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West Bridgford police officer honoured after saving two people from River Trent

A heroic West Bridgford police officer who saved two lives says he feels humbled after receiving an award in memory of a police officer who died in the line of duty.

PC Nick Lewis drew on his experience with the Nottinghamshire County Swim Squad to rescue both a 12-year-old girl and a woman from the River Trent in separate incidents.

On the first occasion, the river was fast-flowing with dangerous undercurrents – but without hesitation, PC Lewis jumped in after the child, who was struggling to keep her head above water, due to the thick woollen clothing she was wearing.

The response officer swam out to her and had to battle and swim hard to ensure they both returned to the side of the river.

Two months later, he saved another woman’s life after she entered the river.

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Again, PC Lewis was quickly on scene and swam out to the woman, before managing to pull her to safety.

Such was his bravery, Nick was chosen as a winner of the PC Ged Walker Award at this year’s Nottinghamshire Police Force Awards, held at the force’s headquarters on Tuesday (April 25).

The award is named in Ged’s memory after he was killed on duty in 2003.

PC Lewis, who was part of the West Bridgford Response team at the time of the incidents in 2021, said it was a huge honour to win the accolade.

He said: “I’m really proud to win the Ged Walker Award. It’s a bit on a personal note for me as I used to swim a lot with Ged’s kids when we were younger.

“Ged means an awful lot to everyone at Nottinghamshire Police. To learn I was getting this award really did make my day and put the biggest smile on my face.”

PC Lewis was among three police officers to receive a PC Ged Walker Award at this year’s Force Awards ceremony, with Sergeant Dan Griffin and PC Amy Pannell also receiving the award.

Both officers had volunteered to stay on after their working shift to assist with patrols to improve community safety in the Arboretum area. Whilst on patrol, they came across two individuals who had been smoking cannabis.

The officers stopped them to conduct a search, with one becoming uncompliant and very aggressive. This offender then produced a knife, chased and stabbed Sergeant Griffin four times – including twice in the chest.

Despite his injuries, Sergeant Griffin took the offender down onto the floor and detained him until further assistance arrived. He was helped by PC Pannell, who ran into the face of danger with no hesitation to come to her colleague’s aid. She applied first aid to the sergeant’s injuries whilst still trying to restrain the offender on the ground so that he couldn’t hurt anyone else.

Assistance soon arrived. Sergeant Griffin was rushed to hospital while the offender was taken into custody and is now in prison.

During the awards ceremony, Deputy Chief Constable Steve Cooper told the audience: “Just like PC Ged Walker, PC Lewis, Sergeant Griffin and PC Pannell showed they were prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the community and members of the public were kept safe – and we are immensely proud of them.”

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