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Friday, 24 October 2014

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All part of the service says wall rescue PC

A MODEST policemen who saved the life of a man threatening to jump off a 70ft wall in Whitehaven denied he was a hero, claiming: “It is just part of the job.’’

PC Ben Strain told how he was forced to grab the drunken man before he fell through a roofless derelict building with broken glass and beams on the ground.

There are now calls to give the officer an award for bravery.

Afternoon shoppers, workers and families with young children watched in horror on Monday as the 32-year-old man stood on brink of the wall in the Argos car park, shouting that was going to jump.

“He was in imminent danger,’’ PC Strain said. “I was concerned, not that he would jump, but that he would stumble over the edge. He was drunk, singing, dancing and staggering on the wall which was about 12 inches wide.

“At one point he had his toes over the edge and I knew that if he fell through that building he would have been dead or seriously injured.

“He called me over to talk and as I had my hands tucked into my body vest I could feel my heart beating,’’ he said.

PC Strain then slowly made his way towards the man who was “playing up to’’ the crowd. “He was behaving recklessly,’’ the officer said.

When PC Strain was about six feet away from the man, his colleague on the opposite bank shouted to the man to distract him.

“I then dragged him down on to the bank,’’ PC Strain said. “I felt relieved when I could feel his body weight and I knew we were going in the right direction.’’

George Mitchell, 43, a witness to the rescue said: “It was pretty dramatic and in my opinion the officer deserves an award for bravery. If he had gone off it would have been almost certain death.’’

The man was arrested and released without charge.

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