased the suspects and, after some help from other members of the public, found one of the suspects hiding and ‘frog marched’ him back the the attending police officers. The second suspect was also arrested a short time later hiding in the same area.

Chief Constable Commendations were also awarded to Special Constable Alistair McFadyen, who was recently recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours; the team who organised the 2013 Bradford Summer Camp and the team who developed the Future Stars project in Wakefield.

Officers and staff involved in establishing the National Police Air Service, which is operating under the control and command of West Yorkshire Police, were recognised by the Chief Constable and Police and Crime Commissioner.

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