Heroes honoured for bravery in face of terror attacks

City of London police
City of London police

UNPARALLELED bravery in the face of terror was honoured at a special ceremony in the City on Monday.

The Capital’s three police forces – namely City Police, the Met and the British Transport Police (BTP) – banded together to recognise the efforts of officers, staff, and members of the public during the heartless attacks on Westminster, Finsbury Park, and London Bridge earlier this year.

Around 200 courageous individuals were commended for their efforts to save the lives of others during the terror strikes on the Capital.

Among them was the City force’s own Melissa Dark, who was recognised for her professionalism and dedication to duty in response to the incidents in Westminster and London Bridge, as well as the blast at Manchester Arena during an Ariana Grande concert.

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special commendation: City Police’s Melissa Dark


“We are very proud to host this auspicious event,” said Ian Dyson, Commissioner of the City of London Police.

“A service celebrating the staff from across British Transport Police, the Met and the City of London Police is the perfect metaphor for how London’s three police forces work seamlessly together to protect the communities of this great Capital.”

Commissioner Dyson explained that more than 1,000 people were involved in the responses to the three attacks on the Capital, and that the inaugural tri-force commendation was the first stage of a plan to ensure everyone’s actions are formally recognised.

A total of 34 members of the public were saluted for their heroics, including  imam Mohammed Mahmoud of Finsbury Park mosque – who called for calm after a man drove his car into pedestrians – and butcher Justin Jones and girlfriend Ellen Gauntlett, who helped save the life of an officer who was severely injured fighting off three extremists.

“In the face of these horrific attacks, London’s police officers, the emergency services and members of the public stood together and sent out a defiant message that we will not be defeated by those who sought to bring terror to London’s streets,” said Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick.

“Those who went to help did not know the threat they faced, yet they did not hesitate to run to assist people who needed help and to confront those intent on causing harm.

“These were exceptional circumstances that brought out exceptional acts of bravery, professionalism and kindness.

“I am immensely proud that London’s police forces can, together, recognise some of these acts at this commendation ceremony.”

British Transport Police Chief Constable Paul Crowther, the boss of fearless Wayne Marques, the officer stabbed numerous times by a trio of assailants as he battled them with just a baton in hand, said that award recipients have shown the best that the Capital has to offer.

“This year has seen Londoners facing adversity a number of times and, on each occasion, we can say with confidence that they have demonstrated the very best of humanity.

“Each incident, though incredibly tragic, has shown the way that the emergency services work together alongside the public to stop terrorists, save lives and to protect each other.

“We continue to train, we continue to work together, and we will continue to protect the public from those who mean to do us harm.

“I am proud to present commendations today to officers from BTP, the Met and City of London, as well as the incredible members of the public who went above and beyond what was ever expected of them.”

Cover image by PC Matt Horne (Creative Commons).